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From Private Jets To Air Taxis, Investors Are Flocking To Billion-Dollar Deals In The Sky

From Private Jets To Air Taxis #FrizeMedia

During the past week, dealmakers have had their heads in the clouds. A half-dozen different transactions were in the works that displayed the multitude of ways investors are betting on the future of aviation.

In one high-priced example, Vista Global is in talks to conduct a blank-check merger that could value the company at more than $10 billion, per a Bloomberg report. Vista is a private jet company currently owned by Swiss billionaire Thomas Flohr, one that’s best known for its fleet of dozens of planes operating under the VistaJet brand. It is one of a few prominent companies offering a more stylish way to transit the friendly skies—Wheels Up and Berkshire Hathaway’s NetJets are two Vista competitors. And if Vista does end up finalizing a SPAC deal, it will be following in Wheels Up’s footsteps: In February, the company lined up a blank-check merger of its own that came at a $2.1 billion valuation. A company that provides hangar space and a wide range of other ground services to private and charter aircraft was also in the news this week, as KKR reached an agreement to acquire Atlantic Aviation from Macquarie Infrastructure for just shy of $4.5 billion. Atlantic is a fixed-base operator (FBO) with more than 60 locations in the U.S., offering a full suite of services ranging from refueling to catering. Atlantic’s location in San Jose, for instance, is designed to serve as something of a one-stop shop for businessmen flying in and out of Silicon Valley. It is open 24 hours a day and includes its own hangars, security screening, six conference rooms, an exercise facility and much more. KKR’s pact with Atlantic was the second major private equity transaction this year involving a provider of FBO services. In February, Blackstone, Global Infrastructure Partners and Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment teamed up on an agreement to acquire London-based Signature Aviation in a take-private buyout worth some $4.7 billion.

The Atlantic deal also wasn’t KKR’s only foray into the world of flight this week. On Friday, the firm announced the launch of AV AirFinance, a new loan servicing business for the commercial aviation sector that is set to purchase an $800 million portfolio of loans for roughly 60 aircraft from CIT Group. Elsewhere in the commercial aviation space, United Airlines is in talks to buy at least 100 of Boeing’s embattled 737 Max jets, according to media reports. The order would be part of a larger revamp of United’s fleet that could also include a major purchase of planes from Airbus. And it comes a week after United ordered at least 15 new supersonic aircraft from industry upstart Boom Technology, a move that could allow United to be the first major commercial airline to offer travel at faster than the speed of sound since British Airways and Air France retired their Concorde fleets in 2003.

Friday brought one more deal, this one a push toward privatization: The government of South Africa agreed to sell a 51% stake in the bankrupt South African Airways to an investor group including private equity firm Harith General Partners and Johannesburg-based airline Global Airways for at least $220 million. If private planes, commercial craft and supersonic jets weren’t enough, this week also saw news of two potential billion-dollar SPAC deals involving flying taxis. Vertical Aerospace Group signed a deal to merge with a blank-check company at a $2.2 billion valuation, and Brazilian industry giant Embraer is in talks to take its Eve Urban Air Mobility unit public in a blank-check deal that could be worth $2 billion, according to Bloomberg. News of Vertical Aerospace’s plans came in conjunction with an announcement that the UK-based company signed a deal to sell as many as 1,000 of its flying taxis—also known more cumbersomely as electric vertical takeoff and landing craft, or eVTOL—to American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and aircraft leasing business Avolon Holdings. It hopes to start delivering those vehicles by 2024. Read more...

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund PIF will become an anchor investor in an infrastructure fund being launched by Bahrain’s Investcorp and Aberdeen Standard Investments.

Aberdeen Standard Investcorp Infrastructure Partners (ASIIP) received a capital commitment from the $430 billion PIF for up to 20% of the total size of the fund ahead of its anticipated first closing, Investcorp said in a statement on Thursday. The statement did not give the size of the fund, but the Financial Times reported on Wednesday it could be as much as $800 million and its first close will be $250 million. The new fund has also received board approval from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to commit $90 million, the statement said. It could be joined by other global institutional investors including pension funds, insurance companies, endowments, family offices and private clients, the fund said. ASIIP aims to participate in the post-COVID-19 economic recovery and reform in countries across the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the wider Middle East and North Africa region by investing in sustainable core infrastructure projects. Investcorp is a global alternative investment manager with around $35.4 billion in assets under management. Source: Reuters

Google’s Black Founders Fund backs UK lawtech Start-Up

Google’s Black Founders Fund backs UK lawtech Start-Up #FrizeMedia

A contract drafting and review business founded by former Freshfields associates is one of 30 companies to receive funding from the Google for Startups inaugural European Black Founders Fund. Co-founder Nnamdi Emelifeonwu said the “unprecedented environment” created by the pandemic had led to “much more appetite” for Define’s software. The business has doubled in size over the past year, with revenue “growing exponentially”. Mr Emelifeonwu said that only two years ago he was working by himself at Define, which allows users to access and edit defined references in legal documents without losing context. By June 2020 he had recruited seven staff and now has 15, a mixture of technologists (60%) and lawyers (40%). Define is based at Allen & Overy’s London offices in the law firm’s Fuse innovation space, with technologists based around the world in Sweden, New York, Lithuania and Belarus.

The Google recognition provides a cash award of up to $100,000 and up to $220,000 in advertising and cloud credits; the solicitor said he would use the money to increase the size of his team to 20 by the end of the year. The lawyers working for Define include former commercial solicitors while technologists were “rock star engineers” from leading universities around the world, Mr Emelifeonwu said. He admitted he was “a bit nervous” when the pandemic arrived, but after a month of readjustment it was “business as usual”. Define’s first financial year coincided with the pandemic and it had performed above expectations, with income hitting six figures. 

Mr Emelifeonwu came up with the idea while during his time in the banking department at Freshfields as a trainee solicitor. “Quite sure” that he did not want to do law long-term, he “became fascinated” with how a visually impaired colleague and friend, associate Feargus MacDaeid, used his computer to draft and review contracts. He and Mr MacDaeid, co-founder of Define, came up with a “perfect solution” which avoided “navigating to and fro”, losing context and requiring the brain to memorise information. Mr Emelifeonwu said being part of A&O’s Fuse programme had been a great help, allowing the firm to run its first pilot and get access to firm’s lawyers and clients. He said Define has raised over £1.5m so far in funding from a venture capital company and private investors and was planning another funding round. Read more...

High Street Equity Partners closing Equity Gap in VC Space

High Street Equity Partners closing Equity Gap in VC Space #FrizeMedia

The $15 million fund is investing in underrepresented founders from underrepresented communities

In the United States, only 1% of venture capital funded startup founders are Black. The dismal number leads one to wonder if the disproportionate allocation of funds to help Black and Brown businesses grow could be preventing them from expanding to household names. With the tragic murder of George Floyd opening the eyes of many in America to the inequity occurring in the “land of the free,” organizations are fighting back with their dollars. In the investment world, VCs are creating funds specifically for Black entrepreneurs and interested in supporting more Black founders. However, there are investors like Mitch Brooks and Tristan Wilkerson, who have invested in Black businesses for over a decade. The long-time friends are widening their impact and doubling down on their expertise to help close the multiple gaps in the VC world. Everything about the men and their mission is filled with purpose. The creation of High Street Equity Partners is a dream realized for Brooks and Wilkerson. The name bears meaning from Wilkerson’s Southern roots.

He shared, “The name, High Street, is a historic street name in Little Rock, Arkansas. It was the center of business and innovation and where a lot of Black and minority businesses were concentrated. The name is a homage to the vision and goal of the firm.” Now renamed to Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, this street is where Wilkerson’s late grandfather and grandmother, his uncles, and brother all lived at one point in time. In many ways, no matter the city or state, MLK Boulevard or Street represents Black lives and culture. The name High Street, Wilkerson adds, is a daily reminder for them to “stay close to the ground and knowing where we come from and who came before us to get us to this point.” Brooks and Wilkerson met in Washington, D.C. and have been friends and investment partners for over a decade. Uniting their diverse backgrounds, they have created a fund under the principles of purpose and community. Brooks grew up in Washington, D.C. and attended FAMU. 

Upon graduation, he worked at Caterpillar in between their Miami and Chicago office. Brooks’ mother was diagnosed with cancer and he returned to D.C. to be close to support her through the treatment process. His mom recovered shortly before Barack Obama was elected and when he saw how “electric” the city became with the first Black president, he stayed. Brooks continued to work for Caterpillar and rose in ranks within the firm.

He explained, “Once I became partner, I started to get partner distributions and dividends. Some people take their money and they buy vacation homes and boats. For me, when I got my partner distribution, I started to invest in businesses and small businesses in D.C. Metro, where I’m from, because I wanted to give back to the city and be part of the city’s thriving.” Read more...

United Community Banks to buy Aquesta Bank for $131m

United Community Banks to buy Aquesta Bank for $131m #FrizeMedia

Aquesta is a Cornelius, North Carolina-based bank that serves retail and business customers through a network of nine branches

United Community Banks has reached an agreement to acquire Aquesta Financial Holdings, including its wholly-owned subsidiary Aquesta Bank, for a consideration of around $131m. The total consideration includes nearly $12m in value for outstanding options and warrants to acquire Aquesta common stock, said the company. Under the terms of the agreement, Aquesta stockholders will be elected to receive their consideration in cash, where United will pay only a 30% of the total consideration in cash. United chairman and chief executive officer Lynn Harton said: “This transaction is consistent with our desire to expand into attractive and fast-growing markets that we know well. “We have been investing in Charlotte over the past several years and have commercial banking and mortgage teams already in place.

“Aquesta is an exciting opportunity for us to increase our presence and accelerate our growth with a high-quality company that shares our values of customer service, employee engagement and community development.” Established in 2006, Aquesta is a Cornelius, North Carolina-based bank serving retail and business customers through a network of nine branches. Read more...

Employee Motivation: 10 Effective Ways To Stimulate Staff

Employee Motivation: 10 Effective Ways To Stimulate Staff #FrizeMedia

Employee motivation is crucial in today’s fast-moving business environment. It demands that the effective manager be a well-organized administrator and highly adept in understanding people’s basic needs and behavior in the workplace. Gaining commitment, nurturing talent, and ensuring employee motivation and productivity require open communication and trust between managers and staff. 

1. Understand their behavior People at work naturally tend to adopt instinctive modes of behavior that are self-protective rather than open and collaborative. This explains why emotion is a strong force in the workplace and why management often reacts violently to criticisms and usually seeks to control rather than take risks. So, in order to eliminate this kind of perspective and to increase employee motivation, it is best that you influence behavior rather than to change personalities. Insisting what you expect from your employees will only worsen the situation. Read more...

Funding Circle and Atom bank announce £300m lending Partnership

KKR snaps up UK infrastructure investor John Laing in £2bn deal

Afterpay’s Nick Molnar tips Millions into Startups

Afterpay’s Nick Molnar tips millions into startups #FrizeMedia

Afterpay co-founder and Australia’s youngest self-made billionaire, Nick Molnar, is busy tipping some of his estimated $2.2 billion personal fortune into Australian startups, including online checkout platform Fast, social media startup Linktree and trading app Superhero. Company searches show the co-founder of the ASX-listed buy now pay later (BNPL) juggernaut and his wife Gabrielle Molnar, after coughing up around $45 million for their home and an adjacent block of flats in Bondi, have turned their attention to fast growing local startups. The majority of the couple’s wealth is held in Afterpay stock, which has dropped more than 20 per cent this year to $91.89 a share. The latest round of investments has been made directly by Mr Molnar rather than through Afterpay’s venture arm Afterpay Ventures. Wayne Baskin, co-founder of share trading platform Superhero, which raised $25 million from investors including Mr Molnar in April, said the Afterpay co-founder’s involvement has delivered a significant boost to Superhero.

“It’s great to see the support coming from guys that have had success,” Mr Baskin said. “It’s good to see Australians supporting Australians and guys that have been there before saying ‘Yes we believe in you as well’.” The extent to which Afterpay and other BNPL providers will be subject to regulation is a looming issue for the sector and Mr Baskin said Mr Molnar had encouraged Superhero to focus on compliance from the start and not wait until it was ready to enter the market. “He definitely does bring the name that people want to talk about and he does bring ideas,” Mr Baskin said. Read more...

Shaw shareholders “overwhelmingly” approve $26bn Rogers Merger

Shaw shareholders “overwhelmingly” approve $26bn Rogers Merger #FrizeMedia

Shaw Communications’ (Shaw) shareholders have “overwhelmingly” voted in favour of $26 billion merger between Shaw and Rogers Communications (Rogers). Announced in March 2021, the deal will see Rogers acquire all of Shaw Communications’ class A and B shares. In a special meeting held 20 May 2021, Shaw’s Class A and B shareholders backed the proposed business combination. “Today marks an important milestone in the journey to combine Shaw and Rogers, creating a truly national network provider with far-reaching and multigenerational benefits for all Canadians,” said Brad Shaw (pictured), executive chair & CEO. “Shaw’s shareholders overwhelmingly supported the transaction and the high voter turnout, which exceeded 70%, represents a strong endorsement for the combination. We have taken an extraordinary and historic step towards a future with unlimited potential where connectivity and leading 5G technology will enable so much more than we can even imagine today.”

The deal is still subject to a number of additional conditions including approvals from certain Canadian regulators including the Competition Bureau and the CRTC - Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada are also reportedly reviewing the agreement. On 25 May 2021, Shaw will also seek a final order from the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, to approve the transaction. The deal prices Shaw’s shares at approximately $40.50 per share includes $6 billion of Shaw’s debts. Read more...

Corporate Event planning 101 Checklist and The basics Of Planning

Corporate Event planning 101 Checklist and The basics Of Planning #FrizeMedia

The key to the success of any corporate event - such as a trade show, a retirement party, a sports outing, or any hospitality event, a sales meeting, or the annual holiday party - is Corporate Event Planning 101. Corporate events vary in size and purpose. Some corporations host corporate events that consist of thousands of invitees, while some organize events for all employees, and some for only select employees. Whatever the occasion, you require proper corporate event planning to make the event memorable and a roaring success. With a variety of people attending these corporate events, their tastes and preferences are bound to be different. Workplaces have a diversity of people, and this makes corporate event planning stressful and difficult. It takes a lot of quality time for excellent corporate event planning, and still many may be disappointed with the results.

The major part of Corporate Event Planning 101 is the appointment of a professional Corporate Event Planner. He/she can plan and produce a great corporate event for you and save you time and money. Read more...

Billionaire Issa Brothers buy Huge stake in Sportswear Brand with 300 new Jobs Coming

Billionaire Issa Brothers buy Huge stake in Sportswear Brand with 300 new Jobs Coming #FrizeMedia

Mohsin and Zuber Issa, from Blackburn in Lancashire, are understood to have first invested in Castore in March last year through their Jersey-based Monte Group

The billionaire Issa brothers and new owners of Asda have reportedly become the largest outside investors of sportswear brand Castore. It comes amid plans for the clothing firm to relocate its headquarters from Liverpool to Manchester, creating 300 jobs in the process. Reports also suggest Castore will open five new stores over the next six months. Mohsin and Zuber Issa, from Blackburn in Lancashire, are understood to have first invested in Castore in March last year through their Jersey-based Monte Group, according to The Times. Castore, which has a brand partnership with Andy Murray and a kit deal with new Scottish Premiership champions Rangers, was founded in 2015 by brothers Thomas and Philip Beahon. It now sells products in more than 50 countries worldwide and its revenue is expected to reach £100million this year. The company currently has retail stores on the King's Road in London and within the Liverpool ONE scheme in the city centre. The news of the Issa brothers reported investment in Castore comes after the billionaire siblings were told to close 27 petrol stations to complete their Asda takeover.

The competition watchdog said the Issa brothers - which own the Euro Garages business - would have close part of their network for the transaction to be reconsidered. The CMA first launched an investigation into the £6.8billion Asda takeover in December, after the deal was given the go-ahead by Walmart. Read more...

3 Easy Steps to Build Your Brand Promise [+10 examples]

If you're a decent human being, you always honor a pinky promise. For the uninitiated, a pinky promise is usually between two people and it holds more weight than a spit shake, legal contract, verbal agreement, and "I swear on my [insert family member]" statements combined. It's part of our social contract – once it's been agreed upon, it cannot be broken. A brand promise is the scaled, commercial version of the pinky promise, with the brand holding up one finger and its target audience holding up the other. Except, in this case, breaking it won't just ruin your reputation, it can impact your revenue. Let's talk about how to create a brand promise and see examples from popular brands. What is a brand promise? A brand promise reveals what consumers can expect from a brand across all touchpoints. It serves as a company's foundational value and informs every aspect of the company, from its messaging to its customer service. Your brand promise should be central to your company, something that remains constant as it grows and evolves.

Not every brand promise is explicit. In many cases, it's more of an internal mantra that's shared with employees, investors, and partners. However, when you have built a strong brand identity and clear messaging, your brand promise can be assumed by your target audience. There's often some confusion between a brand promise and a tagline, so let's break it down. Read more...

How To Create A Small Business Marketing Strategy

How To Create A Small Business Marketing Strategy #FrizeMedia

What does a small business marketing strategy mean to you? Some people automatically think in terms of their company’s long-term goals. When they start their small business, they create a long-term business plan, including a marketing strategy, that will help them develop their company over time. Others think of a small business marketing strategy as a single campaign. They create a marketing campaign for one product or service they offer, and create a series of marketing tools that will help them sell that product or service. While both may technically be correct, there is a distinct difference between the two. One creates a stream of income for a short period of time (typically a few weeks to a few months), while the other ensures you have a stream of income coming in on a regular basis. In order to ensure an effective small business marketing strategy, you must have three things in place. please read more...

Business Marketing Strategies - Small Enterprise Tips And Advice

Business Marketing Strategies - Small Enterprise Tips And Advice

Business Marketing strategies are methods for  an organization to focus its  energies and resources on a course of action  which can lead to increased sales and dominance of a targeted market niche. Business marketing strategies combines  product development, promotion, relationship management,distribution, pricing and other elements. It also identifies the firm's marketing goals, and explains how they will be achieved, ideally within a stated  time frame. In his classic best-seller,How To Win Friends And Influence People, Dale Carnegie's second chapter is entitled The Big Secret of Dealing With People. The secret is summed up in this principle: Give honest and sincere appreciation. read more...

Small Biz Advice - Local Businesses and Web Sites

Small Biz Advice - Local Businesses and Web Sites

Small business advice:It seems that most thriving businesses these days have web sites, even businesses that service only certain geographic areas. On the web, where the market place is global, localized businesses can be at a great disadvantage. Lets use the example of a car cleaning business. The business only cleans cars in a specific city, yet wants to use their web site to create more business. Time and money is invested in marketing the site in the search engines, paying particular attention to marketing the site for the specific geographic region the service provider covers. Nonetheless, many visitors from around the globe are likely to stumble across the site if it is well marketed. read more...

Solo Build It!

Small Business Startup

Small Business Startup #FrizeMedia

Small business startups require a lot of work.  You might however, be surprised by what type of work should be taking up the majority of your time. Computer consultants, when they contemplate small business startups, tend to focus on the technical aspects of the business. The rational is that they want to offer a decent service and must have great technical skills before anyone will be willing to pay them. In fact, the 90/10 Rule tells us that during small business startups, 90% of your time should be spent on direct marketing activities and only 10% on building technical skills. The type of small business startup activities to spend 90% of your time on include: prospecting lead generation going out on sales calls preparing proposals please read more...

Small Business Advertising Tips And Resources

Small Business Advertising Tips And Resources #FrizeMedia

Small business advertising: If you run a small business, advertising costs must be figured in as part of your overall expenses. If you have received quotes for phone directory ads, business association block ads, and mostly any other print media, these costs are quite high. So, what if your budget is small, perhaps negligible? Will you be left outside of the small business advertising arena or are there other avenues to help you get the word out? The answer in one word is: yes. Let’s explore ways you can “get the word out” through online means…yes, via the internet! The ascent of internet use has spawned an entire industry with it. please read more...

Forms Of Business Organizations

Forms Of Business Organizations #FrizeMedia

There are numerous kinds of organizations that can be separated into two major divisions: organizations existing to create profits (profit organizations. Includes business entities) and organizations that exist primarily for another purpose (non-profit organizations. E.g: charity organizations). 3 Types of Business Entities and their common characteristics: 1. Sole Proprietorships. Sole proprietorships are business that are owned and operated by one person: the sole proprietor. The owner and the business, is then the same. For tax purposes, a sole proprietorship is not a taxable entity, and any profits earned by the business are taxed on the return of the individual. please read more...

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