Company news

21 January 2020 | Sakenuus
Telecoms group Iliad formally launches 1.4 bln euro capital increase

French telecoms and media group Iliad formally launched on Monday its previously announced plan for a 1.4 billion euros (US$1.6 billion) capital increase, which will be used to finance a share buyback offer. Iliad, which runs the Free telecoms and internet service, said the capital increase would be priced at 120 euros per share, marking a discount of around 2.4% to Iliad's closing price of 123 euros on Jan. 17.

Last November, French billionaire Xavier Niel said he was ready to pour the 1.4 billion euros into Iliad to show his commitment to the telecoms group he founded and majority owns, despite several tough financial quarters for the group. – Nampa/Reuters

Anglo American to buy fertilizer maker Sirius Minerals

Anglo American said on Monday it agreed to buy Sirius Minerals for 404.9 million pounds (US$526.2 million) in cash, marking the global miner's return to fertilizer.

Sirius shareholders will receive 5.50 pence per share in cash, a 34.1% premium to the closing price on Jan. 7, the day before Anglo American said it was in talks to buy the fertilizer company. – Nampa/Reuters

Tencent says to step up investment overseas and in smart retail

Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings said it will step up its investment overseas and in industries such as "smart retail", having already invested in more than 800 companies.

Those firms include 70 listed companies and over 160 are valued at more than US$1 billion, according a speech made by Tencent president Martin Lau at a conference last week which the company posted on its social media account on Monday.

Tencent is known to have stakes in firms such as food delivery giant Meituan Dianping, e-commerce site Pinduoduo and video game companies such as Riot Games and Supercell.

But the company, worth US$490 billion and the second-biggest company in Asia by market value after arch-rival Alibaba Group Holdings, rarely gives an overview or discloses details of its investment activities. – Nampa/Reuters

Subaru sets mid-2030s target to sell only electric vehicles

Japan's Subaru Corp set a target on Monday for all the vehicles it sells worldwide to be electric by the first half of the 2030s, in a move towards its long-term goal of a carbon-free society.

The news comes as Subaru has strengthened capital ties with Toyota Motor Corp, in a trend of global automakers joining forces to slash development and manufacturing costs of new technology.

By 2030, the Japanese automaker added, at least 40% of all of its cars sold worldwide would comprise all-battery electric vehicles or hybrid vehicles.

Subaru, which produces the Outback and Forester SUVs, is known for its horizontally placed boxer engines, along with its EyeSight autonomous driver assist and all-wheel-drive technologies.

Automakers worldwide are scrambling to chase scale, manage costs and boost development of the self-driving cars, electric vehicles and new mobility services that are upending the industry. – Nampa/Reuters

EU financial firms plan to open UK offices after Brexit

More than a thousand banks, asset managers, payments companies and insurers in the European Union plan to open offices in post-Brexit Britain so they can continue serving UK clients, regulatory consultancy Bovill said on Monday.

The new offices and staff will help mitigate the loss of business going the other way as the current unfettered two-way direct access between Britain and the EU comes to an end in December following a Brexit transition period.

As a first step, the companies, who until now have been able to serve UK customers directly from their home base, have applied for temporary permission to operate in Britain after Jan. 31 when the UK leaves the bloc, Bovill said, using figures obtained from Britain's Financial Conduct Authority. – Nampa/Reuters

Tesla moves a step closer to opening first European factory

U.S. electric car pioneer Tesla has agreed to buy a property on the outskirts of

Berlin, bringing it a step closer to opening its first European factory, local authorities said on Sunday.

The U.S. carmaker last November announced plans to build a giant factory in Gruenheide, in the eastern German state of Brandenburg, giving it the coveted "Made in Germany" label just as local rivals prepare to launch competing models.

Tesla's board of directors approved a purchase agreement with the state of Brandenburg on Saturday to acquire a 300-hectare property, Brandenburg government spokesman Florian Engels said in a statement. The state parliament's finance committee had already approved the sale on January 9.

A Tesla spokeswoman confirmed the deal.

The agreement states a preliminary property price of 40.91 million euros (US$45.36 million) which can be amended if an external review provides a different value, Engels said. – Nampa/Reuters

UK's Intu Properties in talks with shareholders

British shopping centre operator Intu Properties said on Monday it was targeting an equity raise by the end of February to tackle debt, as it engages in talks with shareholders and potential new investors.

Intu said 97% of rent has been collected to date for the first quarter of 2020, which it said demonstrated the lower risk of its current customer base. – Nampa/Reuters

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