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Leeds-based ticketing platform acquired by Festicket

Leeds-based ticketing platform, Event Genius, has been acquired by Festicket, the world’s largest platform for music festival experiences.

The sale includes Event Genius’s consumer facing brand, Ticket Arena. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

The new offering, known as Event Genius by Festicket, will create an “end-to-end platform for organisers and fans alike, providing the most complete offering in the live entertainment industry”.

Founded by managing director Reshad Hossenally (pictured above) in 2008, Event Genius offers complete event solutions to events including Wales Rally GB, Motion Bristol, Annie Mac’s Lost & Found Festival, Summer Daze, Ibiza Rocks and BPM Festival.

Following the acquisition, Festicket will roll out the new offering to festivals, concerts, clubs, sports, family attractions and other events worldwide.

Based in Leeds and London, Event Genius and Ticket Arena has worked with over 1.9 million customers and generated over €400 million worth of sales.

Festicket, founded in 2012 by Zack Sabban and Jonathan Younes, is backed by investors including Beringea, Edge, Lepe Partners and ProFounders. It was ranked as the UK’s 21st fastest-growing technology company by the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 in 2018.

Zack Sabban, CEO and co-founder at Festicket, said: “The acquisition transforms Festicket’s product set. In Event Genius, we have found a company that shares our mission to be a disruptive force in the live entertainment market and – ultimately – to bring the best possible experiences to fans. Reshad and the team have built a great product they have good reason to be proud of, and I look forward to welcoming them to the Festicket family.”

Hossenally, who will join Festicket as chief supply chain officer, said: “The Event Genius mission has always been to utilise technology to bring event organisers and consumers a better experience, regardless of the size or type of event. Couple this with Festicket’s global marketplace and supplier network and we have something truly unique for the events industry.”

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Fans at crisis club Bury turn out to clean up their stadium

Bury have been given until 5pm on Tuesday to secure their future, with current owner Steve Dale in talks with data analytics company C&N Sporting Risk over a potential takeover.

However, EFL executive chair Debbie Jevans has suggested that deadline could be extended if only “one per cent” of the deal remains to be completed.

Volunteers have been arriving at Gigg Lane this morning to help after an appeal from the club to help clean up the stadium.

“Whilst the EFL and our potential new owners proceed with their necessary paperwork and dealings, the club needs to prepare the Stadium in order for Saturdays EFL Sky Bet League One clash with Doncaster Rovers to take place.

“With Tuesday’s deadline firmly set, preparations for our first game of the season will commence at 9:00am on Tuesday morning.”

“Recent events, over the summer months, have left the club with just a skeleton staff and we must, therefore, call on voluntary help in order to get the Stadium ready.”

– Bury FC

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Green Investment Group acquires Tysvaer onshore wind farm in Norway

The Tysvaer onshore wind farm is one of the renewable energy projects being developed by GIG and will comprise 11 Siemens Gamesa 4.3MW turbines.

Green Investment Group (GIG), a Macquarie Group company, has announced the acquisition of the 47MW Tysvaer Onshore Wind Farm in Norway from Spanish Power.

The acquisition is GIG’s first development in Norway, expanding the company’s presence in the Nordic region.

Previously, GIG had acquired Markbygden, Overturingen and Hornamossen onshore wind farms in Sweden.

Located in the Tysvaer municipality within Rogaland Fylke in southern Norway, the Tysvaer onshore wind farm is one of the renewable energy projects being developed by GIG and will comprise 11 Siemens Gamesa 4.3MW turbines.

Tysvaer Onshore Wind Farm is in the final stages of planning

The project, which is in the final stages of planning, is being studied by the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE).

The company received outline planning consent in July 2018 and amended layouts are expected to be finalised in October 2019.

GIG is using several Norwegian supply chain companies to deliver the project, which will support high-value jobs during the construction and operations.

Nordisk Vindkraft has been selected as construction manager. RISA will be responsible for the construction of roads, turbine foundations and the installation of electric cables.

The project is being developed directly by GIG and construction is expected to commence in early 2020.

When fully operational, the Tysvaer onshore wind farm will produce enough low-carbon electricity to power the equivalent of 8,750 Norwegian homes every year.

The wind farm will also displace around 8,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of removing 2,500 cars from the road.

Green Investment Group Europe head Edward Northam said: “Norway is blessed with some of the best renewable resources in Europe which have already enabled the country to deliver a virtually zero-carbon electricity system.

“But the ambition doesn’t end there. Norway’s goal of achieving emissions neutrality is one of the most impressive low-carbon visions anywhere in the world and I’m delighted that GIG is able to help drive Norway’s green shift.”

Green Investment Group was launched initially by the UK government in 2012 and was acquired by the Macquarie Group in 2017.

Recently, it entered the Polish wind market by acquiring the 42MW Kisielice onshore wind farm from Impax New Energy.

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PDC Energy to acquire SRC Energy for £1.4bn

The merger of the two oil and natural gas exploration and production companies is expected to create the second largest producer in the DJ Basin

PDC Energy has agreed to acquire rival US oil and gas company SRC Energy for about $1.7bn (£1.39bn) in an all-stock transaction to create a premier mid-cap operator with peer-leading cost structure and free cash flow profile.

The total consideration includes SRC Energy’s net debt of around $685m (£560.53m) as of 30 June 2019.

Headquartered in Colorado, PDC Energy operates in the Wattenberg Field in the state and also in the Delaware Basin in West Texas. The company’s operations are centred on the liquid-rich horizontal Niobrara and Codell plays in the Wattenberg Field and the liquid-rich Wolfcamp zones located in the Delaware Basin.

SRC Energy, which is also based in Colorado, has been operating since 2008. The company’s oil and gas assets are located mainly in the Wattenberg Field in the Denver-Julesburg Basin (DJ Basin) in northeast Colorado.

Following the merger, PDC Energy will expand its acreage in Wattenberg to nearly 182,000 net acres, of which almost 100% is located in Weld County, Colorado.

The second quarter 2019 total production of the enlarged company is around 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent (Boe) per day. The combined company is expected to become the second largest producer in the DJ Basin, and will also hold nearly 36,000 net acres of acreage in Delaware Basin.

PDC Energy president and CEO Bart Brookman said: “SRC’s complementary, high-quality assets in the Core Wattenberg, coupled with our existing inventory and track record of operational excellence will create a best-in-class operator with the size, scale and financial positioning to thrive in today’s market.

“We remain committed to our core Delaware Basin acreage position and are confident the combined company with its multi-basin focus will be well-positioned to deliver superior shareholder returns.”

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£21m-turnover manufacturer acquired by German group

A Keighley-based manufacturer of precision fastener devices which sells components worldwide has been acquired by a German counterpart. £21m-turnover Glusburn Holdings, the holding company of Cirteq, has been bought by German manufacturer Titgemeyer, an international fastening and transport technology company. Cirteq operates out of a modern factory in Glusburn, near Keighley, with 215 staff and a further 55 employed via agencies. Established in the 1930s, the company went through a series of corporate ownerships, including …

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The most active investors in European unicorns

Swiss fintech startup Numbrs has received $40 million in funding from private investors, pushing its valuation above $1 billion. Launched in 2014, the Zurich-based company partners with banks and insurers such as Santander, Allianz and Barclays and has over €10 billion (around $11.1 billion) in managed assets. Numbrs allows users to manage all their bank accounts under one app, which has more than 2 million downloads. It brought in $27 million from investors including Israeli billionaire Marius Nacht in May 2018 and has reportedly raised nearly $200 million in total financing to date.

Numbrs is the ninth startup to join this year’s European unicorn class—a third of which are fintech businesses—per the PitchBook Platform. German payments provider N26 joined the ranks in January with a $300 million Series D that valued the company at $2.7 billion and in May, its London-based peer landed $230 million in its first fundraise at a valuation of $2 billion. Other newly minted unicorns reportedly include healthtech startup Doctolib and OneTrust, the developer of a privacy management platform.

While Europe still has relatively few billion-dollar businesses compared to the US and Asia, its unicorn club has witnessed significant growth in the past few years. The continent currently has 33 unicorns, including over 20 that hit the $1 billion valuation in the last two years.

The rise in European unicorns is proof that VCs are increasingly willing to invest their money in startups from the continent, but a few names are cropping up more than others.

Using PitchBook data, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 most active investors in European companies valued at more than $1 billion, with their deal counts since the start of 2011 in parentheses.

1. Accel (16)
2. Index Ventures (15)
3. Passion Capital (8)
T-4. General Atlantic (7)
T-4. DST Global (7)
T-4. Valar Ventures (7)
T-7. DN Capital (6)
T-7. HV Holtzbrinck Ventures (6)
T-7. SoftBank (6)
T-7. Insight Partners (6)

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IWG may launch US IPO, extending co-working space growth frenzy

International Workplace Group is considering an IPO in New York for its US-based operations, according to Sky News. Such a spinoff could reportedly be worth up to £3 billion (about $3.67 billion), nearly equal to IWG’s £3.64 billion (about $4.45 billion) market cap as of August 26. The company did not immediately respond to PitchBook’s request for comment.

The news came less than two weeks after WeWork released its S-1 document August 14, revealing 1H 2019 losses of over $900 million while holding a footprint comparable to IWG’s. As a result, IWG’s consideration of an IPO is perhaps a direct response to WeWork’s advance, evidenced by IWG’s insistence of only considering underwriters that are not involved with WeWork’s IPO, again per Sky News.

IWG isn’t the only player in this space making moves after WeWork’s S-1 reveal.

On Thursday, New York-based Industrious reeled in $80 million from Brookfield Property Partners and fitness club provider Equinox, among others. CEO Jamie Hodari expects the company to be profitable within a “few months,” according to Reuters. On Wednesday, New York-based Knotel announced it had pulled in $400 million at an over $1 billion valuation in a round led by Wafra.

Lesser-known competitors, such as The Yard, Convene, BHIVE Workspace, Alley, and The Wing, also stand to possibly beef up their game as WeWork’s IPO plays out.

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Hasbro buys Peppa Pig owner Entertainment One in £3.3bn deal

The US toy company behind My Little Pony and Play-Doh has agreed to buy Peppa Pig for £3.3bn in the the latest foreign takeover of a much-loved British brand for a bargain price following the collapse in the value of the pound over fears of a no-deal Brexit.

The sale of Peppa Pig’s owner Entertainment One to Hasbro brings the total value of UK companies to fall into overseas hands in the last two months to more than £25bn. City analysts said foreign investors were finding UK businesses very attractive since Boris Johnson’s ascension to prime minister sent sterling to its lowest level against the dollar in recent years.

“It’s pretty clear that a whole raft of London investment banks are trawling the world saying, ‘Do you want to buy this in Britain?’,” Clive Black, an analyst at broker Shore Capital, said this week.

“The foreign takeovers keep on coming,” Russ Mould, the investment director at stockbroker AJ Bell, said: “Entertainment One has been seen as a bid target for a long time although all the chatter has focused on a media company being the logical suitor.”

Hong Kong’s richest family bought the 220-year-old pub and beer company Greene King this week in a £4.6bn deal. The US private equity group Advent International agreed a £4bn buyout of the UK aerospace and defence supplier Cobham last month, and the Netherlands-based agreed a £5bn takeover of Just Eat.

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Heartland Express acquires Millis Transfer

Heartland Express announces that it acquired dry van truckload carrier Millis Transfer for ~$150M.

The company says it’s impressed with the high quality of the Millis Transfer driving professionals and the organization’s safety profile.

Heartland plans to fund the purchase price and pay off the assumed debt with existing cash.  Looking ahead, Heartland expects to end the year with approximately $50M to $60M in cash, zero debt and approximately $90M available under its revolving line of credit.

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Cloudflare’s IPO filing at a glance: rising revenue, falling losses and risky customers

A day after WeWork’s blockbuster IPO filing appeared, another big VC-backed name has advanced to the next step in 2019’s IPO frenzy.

Web services unicorn Cloudflare has publicly released its S-1, planning to trade on the NYSE under the symbol NET. The company did not disclose the number of shares that would be offered and set a placeholder target of raising $100 million. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan are the lead underwriters.

Founded in 2009, the San Francisco-based cybersecurity and internet services provider grew relatively quickly in its early days, followed by something of a plateau in the past few years. Cloudflare was valued at $6.3 million after a $2.25 million Series A in 2009, and its valuation began steadily rising from there, jumping to $80 million in 2011, $1 billion in 2012 and $1.8 billion in 2015 following a $182 million Series D. The company stayed off the fundraising radar for four years, before raising $150 million this past March amid rumors of the impending public debut.

Key figures

A key challenge for Cloudflare is that it operates in a relatively saturated field, in contrast to some of the other VC-backed unicorns in relatively new industries. Cloudflare counts Cisco, Zscaler, Akamai, Amazon and Microsoft as just some of its competitors, resulting in comparatively more modest YoY growth rates than those in WeWork’s prospectus, for example.


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