Brought to you by Felix Gray… “four-eyes” never felt so good.
Blackstone lands a huuge buyout deal with Thomson Reuters
Blackstone Group has officially acquired a 55% stake in Thomson Reuters’ Financial and Risk unit (which offers analytics and trading solutions to financial professionals).
The deal values their F&R unit at $20B with TR receiving close to $17B from the private equity firm to pay down their debt, cash taxes, and transaction expenses.
Reuters can’t compete with Bloomberg
Back in 2007 when Thomson merged with Reuters, the 2 companies struggled to combine their core products, creating little buzz from the launch of their information terminal Eikon in 2010.
And the past decade hasn’t changed a thing — Reuters’ F&R unit continues to struggle selling their bread and butter trading terminal, playing second fiddle to rival Bloomberg (as of 2016, Bloomberg maintained a 33% market share in F&R, compared to Reuters’ 23%).
So what does Blackstone want with it?
Despite TR’s struggles, their data analytics division still makes up the majority of their revenue, with over $6B in 2017 sales.
According to the Financial Times, Blackstone intends to use their long history on Wall Street to boost purchasing at TR, which has already shown signs of new life since companies caught wind of the deal a few days ago.
Coming out of the shadows
This deal is Blackstone’s largest since the financial crisis (from which they prospered heavily), and since then, they’ve flown relatively under the radar.
Now, Blackstone’s crawling out from the dark stone they’ve been living under to take a chance on a resurgent Wall Street.
Never change Blackstone
A San Francisco tech company allegedly fired engineers trying to unionize on Slack
According to a complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board, 15 engineers were laid off by cloud software company Lanetix, Inc., for planning to form a union.
And to add insult to injury, their employer allegedly first found out about their plan by eavesdropping on their “private” Slack channel.
*UNIONJACK has left the chat room*
The engineers contend that the firings came after they’d formed plans (over Slack) to unionize — and only 10 days after they’d filed a petition to join the Communications Workers of America.
But Lanetix tells a different story: they had a “lackluster” Q4, and are merely looking to outsource all engineering jobs to Eastern Europe.
Um… timing’s kinda weird, brahs
This case (and Lanetix’s defense) is eerily reminiscent of the recent debacle at now-defunct DNAinfo: the media company decided to close shop last November, just one week after their writers tried to form a union — and they attributed the decision to poor financials.
The difference here is that we’re not talking about (presumably underpaid) writers in a dying industry: these are (presumably highly paid) engineers in a thriving industry.
The average SF-based software engineer makes $125k and has great benefits. Traditionally, it hasn’t been a market concerned with unionizing efforts. But maybe the tides are changing…
Take a picture it’ll last longer: Fujifilm acquires Xerox for $6.1B
The Japanese film company has acquired an American staple in outdated copy services, dishing out a cool $6.1B for Xerox.
According to Axios, Xerox will become a subsidiary of Fujifilm under the name of their existing joint venture, Fuji Xerox, now making them a combined $18B company.
The end of an era
The Xerox name is synonymous with “printing” — and the company is one of the most influential innovators of the 20th century.
They first became famous for their ubiquitous copiers, but with the advance of technology and the notion of “hard-copy” feeling archaic, Xerox has struggled.
But this isn’t a eulogy: while this deal marks the loss of Xerox’s independence, Fujifilm is only taking an ownership of 50.1% — so they’ll still have a seat at the table.
The bottom line is, Fujifilm and Xerox both need each other in an “increasingly severe” market landscape. But that doesn’t mean they are completely dying…
They just have to do a little, ya know, ‘cutting’
An unfortunate byproduct of this merger: Fuji Xerox’s first focus will be on leaning its workforce.
According to Bloomberg, the joint venture will restructure the offices to make room for Xerox in Asia by cutting up to 10k jobs, as they look to speed up their revenue growth by global reach and continue to “pursue developments” in inkjet… and AI.
Launched in December, the game already has 2m daily active users, most of whom are young women. It’s a breakout success in a traditionally neglected gaming demographic — and female-focused gaming company Pape Games is pulling out all the stops to win over players’ hearts.
So what’s the big deal?
The game is essentially a “virtual romance novel,” wherein the player stars as a successful female TV producer tasked with reviving a hit show — all while courting 4 hunky dudes.
There’s Li Zeyan (the high-powered CEO with a heart of gold), Bai Qi, (the rugged police officer), Xu Mo (the sensitive genius scientist), and Zhou Qiluo (the fun-loving pop star). They can also stop time and fly on the wind. So there’s that.
Players embark on quests to take the men out on dates while running their production company — and of course, spending money expedites the process.
Women gamers are real, and lucrative
In China, the number of female gamers is growing (and spending) fast.
Case in point: 54% of players on Tencent’s most profitable mobile game, Honour of Kings, are women. That’s the largest proportion of female players on a “battle” game, and it’s clearly paying off.
Analysts point to women being more active on plot-based video games with more character development… which explains the poetically thoughtful biographies of the “4 hunky dudes.”
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