Vizo raises $750,000

Vizo Inc. has raised about $750,000 in funding. Vizo develops and operates a mobile news app that delivers summaries of trending news stories to users. Greenberg Traurig LLP represented Vizo in the startup financing. PRESS RELEASE MCLEAN, VA. (PRWEB) SEPTEMBER 29, 2015 International law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP represented client Vizo Inc. in its recent round of startup financing. Vizo Inc. develops and operates the “Vizo” mobile news application, delivering curated summaries of trending news stories to users, accessed through visual headlines, several times per day. The transaction provided Vizo with approximately $750,000 in funding, which it used to launch the Vizo application Sept. 28, 2015, on mobile devices. Greenberg Traurig’s Northern Virginia team, led by Corporate & Securities Practice Shareholder Scott Meza, along with Associate Ryan P. Kelley, advised Vizo on the structure and terms of the transaction and assisted in negotiations with investors, many of whom were returning to Vizo after making initial seed investments in 2014. Meza has more than 25 years of experience assisting businesses in complex transactions such as mergers, acquisitions, spin-offs of public and private companies, and sophisticated equity and debt financings and recapitalizations. Meza’s broad industry experience includes managing transactions for technology-based companies as well as companies operating in highly regulated environments like government contracting, telecommunications, and health care. His representative transactions include stock-for-stock combinations, cash-out mergers, tender and exchange offers, management buyouts, stock and asset purchases, distressed company acquisitions (e.g., bankruptcy auctions), corporate spin-offs and divestitures, and corporate governance matters. Kelley advises large and small companies on a broad range of legal needs arising from early inception to global operations. His practice focuses on both domestic and international corporate and securities matters, including financing, contracts, mergers and acquisitions, government contracting, anti-corruption and foreign investment. About Greenberg Traurig’s Emerging Technology Group Greenberg Traurig’s Emerging Technology Group is a multidisciplinary legal team focused on guiding emerging technology companies through all the stages of their development, from initial business formation through angel or venture capital financing to initial public offerings and mergers and acquisitions. Drawing on the firm’s broad platform, the group offers clients a streamlined approach to meeting their diverse legal needs – a single team that can scale up its services as clients’ businesses grow. The attorneys regularly advise clients on a host of pressing legal issues, from IP protection and software/IT matters through labor and employment, compensation, and tax issues. About Greenberg Traurig’s Corporate & Securities Practice Greenberg Traurig’s Corporate & Securities practice is comprised of more than 400 lawyers across more than 30 offices. The group provides advice and services to public and privately held companies and entrepreneurs throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. The team brings together the strategic business, legal, and market experience needed to manage and close the most complex transactions in addition to providing practical counsel on day-to-day operations. About Greenberg Traurig, LLP Greenberg Traurig, LLP is an international, multi-practice law firm with approximately 1800 attorneys serving clients from 37 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The firm is among the 2015 BTI Brand Elite and among the most “Tech Savvy.” It was on the 2013-2015 BTI Client Service 30 listings of firms “most recognized by clients for providing excellent client service,” and one of the 2014 BTI Client Relationship Scorecard “Power Elite,” based on the nature and strength of its client relationships. More information at: http://www.gtlaw.com.

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Vizo raises $750,000

Ardian acquires additional stake in CLH Group

Ardian has increased its stake to 25 percent in CLH Group. No financial terms were disclosed. The seller was Repsol. Based in Spain, CLH Group is an oil products and storage company. PRESS RELEASE Madrid, September 25, 2015 – Ardian, the independent investment company, announces today the acquisition of an additional 10% equity stake in the CLH Group (Compañía Logística de Hidrocarburos), the Spanish oil products and storage company, from Repsol, the integrated global energy company. With this investment Ardian reinforces its position as the largest shareholder in the company, increasing its shareholding to 25%. Ardian first became a shareholder in CLH in 2011 with the acquisition of a 10% stake, before acquiring an additional 5% stake in 2013. This new investment in CLH is further evidence of Ardian’s long-term commitment to essential infrastructure projects in Europe. CLH is the owner and operator of the largest Spanish oil products and storage network, with more than 4,000km of pipeline and seven million m3 of storage capacity in Spain, including strategic national reserves. CLH recently acquired the GPSS (Government Pipeline and Storage System), the largest oil distribution network in the United Kingdom, with a pipeline network of 2,000 kilometers, which represents 50% of the UK’s total network. GPSS also has 16 storage facilities with more than one million m3 combined storage capacity. Mathias Burghardt, Member of the Executive Committee and Head of Infrastructure at Ardian, said: “This investment will provide certainty and stability to CLH, a critical infrastructure asset in Spain. Ardian Infrastructure will continue to support the company’s efforts in providing its clients with the most efficient and reliable logistics services in Europe while leading the industry in further innovation.” Juan Angoitia, Managing Director of Infrastructure at Ardian, added: “Following the opening of its Madrid office in September, Ardian continues to strengthen its presence in Spain, where the company sees great opportunities. Having concluded our three transactions in CLH with customers and industrial shareholders highlights our ability to secure deal flow thanks to our local presence and network and to share long term vision for strategic assets.” Over the last decade Ardian Infrastructure has built a significant presence in core energy and transport infrastructure across Europe, forging strong partnerships with leading infrastructure players such as Abertis, the international market leader in the management of toll roads, and AENA, the public airport operator in Spain and abroad. This has led to joint investments in major infrastructure assets, including SANEF, the toll road network in France, Trados 45, a toll road in Madrid, the Vallvidrera and Cadí Tunnels near Barcelona, and London Luton Airport. ABOUT ARDIAN Ardian, founded in 1996 and led by Dominique Senequier, is an independent investment company with assets of US$50bn managed or advised in Europe, North America and Asia. The company, which is majority-owned by its employees, keeps entrepreneurship at its heart and delivers investment performance to its global investors while fuelling growth in economies across the world. Ardian’s investment process embodies three values: excellence, loyalty and entrepreneurship. Ardian maintains a truly global network, with more than 380 employees working through eleven offices in Paris, London, Frankfurt, Milan, Madrid, Zurich, New York, Beijing, Singapore, Jersey, Luxembourg. The company offers its 355 investors a diversified choice of funds covering the full range of asset classes through Ardian Funds of Funds (comprising primary, early secondary and secondary activities), Ardian Private Debt, Ardian Direct funds (comprising Ardian Mid Cap Buyout, Ardian Expansion, Ardian Growth and Ardian Co-Investment), Ardian Infrastructure, Ardian Real Estate and customized mandate solutions with Ardian Mandates.

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Ardian acquires additional stake in CLH Group

Swiss Re unit to buy Guardian Financial for $2.45 bln: Reuters

(Reuters) Reinsurer Swiss Re AG has agreed to buy Guardian Financial Services, the Swiss group said on Wednesday, bolstering the British business of its unit which buys and manages closed life insurance policies. It is the latest tie-up in the sector as reinsurers, which help insurance companies cope with big damage claims from hurricanes or earthquakes, turn to mergers for growth in the face of falling prices. Swiss Re’s business unit Admin Re will buy Guardian from private equity firm Cinven for 1.6 billion pounds ($2.45 billion). “The expected returns exceed our profitability targets for new business and represent an excellent fit with our group strategy as well as with Admin Re’s capabilities and existing infrastructure,” Chief Executive Michel Lies said in a statement. Phoenix Group Holdings, Britain’s largest owner of life assurance funds closed to new customers, said last week it was is in talks to buy Guardian Financial Services. Admin Re is expected to generate around $1.7 billion of gross cash, including capital synergies, over the first three years, Swiss Re said. Swiss Re’s assets under management will increase by 12.5 billion pounds or about 15 percent. “This is a major Admin Re transaction and makes sense from a diversification point of view and also appears sensible to offset headwind in a challenging (Dutch) reinsurance market,” Vontobel analyst Stefan Schuermann, who has a “hold” rating on the stock, wrote in a note. Swiss Re has been on the lookout for acquisitions, especially in Britain for its Admin Re unit. Its finance chief told Reuters this month that the group does not plan major acquisitions in its main business of property-casualty reinsurance and will likely stand aside as a consolidation wave grips the sector. Reinsurers have seen prices slide amid an oversupply of available capital and reduced demand from insurance company clients. The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval, could be completed in early 2016 and would be financed from cash on the balance sheet as well as debt financing. The acquisition would add 900,000 annuity, life insurance and pension policies in Britain and Ireland, boosting Admin Re’s UK business to over four million policies. Swiss Re shares edged up 0.1 percent by 0925 GMT, lagging a 0.5 percent rise in the STOXX Europe 600 Insurance index .

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Swiss Re unit to buy Guardian Financial for $2.45 bln: Reuters