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Future FinTech Enters into Securities Purchase Agreement

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Future FinTech Group Inc. (NASDAQ: FTFT), a financial technology company and integrated producer of fruit-related products, today announced it has entered into a Securities Purchase Agreement (the “Purchase Agreement”) with Iliad Research and Trading, L.P., a Utah limited partnership (the “Purchaser”) on March 26, 2019.

Pursuant to the Purchase Agreement, the Company sold and issued to the Purchaser a Secured Convertible Promissory Note (the “Note”) in the principal amount of $1,070,000. The Purchaser purchased the Note with an original issue discount of $50,000, and the Company agreed to pay to the Purchaser $20,000 for fees and costs incurred by Purchaser in connection with the consummation of the Purchase Agreement. The Note was sold to the Purchaser pursuant to an exemption from registration under Regulation D, promulgated under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. The purchase price for the Note will be paid by the Purchaser through an initial cash payment of $500,000and the issuance of an Investor note to the Company with a one-year term and an interest rate of 8% (the “Investor Note”), which the Purchaser agrees to prepay in full upon the satisfaction of certain conditions for pledged shares and transfer agent instruction letter pursuant to the Investor Note and Purchase Agreement.

“We welcome Iliad Research and Trading as a new investor as we approach key milestones of the Chain Cloud Mall business. This agreement increases our financial flexibility and will help accelerate the Company’s business development,” says Yongke Xue, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Future FinTech. “We continue to be grateful for the strong support of those who have invested in us in the past, and who continue to invest in our future.”

 

SOURCE Future FinTech Group Inc.

Blockchain

Intertrust acquires Viteos for USD 330 million

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Intertrust N.V. (“Intertrust”), a leading global provider of expert administrative services to corporate, fund, capital markets and private wealth clients, today announces the acquisition of Viteos1, a provider of leading-edge technology solutions for U.S. funds, from PPC Enterprises LLC, FiveW Capital LLC (an affiliate of 22C Capital) and Viteos management.

Viteos is a tech-enabled alternative funds industry leader providing end-to-end middle and back office administration for top tier hedge funds, private equity, real estate, private debt and other alternative asset managers. Viteos has approximately 715 employees and operates a global delivery model with its headquarters and sales team in the U.S. supported by Centres of Excellence in India. Viteos delivered revenues of USD 52 million2, 94% in the U.S., having grown at an organic CAGR of 22% over the last two years, and an EBITDA margin of 36.6%.

Transaction highlights

  • Competitive game-changer for Intertrust, accelerating our strategy to become a global leader in tech-enabled corporate and fund solutions through:
    • Gaining a material presence in the U.S., increasing exposure to funds and accelerating our growth potential
    • Leveraging Viteos’ digitalisation and automation technology
    •  Building on Viteos’ offshore Centres of Excellence
  • Enterprise value of USD 330 million (EUR 294 million3), resulting in a post-synergy multiple of 8.0x FYE March 2019EBITDA
  • Significant net run-rate annual cost synergies of approximately USD 22 million4 expected primarily from offshoring
  • ROIC expected to exceed Intertrust’s WACC by 2021 and reach double-digits by 2022
  • Mid-single digit EPS accretion expected by 2020 with double- digit accretion expected by 2021
  • Sound financing structure: approximately 4.1x leverage ratio5 at closing, with strong cash generation expected to drive leverage ratio below 3.0x by 2021
  • Medium-term guidance increased to reflect enhanced revenue growth and cost synergies
  • Viteos’ co-founders, Shankar Iyer and Chitra Baskar (formerly CEO and COO, respectively), will join our Executive Committee and, along with other key employees, have reinvested approximately 35% of their after-tax proceeds in Intertrust shares

Strategic rationale

The acquisition of Viteos is an acceleration of our strategy to become a global leader in tech-enabled corporate and fund solutions, adding a high growth provider of leading-edge technology solutions with a top 10 position in U.S. fund administration and over 80 top tier clients.

The combined group will build on the existing technology partnership between the two companies and the professional relationships between the management teams to drive further growth and lead the digitalisation and innovation of the industry. Viteos’ world-class client base and technology solutions, developed by a team of 130 technology experts, significantly expand the market potential for Intertrust into higher growth adjacencies with attractive cross-selling and upselling opportunities.

The acquisition of Viteos meets the strategic and M&A objectives set out in our Capital Markets Day and, in particular, delivers:

  • Meaningful presence in the U.S. and increased exposure to funds – the combined group will hold a top 10 position in U.S. fund administration providing mission-critical services to asset managers.
  • Accelerated growth potential – Viteos brings new clients, services and technology solutions which expand Intertrust’s market potential into higher growth adjacencies with an annual market value of >EUR 3.5 billion, resulting in a total market potential in excess of EUR 10.0 billion growing at 4-6% per annum (up from EUR 6.5 billion growing at 3-5%).  
  • Strengthened technology foundation – Viteos is at the forefront of digitising and automating fund administration with leading-edge technologies including blockchain, workflow automation, RPA6, and digitalisation/OCR7. Leveraging these tools, the combined group will have the potential to drive incremental revenue growth through service innovation and reduce costs through service automation.
  • Significant step towards operational excellence – building on Viteos’ offshore Centres of Excellence in India will allow us to fast-track our standardisation, centralisation and shared services initiatives, improving the efficiency and quality of our services.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Stephanie Miller, CEO of Intertrust, said:

“Today I am thrilled to announce the acquisition of Viteos. This is a significant leap forward for Intertrust which will accelerate our strategy in every way.

The combination of these world-class businesses enhances our global position in fund services, expands our presence in the U.S. and unlocks many opportunities to cross sell our products and services. It will provide tremendous benefits to our existing clients through advanced technology, a digitised delivery model and a solution-oriented service suite. With the addition of over 700 employees including 130 technology experts, I am particularly excited for the future innovations that our combined organisation will bring to the industry.

These benefits are reflected in the strong value creation from the transaction in the form of double-digit ROIC, double-digit EPS accretion as well as increased growth and margin guidance.

Furthermore, we welcome a Viteos team who is dynamic, engaged and will further our goal of becoming the employer of choice in our industry. Earlier this year Intertrust started a powerful collaboration with Viteos. Today we move forward together as one company to lead the digitalisation and innovation of our industry.”

Shankar Iyer, CEO of Viteos, said:

“This is a very exciting opportunity for Viteos to become an integral part of a successful, global business. We have longstanding relationships with the Intertrust team who are familiar with our industry-leading technology solutions. By bringing together our complementary strengths and capabilities, we will significantly enhance the future prospects for the combined group. We look forward to working with Stephanie and her team and are deeply committed to delivering on our shared strategic objectives.”

Financial benefits

The acquisition of Viteos has compelling financial benefits. The transaction is expected to deliver mid single-digit EPS accretion in the first full year of ownership (2020) and double-digit EPS accretion by 2021 including phased synergies. The ROIC of the transaction is expected to exceed Intertrust’s WACC by 2021 and reach double-digits by 2022 including phased synergies.

USD 22 million of net run-rate annual cost synergies have been identified on a detailed bottom-up basis by Intertrust, Viteos and an expert offshoring consultancy. The synergies will primarily come from offshoring selected support functions for client-facing teams, back office and IT support, with India Centres of Excellence balancing existing jurisdictions and enabling 24-hour support for our clients. We expect to deliver approximately 90% of the synergies by 2021 with approximately 20% coming through by 2020. The aggregate one-off costs over the period to deliver the synergies are estimated at approximately USD 30 million.

Terms and financing

The enterprise value for the acquisition is USD 330 million (EUR 294 million), resulting in a pre-synergy multiple of 17.3x FYE March 2019 EBITDA. Including net run-rate annual cost synergies of USD 22 million, the equivalent post-synergy multiple is 8.0x FYE March 2019 EBITDA.

The acquisition was funded through debt (new USD 150 million term loan plus RCF) and cash on balance sheet with USD 11 million re-invested by Viteos’ management and key employees in Intertrust shares. Leverage ratio8 at closing amounts to approximately 4.1x and is expected to decrease to below 3.0x by 2021.

Following receipt of regulatory approvals, simultaneous signing and closing of the transaction occurred on 17 June 2019.

Guidance

In connection with the acquisition of Viteos, Intertrust is increasing its medium-term guidance as follows:

  • 4-6% underlying revenue growth year-on-year9 (increased from 3-5%);
  • Adjusted EBITA margin of at least 40% for 2021 (increased from at least 38%), from at least 36% in 2019 (unchanged);
  • Capex around 2% of revenue in the medium-term (unchanged) and up to 3% in early years to deliver the Centres of Excellence;
  • Effective tax rate of around 21% (19% previously);
  • Dividend policy and target leverage ratio remain unchanged.

 

SOURCE Intertrust

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Blockchain Platform FLETA and Security Auditor CertiK Forming a Strategic Partnership

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A blockchain platform FLETA announced a partnership with CertiK, a leading blockchain security auditor. The partnership agreement started to be discussed since April 2019 when FLETA’s smart contract audit was verified with a high score of 99 out of 100. Not only do both companies expect FLETA’s blockchain infrastructure to be reinforced, but they also plan to offer effective security service to blockchain projects in FLETA’s ecosystem.

CertiK is a blockchain and smart contract audit platform, led by prestigious experts and computer engineers including Dr. Zhong Shao, a professor of computer science at Yale and Dr. Ronghui Gu, an assistant professor of computer science at Columbia University. It offers a service that can effectively strengthen blockchain’s security and credibility through mathematical proofs. It has audited more than 175 projects and cooperated with many top companies of the industry such as Ethereum Foundation, IBM, and Universal Protocol and well-known exchanges like Binance, and OKEx. Recently, on June 1st, the company announced that it was selected as an EOS Block Producer.

FLETA is a blockchain platform that offers a fast and stable service with reasonable fees to both developers and users so that it can create a user-friendly ecosystem. It aims to solve problems that existing platforms have such as slow speeds, scalability limitation, and excessive fees. By doing so, FLETA is aiming to drive the commercialization of the blockchain with its own core technologies. FLETA has developed outstanding blockchain technologies like Independent multi-chain Structure, Block Redesign, and PoF (Proof-of-Formulation) which is its own consensus algorithm.

Paul Park, CEO of FLETA, said, “FLETA’s advanced blockchain technology and its stability were verified by CertiK, one of the world’s best blockchain security company.” He also added, “As a blockchain platform, security is something that we never compromise. This FLETA-CertiK partnership will allow both DApp developers and users to use the blockchain platform with high-quality security.”

Meanwhile, FLETA plans to launch its mainnet in August after it successfully launched its testnet in last March. Through the testnet launch in March, FLETA demonstrated its performances by achieving 10,000 average TPS and 15,000 peak TPS with 6 core CPU.

 

SOURCE FLETA

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UCBA Summer Summit Features California’s Cannabis Industry Leaders

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The United Cannabis Business Association (UCBA), the premier trade association for legal retail cannabis in California, announces its second annual Policy Summit, presented by Linx. The one-day event is on June 21, at the Montalban Theater in Los Angeles.

The Summit provides access to key decision makers and industry leaders in a unique environment to give cannabis professionals insight on changing regulations and market conditions that will significantly impact their businesses. The one-of-a-kind event will conclude with a sun-filled rooftop VIP mixer featuring a Sessions short order kitchen by Chef Holden Jagger of Altered Plates, live music and entertainment.

The Summer Summit will also serve as the launch of the California Bureau of Cannabis Control’s new public awareness and education campaign, designed to help businesses and consumers recognize the differences between legal and illicit cannabis products and retailers.

The summit will feature candid discussions on issues that impact California cannabis businesses and consumers, with notable speakers that include:

Nicole Elliott – Senior Advisor on Cannabis to Governor Newsom
Lori Ajax – Chief of the CA Bureau of Cannabis Control
Cat Packer – Executive Director and GM of the LA Department of Cannabis Regulation
Fiona Ma – CA State Treasurer
Councilmember Herb Wesson – Los Angeles City Council President
Senator Steven Bradford, CA Senate District 35
Assemblyman Tom Lackey, CA Assembly District 36
Richard Parrott – CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing, CA Department of Food and Agriculture
Rasha Salama – Branch Chief, CA Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch
Laurie Holcomb – CEO of Gold Flora Farms and King’s Crew Dispensary

The UCBA Summer Summit is presented in collaboration with the Humboldt County Growers Alliance (HCGA) – the trade association representing the most legal cultivation businesses in California, and brings together two of the most influential cannabis industry associations in the state.

Attendees to the Summit will enjoy Linx giveaways, specials with neighboring dispensaries, a rooftop lounge, and a brand education mezzanine with executives from some of the most successful businesses in the industry, including Gold Flora, Original Pot Company, Canndescent, Beboe, Cresco, Born from Flora, Genius, Delta 9, 1 PUFF, Kanha Treats, LA Kush, Boxcar Supply Company and more.

The Second Annual UCBA Policy Summit and BBQ is on June 21, 11a-6p, at the Montalban Theater, 1615 Vine Street, Hollywood, CA 90028. For tickets, visit: bit.ly/UCBA2019Summit

Veterans and Social Equity applicants receive free admission.

 

SOURCE United Cannabis Business Association

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