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Alibaba $BABA to Invest and Partner with Steven Spielberg's Amblin Partners

Alibaba $BABA to Invest and Partner with Steven Spielberg's Amblin Partners

Dalian Wanda acquired a majority stake in Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion. Wanda has also partnered with Sony Pictures to market and co-finance some upcoming movie releases of Sony Corp’s film unit in China. In March, Wanda‘s AMC Entertainment (NYSE: AMC), acquired rival chain Carmike Cinemas for $1.1 billion, and in July it acquired London-based Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group, the largest theater exhibitor in Europe, from private equity firm Terra Firma, in a deal valued at £921 million. Photo: Steven Spielberg and Jack Ma. (Courtesy of Alibaba Pictures)]]>

@VW and Ex-Shin Bet Director Yuval Diskin Launch CyMotive Joint Venture

@VW and Ex-Shin Bet Director Yuval Diskin Launch CyMotive Joint Venture

Israeli Security Service Shabak, widely known by its Hebrew code letters “Shin Bet.” He was first appointed to the position by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2005, and subsequently served under Prime Ministers Ehud Olmert and Binyamin Netanyahu, until he retired in 2011, and started a career in high-tech. CyMotive will be based in Herzliya, Israel, and in Wolfsburg, Germany. The Israeli team which will develop advanced cyber security solutions for next generation connected cars and mobile services, is said to hold a 60 percent majority stake in the joint venture, with VW holding a stake of 40 percent. “Together with Volkswagen we are building a top-notch team of cyber security experts. We are aware of the significant technological challenges that will face us in the next years in dealing with the cyber security threats facing the connected car and the development of the autonomous car.” Diskin added. The age of the connected car enables customers to use a variety of features inside modern vehicles. However, with increasing connectivity comes an increasing risk, says VW. Aspects such as intelligent and autonomous driving increase the number of interfaces in the vehicle and thus the risk of malicious attack. Through this cooperation Volkswagen is further developing its core capabilities in the field of cyber security and is combining its forces with the expertise of the cyber security specialists from Israel, it says. At the signing of the agreement, Volkmar Tanneberger, Head of Electrical and Electronic Development for the Volkswagen brand, said, “The car and the Internet are becoming increasingly integrated. To enable us to tackle the enormous challenges of the next decade, we need to expand our know-how in cyber security in order to systematically advance vehicle cyber security for our customers.” “CyMotive Technologies provides an excellent platform for doing this. It is a long-term investment in cyber security to make vehicles and their ecosystem more secure,” added Tanneberger. The German carmaker already has various other strategic partnerships with Israeli high-tech startups. In May, VW made a $300 million strategic investment in Gett (formerly GetTaxi), a global Israeli on-demand ride hailing provider. Earlier this year, VW formed a partnership with Mobileye NV (NYSE: MBLY), to launch a pioneering crowd-sourced mapping technology for self-driving or autonomous cars. File Photo (L to R): Gabi Ashkenazi, former Chief of General Staff of the IDF, with Yuval Diskin, former Director of the Israeli Security Service Shin Bet.]]>

@Blackstone Energy $BX Forms $1.5B Jetta, Guidon Permian Basin Buyout Partnerships

@Blackstone Energy $BX Forms $1.5B Jetta, Guidon Permian Basin Buyout Partnerships

Blackstone Energy Partners LP, a unit of New York private equity giant Blackstone (NYSE: BX), recently formed Jetta Permian LP, a partnership with Fort Worth, Texas-based Jetta Operating Co. Inc., a privately-held company owned by oil & gas expert operator Greg Bird. Jetta Permian will target assets and leasehold in the Delaware Basin located in West Texas and southern New Mexico with $1 billion of capital committed from Blackstone and Jetta’s partners. “A commitment of this scale, and flexibility combined with Jetta’s deep technical expertise and a long-term focus on best-in-class operations and results enables and differentiates Jetta Permian to pursue creative and unique opportunities of scale within the Delaware basin,” the companies said in a statement. Jetta’s strategy includes pursuing asset and leasehold acquisition opportunities, farm-in transactions and partnerships or joint ventures with existing operators and landowners. “We are excited to partner with Greg and the Jetta team to launch this new platform in the Delaware Basin. It is a great example of our focus on aligning ourselves with best-in-class teams, and providing them with significant long-term, patient and flexible capital to effectuate a focused and unique business plan,” said Blackstone senior managing director Angelo Acconcia, who oversees the firm’s investments in the oil and gas sector. “We have known the Jetta team for a number of years, and have come to respect them as top-tier operators with a unique local presence in the Delaware Basin. We believe that Jetta Permian is well positioned to become one of the leading Delaware Basin pure-play companies and a partner of choice for those that are looking for someone to provide additional capital and operational resources to optimally develop their assets and / or leasehold,” Acconcia added. “With a $1.0 billion equity commitment and with the collective resources of the Blackstone team to support the partnership, coupled with the Jetta team’s operating capabilities and track record, this will allow for and enable the strategic and successful acquisition and development of high quality oil and gas assets in the Delaware Basin,” said Greg Bird, CEO and president of the general partner of Jetta Permian. “We look forward to the challenges ahead and to applying our technical passion, experience, and diligence into creating a pure play Delaware Basin platform.” Jetta Operating Co. is a privately held oil and gas company founded in 1991, which has been involved in over 30 acquisitions. Jetta has been an active participant in the recent growth of the Delaware Basin, developing the Delaware interval, Bone Spring and Wolfcamp reservoirs. Since acquiring its first leasehold in the Basin in 2003, Jetta has drilled approximately 150 wells, both horizontal and vertical, in the Delaware, along with the build-out of associated midstream gathering systems. Blackstone Energy also recently formed Guidon Energy, an oil and gas partnership headquartered in Dallas, Texas, creating a platform company in the Midland Basin, which purchased 22,000 gross acres (16,000 net acres) in the core of Martin County, Texas, in April 2016. Blackstone and veteran oil & gas operator Jay Still, who previously held senior executive positions with both Pioneer Natural Resources and Laredo Petroleum, formed Guidon in the first quarter of 2016 with the intent of building a significant, independent shale development company focused on the Midland Basin. Blackstone said it committed approximately $500 million of capital to Guidon with the potential to commit significantly more with future acquisitions. “Blackstone’s successful and deep track record of investing in energy and in the oil and gas sector specifically, and its extensive industry relationships, in combination with the Guidon team’s operational capabilities and experience, will allow us to continue to optimally develop our properties and to be a long-term partner of choice in the Midland Basin,” said Still. “We are very pleased to have acquired a significant, strategic, and top-tier position in the core of the Midland Basin, a premier North American liquids-rich play, which was signed in the second quarter of this year and has subsequently closed.” “We look forward to building upon our partnership with Guidon Energy through this acquisition and to continue to grow through future partnerships, joint ventures and acquisitions,” said Blackstone’s Acconcia. “The partnerships underscore the industry’s interest in one of the few regions where drilling remains profitable at current prices. The Permian has dominated acreage deals among independent drillers this year. PDC Energy bought into the Permian with a $1.5 billion acquisition announced last week. Meanwhile Parsley Energy and Concho Resources also added holdings in the play this month,” said the Star Telegram. The moves came as private equity firms Kayne Anderson Capital and Ridgemont Equity Partners are said to be exploring a sale of Dallas, Texas-based Silver Hill Energy Partners LLC, which has built a sizable and contiguous operated position in the core of the Delaware Basin in West Texas, through a series of strategic acquisitions and an aggressive leasing program. Silver Hill controls over 42,000 net acres in Loving and Winkler counties.. Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment firms, with over $350 billion in assets under management. Blackstone Energy Partners has invested over $9 billion of equity globally across a broad range of sectors within the energy industry. The West Texas Permian Basin – Midland vs Delaware Basins West-Texas_Permian-Basin The Permian Basin is a sedimentary basin largely contained in the western part of Texas and the southeastern part of New Mexico. It reaches from south of Lubbock, to south of Midland and Odessa, extending westward into the southeastern part of the adjacent state of New Mexico. It is so named because it has one of the world’s thickest deposits of rocks from the Permian geologic period. The Permian Basin extends beneath an area approximately 250 miles (400 km) wide and 300 miles (480 km) long. The towns of Midland and Odessa serve as the headquarters for oil production activities in the basin. The greater Permian Basin comprises several component basins: of these, Midland Basin is the largest, and Delaware Basin is the second largest. The Delaware Basin is the largest of the two major lobes of the Permian Basin within the foreland of the Ouchita-Marathon thrust belt separated by the Central Basin Platform. The basin contains sediment from the Pennsylvanian, Wolfcampian, Leonardian, and early Guadalupian times. The eastward dipping Delaware basin is subdivided into several formations and contains approximately 25,000 feet (7,600 m) of laminated siltstone and sandstone. Aside from clastic sediment, the Delaware basin also contains carbonate deposits originating from the Guadalupian times when the Hovey Channel allowed access from the sea into the basin. The westward dipping Midland Basin is subdivided into several formations and is composed of laminated siltstone and sandstone. The Midland Basin was filled via a large subaqeuous delta that deposited clastic sediment into the basin. Aside from clastic sediment, the Midland basin also contains carbonate deposits originating from the Guadalupian times when the Hovey Channel allowed access from the sea into the basin. (Ward, et. al., R.F. (1986). Upper Permian (Guadalupian) facies and their association with hydrocarbons-Permian basin, west Texas and New Mexico. AAPG Bulletin.)]]>

Israeli Check-Cap $CHEK in Strategic Development Deal With $GE

Israeli Check-Cap $CHEK in Strategic Development Deal With $GE

Fosun International (HK: 656), a global Chinese conglomerate founded in 1992 by billionaire Guo Guangchang, was the top institutional holder of Check-Cap stock, with a 14.19 percent stake. Last week, Fosun Pharma agreed to acquire an 86 percent stake in India’s generic injectable pharmaceuticals company Gland Pharma Ltd., for $1.26 billion. In February 2012, both GE Capital and GE Healthcare, the financial services and healthcare divisions of General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE), announced their first investment in Check-Cap. “Over the past 15 years GE Healthcare has benefited from Israel’s spirit of innovation and scientific discoveries,” said Oded Meirav, manager of the GE Global Research–Israel Technology Center. “Seeking partnerships between a global company such as GE and Israeli high-tech companies like Check-Cap can truly be a win-win for all. This represents the first GE healthymagination Fund investment in Israel,” added Meirav at the time of the investment in 2012. Founded in early 2005 by Dr. Yoav Kimchy, who received his PhD from Israel’s Technion and serves as the company’s CTO, Check-Cap recruited a team of world-class experts in physics, software engineering, electronics, mechanics and physiology, who have been developing a multi-disciplinary imaging solution for imaging and screening of the colon. Check-Cap is a clinical-stage medical diagnostics company developing the world’s first ingestible capsule system for preparation-free, less-invasive colorectal cancer screening. The capsule utilizes innovative ultra-low dose X-ray and wireless communication technologies to scan the inside of the colon as it moves naturally, while the patient follows his or her normal daily routine. After passage, the system generates a 3D map of the inner surface of the colon which enables detection of polyps and cancer. Designed to increase the willingness of individuals to participate in recommended colorectal cancer screening, the Check-Cap system addresses many frequently-cited barriers, including laxative bowel preparation, invasiveness, and sedation. “We are very excited to commence this strategic relationship with GE Healthcare as we continue our efforts to optimize the supply chain for the Check-Cap system,” said Bill Densel, CEO of Check-Cap. “GE Healthcare is a global leader in the development, manufacturing, and distribution of diagnostic imaging agents and radio-pharmaceutical drugs and devices. We believe that leveraging their experience and expertise provides us with a significant opportunity to meet our goal of increasing the time and cost efficiencies of production of our capsule for use in future clinical trials and commercialization,” Densel added. check-cap_capsuleCheck-Cap is currently conducting a multi-center clinical feasibility study and expects to file a CE Mark submission for the Check-Cap system in the first half of 2017. The Check-Cap system is currently not cleared for marketing in any jurisdiction. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., with an estimated 134,000 diagnoses and 49,000 deaths in 2016. Despite compelling evidence that screening can detect colorectal cancer and precancerous polyps, nearly one-third of the recommended adult population has never been screened. The Check-Cap system was designed to improve the patient experience by eliminating the features of existing screening methods, such as bowel preparation, invasive procedure, and stool handling, that pose a barrier to test completion. Check-Cap’s advanced technology has been proven in animals and promises to offer several significant advantages compared to other colonic screening procedures.]]>