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European Commission clears Alstom’s acquisition of Bombardier Transportation

MONTRÉAL, July 31, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bombardier (TSX: BBD.B) and Alstom welcome the European Commission’s decision for conditional clearance of the proposed acquisition of Bombardier Transportation by Alstom. The Commission’s approval for the transaction is conditional on certain proposed engagements that consist of:

  • A transfer of Bombardier Transportation’s contribution to the V300 ZEFIRO very high-speed train and an offer of IP licence to Hitachi for the train co-developed by Hitachi and Bombardier Transportation for use in future very high-speed tenders in the UK;
  • The divestment of the Alstom Coradia Polyvalent and the Reichshoffen production site in France;
  • The divestment of the Bombardier TALENT 3 platform and dedicated production facilities located within the Hennigsdorf site in Germany;
  • Providing access to certain interfaces and products for some of Bombardier Transportation’s Signalling On-Board Units and Train Control Management Systems (TCMS).

The divestitures will be done in compliance with all applicable social processes and consultations with employee representatives’ bodies. The transaction remains subject to further regulatory approvals in several other jurisdictions and customary closing conditions. The closing of the transaction is expected for the first half of 2021.

About Bombardier
With nearly 60,000 employees across two business segments, Bombardier is a global leader in the transportation industry, creating innovative and game-changing planes and trains. Our products and services provide world-class transportation experiences that set new standards in passenger comfort, energy efficiency, reliability and safety.

Headquartered in Montréal, Canada, Bombardier has production and engineering sites in over 25 countries across the segments of Aviation and Transportation. Bombardier shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, Bombardier posted revenues of $15.8 billion. News and information are available at bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.

Bombardier, ZEFIRO and TALENT are registered trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.

For information

Eric Prud’Homme
Head of External Communications and Public Affairs
Bombardier Transportation

Jessica McDonald
Advisor, Media Relations
Bombardier Inc.
+514 861 9481

Patrick Ghoche
Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Investor Relations
Bombardier Inc.
+514 861 5727

Philips responds to Congressional report

July 31, 2020

Amsterdam, the Netherlands – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, today announced that it has received the report from the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy and is providing an initial response.

In April, 2020, Philips received a letter from the subcommittee, requesting information about Philips’ hospital ventilator activities in connection with the contracts for the delivery of 10,000 Trilogy Universal ventilators and 43,000 EV300 ventilators to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Philips has cooperated with the subcommittee’s information requests.

“Philips is supporting healthcare providers in the U.S. and globally to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Frans van Houten, CEO of Royal Philips. “We have been transparent about our production ramp up plans, pricing and allocation policies. We have cooperated and delivered the requested information to the subcommittee. We do not recognize the conclusions in the subcommittee’s report, and we believe that not all the information that we provided has been reflected in the report. I would like to make clear that at no occasion, Philips has raised prices to benefit from the crisis situation. Philips is proud to make its contribution to combatting the pandemic through its acute patient care and diagnostic products.”

As the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic started to transfer to the west in February of 2020, Philips reached out to various governments around the world to discuss how to collaborate to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Philips is investing over 100 million dollars in 2020 in the production ramp up of acute care products to diagnose, threat, manage and monitor COVID-19 patients. From March, 2020 onwards, Philips has achieved a massive fourfold increase of ventilator production in just five months, adding three production lines in the U.S. as well as hundreds of jobs. Philips’ employees in the factories in Western Pennsylvania and California are working around the clock to produce these ventilators.

The EV300 contract
Philips is on track with the production and delivery of the 43,000 EV300 hospital ventilators according to the April 2020 contract with HHS. The list price of the specific bundle of the EV300 ventilator plus roll-stand and accessories, as selected by HHS, is over $21,000 and is being provided to the U.S. government for $15,000. The agreed price reflects a discount, while taking into account part of the higher costs for the expedited delivery schedule.

The BARDA R&D contract
The contract that Philips entered with HHS/BARDA (Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority) in 2014 to develop a stockpile ventilator, which was yet to be developed and manufactured, was chiefly a research and development contract. Tied to this contract, BARDA requested a one-time purchase option for 10,000 of these units be included in the contract for a price considerably lower than commercial prices. Philips is producing and delivering this ventilator to HHS in line with the agreed delivery schedule.

For further information, please contact:

Ben Zwirs
Philips Global Press Office
Tel.: +31 6 15213446
E-mail: ben.zwirs@philips.com

Derya Guzel
Philips Investor Relations
Tel.: +31 20 59 77055
E-mail: derya.guzel@philips.com

About Royal Philips
Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s health and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips generated 2019 sales of EUR 19.5 billion and employs approximately 81,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at www.philips.com/newscenter.

Forward-looking statements
This release contains certain forward-looking statements with respect to the financial condition, results of operations and business of Philips and certain of the plans and objectives of Philips with respect to these items. Examples of forward-looking statements include statements made about the strategy, estimates of sales growth, future EBITA, future developments in Philips’ organic business and the completion of acquisitions and divestments. By their nature, these statements involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to future events and circumstances and there are many factors that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these statements.

Botswana’s Capital Back in Lockdown After COVID-19 Cases Double

GABORONE – Botswana has put its capital, Gaborone, back into a two-week lockdown starting Friday, closing schools and restricting movements, after confirmed local COVID-19 transmissions doubled this week.

Botswana’s health minister, Dr. Lemogang Kwape, said a return to lockdown was needed after the capital saw what he called a “worrying rise” in local cases of COVID-19.

“I now regret to inform you that the situation has worsened in the last 24 hours,” he said. “Botswana has recorded 30 new positive cases of COVID-19, with the majority of the cases emanating from schools in the greater Gaborone.”


Authorities closed schools in Gaborone on Friday and, except for essential workers, resumed requiring temporary permits for anyone to move around.

Schools elsewhere in Botswana remain open.

Confirmed, local transmissions of the virus in Gaborone doubled in the last week, from 70 to 140, most of them recorded in schools.

Kwape said contact tracing had become more complex.

He said some transport operators were failing to keep a passenger register, as required by COVID-19 regulations.

“During the course of this week the disease has taken an unexpected turn. This now requires that we place the greater Gaborone zone under lockdown for a minimum period of two weeks to enable us to contain the disease,” Kwape said.


This is the second time Botswana has returned the capital to lockdown after lifting the restrictions since the pandemic began.

Botswana, with 804 recorded cases of COVID-19 and two deaths, has been relatively unscathed by the virus, compared to other African countries.

Botswana’s neighbor, South Africa, is the worst-hit on the continent, with confirmed COVID-19 cases approaching half a million.

The majority of Botswana’s confirmed cases were along the border – and most of them foreigners.


Source: Voice Of America

3 Charged in Massive Twitter Hack, Bitcoin Scam

LONDON – A British man, a Florida man and a Florida teen hacked the Twitter accounts of prominent politicians, celebrities and technology moguls to scam people around globe out of more than $100,000 in bitcoin, authorities said Friday.

Graham Ivan Clark, 17, was arrested Friday in Tampa, where the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office will prosecute him as adult. He faces 30 felony charges, according to a news release. Mason Sheppard, 19, of Bognor Regis, U.K., and Nima Fazeli, 22, of Orlando, were charged in California federal court.

In one of the most high-profile security breaches in recent years, hackers sent out bogus tweets on July 15 from the accounts of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg and a number of tech billionaires including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Celebrities Kanye West and his wife, Kim Kardashian West, were also hacked.


The tweets offered to send $2,000 for every $1,000 sent to an anonymous bitcoin address.

“There is a false belief within the criminal hacker community that attacks like the Twitter hack can be perpetrated anonymously and without consequence,” U.S. Attorney David L. Anderson for the Northern District of California said in a news release. “Today’s charging announcement demonstrates that the elation of nefarious hacking into a secure environment for fun or profit will be short-lived.”

Although the case against the teen was also investigated by the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice, Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren explained that his office is prosecuting Clark in Florida state court because Florida law allows minors to be charged as adults in financial fraud cases such as this when appropriate.

“This defendant lives here in Tampa, he committed the crime here, and he’ll be prosecuted here,” Warren said.

Twitter previously said hackers used the phone to fool the social media company’s employees into giving them access. It said hackers targeted “a small number of employees through a phone spear-phishing attack.”

“This attack relied on a significant and concerted attempt to mislead certain employees and exploit human vulnerabilities to gain access to our internal systems,” the company tweeted.

After stealing employee credentials and getting into Twitter’s systems, the hackers were able to target other employees who had access to account support tools, the company said.


The hackers targeted 130 accounts. They managed to tweet from 45 accounts, access the direct message inboxes of 36, and download the Twitter data from seven. Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders has said his inbox was among those accessed.

Internal Revenue Service investigators in Washington, D.C., were able to identify two of the hackers by analyzing bitcoin transactions on the blockchain — the ledger where transactions are recorded — including ones the hackers attempted to keep anonymous, federal prosecutors said.

Spear-phishing is a more targeted version of phishing, an impersonation scam that uses email or other electronic communications to deceive recipients into handing over sensitive information.

Twitter said it would provide a more detailed report later “given the ongoing law enforcement investigation.”

The company has previously said the incident was a “coordinated social engineering attack” that targeted some of its employees with access to internal systems and tools. It didn’t provide any more information about how the attack was carried out, but the details released so far suggest the hackers started by using the old-fashioned method of talking their way past security.

British cybersecurity analyst Graham Cluley said his guess was that a targeted Twitter employee or contractor received a message by phone asking them to call a number.

“When the worker called the number they might have been taken to a convincing (but fake) helpdesk operator, who was then able to use social engineering techniques to trick the intended victim into handing over their credentials,” Clulely wrote Friday on his blog.

It’s also possible the hackers pretended to call from the company’s legitimate help line by spoofing the number, he said.

Hillsborough County court records didn’t list an attorney for Clark, and federal court records didn’t list attorneys for Sheppard or Fazeli.


Source: Voice Of America


Ethypharm’s UK manufacturing site passes its 1st U.S. FDA inspection

ST-CLOUD, France, July 31, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Ethypharm Group today announced that its facility located in Romford (Sussex, UK) has successfully passed its first U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspection. Now waiting for the approval of its partner’s marketing authorization, the site is gearing up to start supplying sterile pre-filled syringes (PFS) to the U.S. market by year end.


This successful FDA inspection confirms Ethypharm’s longstanding reputation in maintaining quality systems fully compliant with the highest international standards.

“I’m very proud of this success which reflects the engagement of our teams, at both corporate and local levels, to supply patients with products of the highest quality standard, said Cécile PAILLOUS, Vice President Quality Group.

The Ethypharm Group launched two years ago an ambitious program of work to increase the capacity and capability of its Romford site (Essex, UK), to target a first move into the USA for its range of pre-filled syringe products. Having invested significantly in new facilities, equipment, processes and people, the Romford site hosted its first U.S. FDA inspection in February 2020. The Establishment Inspection Report (EIR) received on 28th July 2020 confirms the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) of the site and authorizes its sterile PFS unit to supply products for the U.S. market.

This approval is an important strategic milestone for the Group which has invested 15M€ on the site in the last 2 years, with the support of our shareholders PAI Partners, in order to bring it to its full international potential,” commented Bertrand DELUARD, President and CEO.

The site is now waiting for our partner to receive their product approval in the coming days or weeks and is geared to supply product to the USA before the year end.

About the Ethypharm Group

Ethypharm is a European pharmaceutical company focused on two therapeutic areas: the Central Nervous System and Critical Care. Ethypharm markets its drugs directly in Europe and China, and with partners in North America and the Middle East where its drugs are in high demand. The Group employs more than 1,500 people, mainly in Europe and China.

Ethypharm works closely with authorities and healthcare professionals to ensure the appropriate use of and access to its medicines, by as many people as possible.

For more information on Ethypharm, visit www.ethypharm.com and follow us on LinkedIn.

About Ethypharm’s Romford manufacturing site

The manufacturing site located in Romford (Essex, UK) became part of the Ethypharm Group following the acquisition of Martindale Pharma in 2017. This site manufactures and supplies mainly sterile and oral medicines for both its home UK and international markets. Nearly 300 full-time and contract employees are employed on the site.

Logo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1222194/Ethypharm_Logo.jpg


                                                                                                                                                                  Thursday 30 July 2020


  • Turnover down by 31.7%
  • Gradual recovery of the business
  • A high level of cash flow generation

AKWEL (FR0000053027, AKW, PEA-eligible), the automotive and HGV equipment and systems manufacturer specialising in fluid management and mechanisms, has posted consolidated turnover of €387m in the first half of 2020, down by 31.7% compared to the first half of 2019.

Consolidated turnover (1 January to 30 June 2020)

In € millions – unaudited 2020 2019 Variation Like-for-like variation (1)
1st quarter 273.5  293.0 -6.6 % -5.9 %
2nd quarter 113.6  273.5 -58.5 % -57.8 %
1st half-year 387.0  566.5 -31.7 % -31.0 %

      (1)   Comparing like-for-like figures.

During the first half year, AKWEL outperformed its market with global production falling by 34% and 40% in Europe and North America.

Against this backdrop of a global downturn, the early recovery of the market in China enabled the group to achieve positive half-yearly figures thanks to the ramp-up of new projects and the commercial success of a number of models for which AKWEL is well positioned.

Thanks to financial management adapted to this crisis situation, the net financial debt (excluding the impact of IFRS 16) fell by €42m over the half-year, with a new fall of €17.5m in the second quarter after disbursement of the dividend. The group now has a positive net cash position (excluding IFRS 16) of €17.5m, with available cash reserves of €158m, to which should be added its confirmed and unused financing facilities, bringing the overall total to €200m.

The group’s financial solidity has enabled it to come through this unprecedented crisis in global car production, with an upturn in its activities confirmed in the first available figures for July 2020. It should be remembered that AKWEL has suspended its growth objectives for the financial year in view of the lack of visibility of developments in the global market up to the end of 2020.

An independent, family-owned group listed on the Euronext Paris Stock Exchange, AKWEL is an automotive and HGV equipment and systems manufacturer specialising in fluid management and mechanisms, offering first-rate industrial and technological expertise in applying and processing materials (plastics, rubber, metal) and mechatronic integration.

Operating in 20 countries across every continent, AKWEL employs almost 12,000 people worldwide.


Euronext Paris – Compartment B – ISIN: FR0000053027 – Reuters: AKW.PA – Bloomberg: AKW:FP


Madison Realty Capital Hires Brian Chase as Chief Operating Officer

Accomplished operations executive becomes first COO in private equity firm’s history

Madison Realty Capital Hires Brian Chase as Chief Operating Officer

Brian Chase, Madison Realty Capital Chief Operating Officer

NEW YORK, July 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Madison Realty Capital (MRC) announced it has appointed Brian Chase as its new Chief Operating Officer (COO), to support the firm’s operations and core business functions, as well as its continued national expansion. Chase becomes the first COO in the firm’s 16-year history and will report directly into MRC’s Managing Principals and Co-Founders Josh Zegen and Brian Shatz.

Chase brings over two decades of experience to his new role as COO, and prior to joining MRC he served as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Garrison Investment Group since 2007.

“We’re pleased to welcome Brian to the MRC team, as we continue to bolster our leadership position in the commercial real estate investment market,” said Zegen. “MRC has always been a forward-thinking organization that combines an entrepreneurial spirit with an institutional infrastructure – Brian exemplifies all our core values and is the ideal hire to support our anticipated expansion in the coming years as we continue to open new satellite offices in key markets and introduce additional investment products. He brings a wealth of experience overseeing operations for prominent organizations such as Garrison Investment Group, Fortress, and Blackstone’s initial credit platform – naming Brian as our first COO will build upon our foundation of sustained success, ensure we consistently deliver across our investment portfolio and help achieve our long-term goals.”

“I’m excited to join Madison Realty Capital as their Chief Operating Officer,” Chase adds. “MRC has built a tremendous business over the past 16 years and I am looking forward to utilizing my experience, and our shared philosophy around growth, to help them thoughtfully deepen and expand the breadth of the existing platform.”

About Brian Chase

Throughout his career, Mr. Chase has been involved in all facets of commercial real estate and private equity investment operations, including overseeing business development/strategy, sitting on investment committees, investor relations, capital markets, regulatory/compliance, and other critical facets.

During his time at Garrison Investment Group, he grew the company’s equity capital under management to approximately $4.5BN, and led the firm’s entrance into the CLO business, closing over $5BN of securitizations and other financings. Mr. Chase incubated and led the public offering of Garrison Capital Inc. (NASDAQ: GARS), a business development company, where he served as its chief operating officer and sat on its Board of Directors.

Prior to Garrison, Mr. Chase was Chief Financial Officer of the Distressed Securities business at The Blackstone Group where he was responsible for building and overseeing the fund infrastructure and operations since its launch. Mr. Chase also served as controller at Fortress Investment Group and began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in their Capital Markets group.

Mr. Chase received a B.S. in Accounting from the State University of New York at Binghamton and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of New York.

About Madison Realty Capital (MRC)

Madison Realty Capital (MRC) is a New York City based real estate private equity firm focused on debt and equity investment strategies with regional offices in key markets including Los Angeles and Dallas. Founded in 2004, MRC has closed on approximately $12 billion of transactions in the multifamily, retail, office, industrial and hotel sectors. The firm manages investments in the United States on behalf of a global investor base. MRC is a fully integrated firm with over 60 employees across all real estate investment, development, and property management disciplines. Among other industry recognitions, MRC has been named to the Commercial Observer’s prestigious “Power 100” list of New York City real estate players and is consistently cited as one of the industry’s top construction lenders.

Media inquiries, contact
Great Ink Communications: (212) 741-2977
Tom Nolan –  tom@greatink.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/627c5d95-0ef7-42b1-9a48-e25ea2c8daad