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Exclusive: TikTok rival Triller explores deal to go public

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Kavanaugh, Relativity Media CEO, during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills

By Joshua Franklin and Echo Wang

(Reuters) – Triller Inc, a budding competitor to popular short-video app TikTok, is in discussions with blank-check acquisition companies about a merger which would take the U.S. social media company public, according to people familiar with the matter.

The deal would come as Triller seeks to capitalize on TikTok’s woes. U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has ordered TikTok’s Chinese parent ByteDance to divest the app, citing concerns that the data of U.S. citizens could be accessible to China’s Communist Party government. TikTok has sued the U.S. government to stave off a ban from U.S. app stores while deal negotiations continue.

Triller, which was launched in 2015 and only has a fraction of the 100 million users that TikTok boasts in the United States, has said it hopes that the uncertainty over its rival’s future will drive more influencers and users to its platform.

Triller is working with investment bank Farvahar Partners as it negotiates a potential deal with a so-called special purpose acquisition companies (SPAC), the sources said. A SPAC is a shell company that raises money in an initial public offering (IPO) to merge with a privately held company which then becomes publicly traded as a result.

Triller’s SPAC negotiations are happening alongside discussions with investors about a private fundraising round, led by investment bank UBS Group AG (S:), in which the Los Angeles-based company is seeking to raise around $250 million, the sources said.

Triller has so far secured around $100 million in that round at a $1.25 billion valuation, according to the sources. It is deliberating whether to proceed with the private fundraising or opt for the deal with a SPAC, one of the sources added.

The sources cautioned that no deal is certain and asked not to be identified because the negotiations are confidential.

Farvahar Partners and UBS did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

SPACs have emerged as a popular IPO alternative for companies this year, providing a path to going public with less regulatory scrutiny and more certainty over the valuation that will be attained and funds that will be raised. U.S. SPACs have raised $53.8 billion so far in 2020 through IPOs, more than the total raised in the prior seven years, according to industry tracker SPAC Research.

Triller said earlier this year it had 65 million monthly active users on its short video app, although many analytics companies have said they have not been provided enough access to independently verify Triller’s figures.

Triller’s celebrity users include musicians Alicia Keys, Cardi B and Eminem, and its financial backers include Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd.

Triller is owned by media industry veteran Ryan Kavanaugh and healthcare executive Bobby Sarnevesht. Kavanaugh in 2004 founded U.S. film studio Relativity Media LLC, whose films included the award-winning “The Fighter”. The studio ended up filing for bankruptcy twice, in 2015 and 2018.

Sarnevesht was a partner at Bay Area Surgical Management, which lost a $37.4 million legal battle against Aetna Inc (NYSE:) after the health insurance firm alleged in 2012 that it had been defrauded by the surgery centers operator.

BID FOR TIKTOK

Triller sued TikTok in July, alleging it infringed its patent for stitching together multiple music videos with a single audio track.

In August, Triller said it had partnered with investment firm Centricus Asset Management Ltd in a bid for TikTok. ByteDance, however, said it was not engaged in such discussions.

Trump last month said he had given his preliminary blessing to a deal that would give a 20% stake in TikTok to computer networking conglomerate Oracle Corp (N:) and retail giant Walmart Inc (N:). The negotiations subsequently stalled, as ByteDance maintained it would keep an 80% stake in TikTok, rather than distribute it to its investors.

TikTok is widely popular with U.S. teenagers, though its advertising business is still nascent. Major companies, including Procter & Gamble Co (N:), Danone (PA:) and Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc (N:) told Reuters last week they would keep spending on advertising with TikTok despite the uncertainty over its future.





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Brazil’s BRF settles U.S. class action suit for $40 million: filing By Reuters

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© Reuters. Logos of Brazilian meatpacker BRF SA are seen in the headquarters in Curitiba

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian food processor BRF SA (SA:) said on Friday the company has settled for $40 million a U.S. class action suit against certain executives, according to a securities filing.

The settlement closes all pending claims that may be brought by persons or entities that acquired American Depositary Receipts of the company between April 4, 2013 and March 5, 2018, the filing said.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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AstraZeneca says its Oxford vaccine deal allows it to add up to 20% of manufacturing costs By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The company logo for pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is displayed on a screen on the floor at the NYSE in New York

By Kanishka Singh

(Reuters) – AstraZeneca Plc (L:) said on Friday its coronavirus vaccine deal with Oxford University will allow it to add up to 20% of manufacturing costs to cover additional expenses required to be incurred by the British drugmaker.

“In addition to the manufacturing costs, the company is incurring costs in excess of $1 billion globally that include clinical development, regulatory, distribution, pharmacovigilance and other expenses”, an AstraZeneca spokesman said in a statement.

“To cover these additional expenses, the company will add an amount equivalent to a maximum of 20% of the manufacturing costs to ensure there is no material impact on its finances this year while continuing efforts to provide the vaccine at no profit during the pandemic,” the statement added.

AstraZeneca has previously signed multiple supply-and-manufacture deals for more than 3 billion doses globally.

These agreements are with companies and governments as the company gets closer to reporting early results of a late-stage clinical trial. Developed by the University of Oxford and licensed to AstraZeneca in April, the vaccine is expected to be one of the first from big pharma to secure regulatory approval.

The company had said earlier it has created multiple supply chains to ensure that access to its vaccine is timely, broad and equitable for high- and low-income countries alike.

Pricing and supply of experimental COVID-19 vaccines have been widely debated as richer countries pump billions of dollars into funding, and AstraZeneca has also been granted protection from future liability claims.

Separately, AstraZeneca resumed the U.S. trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine after approval by regulators, the company said on Friday.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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U.S. stocks mixed at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.10% By Investing.com

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© Reuters. U.S. stocks mixed at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.10%

Investing.com – U.S. stocks were mixed after the close on Friday, as gains in the , and sectors led shares higher while losses in the , and sectors led shares lower.

At the close in NYSE, the fell 0.10%, while the index gained 0.34%, and the index added 0.37%.

The best performers of the session on the were UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:), which rose 1.50% or 4.87 points to trade at 330.60 at the close. Meanwhile, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:) added 1.41% or 0.53 points to end at 38.04 and Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:) was up 1.10% or 0.63 points to 57.96 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:), which fell 10.58% or 5.70 points to trade at 48.20 at the close. American Express Company (NYSE:) declined 3.64% or 3.81 points to end at 100.98 and Chevron Corp (NYSE:) was down 1.13% or 0.83 points to 72.57.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were Nordstrom Inc (NYSE:) which rose 5.60% to 14.33, SVB Financial Group (NASDAQ:) which was up 3.97% to settle at 296.38 and Flowserve Corporation (NYSE:) which gained 3.93% to close at 31.75.

The worst performers were Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:) which was down 10.58% to 48.20 in late trade, Robert Half International Inc (NYSE:) which lost 8.26% to settle at 51.67 and TechnipFMC PLC (NYSE:) which was down 5.69% to 6.47 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Socket Mobile Inc (NASDAQ:) which rose 74.66% to 2.550, Marin Software Inc (NASDAQ:) which was up 62.74% to settle at 3.450 and Youngevity International Inc (NASDAQ:) which gained 55.15% to close at 0.729.

The worst performers were BiondVax Pharmaceuticals Ltd ADR (NASDAQ:) which was down 86.27% to 5.20 in late trade, Iterum Therapeutics PLC (NASDAQ:) which lost 44.71% to settle at 0.53 and Limelight Networks Inc (NASDAQ:) which was down 31.98% to 4.20 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1878 to 1153 and 104 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1726 rose and 1152 declined, while 95 ended unchanged.

Shares in SVB Financial Group (NASDAQ:) rose to 52-week highs; rising 3.97% or 11.32 to 296.38. Shares in Socket Mobile Inc (NASDAQ:) rose to 52-week highs; up 74.66% or 1.090 to 2.550. Shares in BiondVax Pharmaceuticals Ltd ADR (NASDAQ:) fell to 52-week lows; losing 86.27% or 32.68 to 5.20. Shares in Iterum Therapeutics PLC (NASDAQ:) fell to all time lows; losing 44.71% or 0.42 to 0.53.

The , which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was down 1.99% to 27.55.

Gold Futures for December delivery was down 0.03% or 0.60 to $1904.00 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in December fell 2.19% or 0.89 to hit $39.75 a barrel, while the December Brent oil contract fell 1.93% or 0.82 to trade at $41.64 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.39% to 1.1862, while USD/JPY fell 0.10% to 104.72.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.26% at 92.722.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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