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Qatar Holding to Acquire Costa Smeralda Properties in Sardinia, Italy

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According to the press release, “Qatar Holding announces it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Smeralda Holding, owner of luxury hotel resorts on Costa Smeralda in Sardinia, from Colony Capital, the US-based real estate investment firm.

Under the terms of the agreement, Qatar Holding will acquire a portfolio consisting of four luxury hotels (Cala di Volpe, Pitrizza, Romazzino and Cervo) with a total of 372 rooms, the Porto Cervo Marina (host to the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda), the Porto Cervo Shipyard, the Pevero Golf Club (designed by Robert Trent Jones), a 51 percent interest in 2,290 hectares of adjacent undeveloped land and various other real estate assets in Costa Smeralda.

The existing management team of Smeralda Holding will remain in place following completion of the transaction and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. will continue to manage the hotels.

Closing of the transaction is conditional on the receipt of antitrust approval from Italian competition authorities.

Commenting on the transaction, Ahmad Mohamed Al-Sayed, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Holding, said:

“We are happy to have agreed terms for the acquisition of this established portfolio of luxury assets in Sardinia. We intend to continue supporting the on-going development programme which will see Costa Smeralda strengthen its position as a top luxury resort destination.”

Tom Barrack, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Colony Capital, added:

“I have said before that Costa Smeralda is for no one to own…it owns you. Our job was to leave it better than when we found it. We are now fortunate enough to transition this stewardship to the best, most respected, qualified and nurturing caretaker on the globe today in our partners at Qatar Holding. Their increased investment is a huge vote of confidence for Italy, Sardinia, Costa Smeralda and all of its peoples.”

Evercore Partners acted as financial adviser to Qatar Holding. Deutsche Bank AG acted as adviser to Colony.”

Source: Press Release

Mergermarket Gets Ready to be Sold

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Private equity firm BC Partners hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to advise on the sales of Acuris. Acuris is a collection of financial news and data sites, which includes Mergermarket, Dealreporter, and Debtwire. In 2017, BC Partners sold around a 30% stake in GIC Private Limited.

Before the rebranding to Acuris, Mergermarket was part of The Financial Times Group until 2013 when it was sold off to BC Partners.

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Why Japan Post Sees Promise in Aflac

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Aflac Inc. is an American insurance company founded in 1955. The company is the biggest provider of supplemental insurance in the United States. Aflac also has major operations in Japan.

In December 2018, Japan Post Holdings (JPHLF) signaled it was spending US$ 2.64 billion for a 7-8 % stake in Aflac. The goal is that, in four years time, Aflac will become an affiliate of Japan Post. Japan Post hopes to accomplish this by becoming the largest voting shareholder of the company. The world’s 13th largest company, with 400,000 employees, Japan Post needs to expand to chase further growth, mainly because Japan Post expects the postal business to decline. Diversification is seen as the optimal route to long term stability for the holding company. Japan’s economy is worrying. Japan’s aging population means that many insurance companies are facing a shrinking customer base, Japan Post settled on a plan to expand overseas.

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RDIF and Development Agency of Serbia Agree to Explore Joint Investments

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The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the Development Agency of Serbia, also known as Razvojna agencija Srbije, reached an agreement to work together to identify attractive investment projects to strengthen bilateral economic ties and increase investment flows between Russia and Serbia. Russian capital and businesses are keen on investing in Serbia.

In addition, the two countries signed an agreement to cooperate on civil nuclear energy, according to state-owned Russian reactor builder Rosatom (Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation). Rosatom continues to expand it business of nuclear cooperation deals in a wide number of countries.

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