Exclusive: Prescription drug marketplace GoodRx files for IPO


© Reuters.

By Joshua Franklin and Anirban Sen

(Reuters) – U.S. online prescription drug price marketplace GoodRx Inc has submitted paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a potential initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter.

GoodRx, which was valued at $2.8 billion in 2018 when private equity firm Silver Lake invested in the company, is in the process of hiring advisers for the IPO, the sources said, requesting anonymity because the preparations are confidential.

The listing could come later this year or early in 2021, one of the sources added, noting that the plans were subject to market conditions.

GoodRx did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Founded by Doug Hirsch and Trevor Bezdek in 2011, GoodRx gathers information for more than 70,000 U.S. pharmacies to track drug prices and offer coupons to consumers for discounts. It makes money by charging fees to partnering pharmacy benefits managers.

The Santa Monica, California-based company’s website is used by more than 10 million Americans every month, according to GoodRx. Last year, it expanded into telemedicine by acquiring HeyDoctor LLC.

In June, GoodRx appointed Karsten Voermann as chief financial officer and Bansi Nagji as president for healthcare.

Besides Silver Lake, other investors in GoodRx include buyout firms Francisco Partners and Spectrum Equity. Its competitors include prescription drug savings app SingleCare and online coupon provider RetailMeNot Inc’s RxSaver.

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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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Exclusive: TikTok’s Chinese owner offers to forego stake to clinch U.S. deal


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: TikTok logos are seen on smartphones in front of displayed ByteDance logo in this illustration

By Echo Wang and Alexandra Alper

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China’s ByteDance has agreed to divest the U.S. operations of TikTok completely in a bid to save a deal with the White House, after President Donald Trump said on Friday he had decided to ban the popular short-video app, two people familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

U.S. officials have said TikTok under its Chinese parent poses a national risk because of the personal data it handles. ByteDance’s concession will test whether Trump’s threat to ban TikTok is a negotiating tactic or whether he is intent on cracking down on a social media app that has up to 80 million daily active users in the United States.

Trump told reporters onboard Air Force One late on Friday that he would issue an order for TikTok to be banned in the United States as early as Saturday. “Not the deal that you have been hearing about, that they are going to buy and sell… We are not an M&A (mergers and acquisitions) country,” Trump said.

ByteDance was previously seeking to keep a minority stake in the U.S. business of TikTok, which the White House had rejected. Under the new proposed deal, ByteDance would exit completely and Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:) would take over TikTok in the United States, the sources said.

Some ByteDance investors that are based in the United States may be given the opportunity to take minority stakes in the business, the sources added. About 70% of ByteDance’s outside investors come from the United States.

The White House declined to comment on whether Trump would accept ByteDance’s concession. ByteDance in Beijing did not respond to a request for comment

Under ByteDance’s new proposal, Microsoft will be in charge of protecting all U.S. user data, the sources said. The plan allows for another U.S. company other than Microsoft to take over TikTok in the United States, the sources added.

Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment.

As relations between the United States and China deteriorate over trade, Hong Kong’s autonomy, cyber security and the spread of the novel coronavirus, TikTok has emerged as a flashpoint in the dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

ByteDance has been considering a range of options for TikTok amid U.S. pressure to relinquish control of the app, which allows users to create short videos with special effects and has become wildly popular with U.S. teenagers.

ByteDance had received a proposal from some of its investors, including Sequoia and General Atlantic, to transfer majority ownership of TikTok to them, Reuters reported on Wednesday. The proposal valued TikTok at about $50 billion, but some ByteDance executives believe the app is worth more than that.

ByteDance acquired Shanghai-based video app Musical.ly in a $1 billion deal in 2017 and relaunched it as TikTok the following year. ByteDance did not seek approval for the acquisition from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which reviews deals for potential national security risks. Reuters reported last year that CFIUS had opened an investigation into TikTok.

APP SCRUTINY

The United States has been increasingly scrutinizing app developers over the personal data they handle, especially if some of it involves U.S. military or intelligence personnel. Ordering the divestment of TikTok would not be the first time the White House has taken action over such concerns.

Earlier this year, Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd sold Grindr LLC, a popular gay dating app it bought in 2016, for $620 million after being ordered by CFIUS to divest.

In 2018, CFIUS forced China’s Ant Financial to scrap plans to buy MoneyGram International Inc over concerns about the safety of data that could identify U.S. citizens.

ByteDance was valued at as much as $140 billion earlier this year when one of its shareholders, Cheetah Mobile (NYSE:), sold a small stake in a private deal, Reuters has reported. The startup’s investors include Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp.

The bulk of ByteDance’s revenue comes from advertising on apps under its Chinese operations including Douyin – a Chinese version of TikTok – and news aggregator app Jinri Toutiao, as well as video-streaming app Xigua and Pipixia, an app for jokes and humorous videos.





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Exclusive: ByteDance investors value TikTok at $50 billion in takeover bid


© Reuters. Tik Tok logos are seen on smartphones in front of displayed ByteDance logo in this illustration

By Echo Wang, Kane Wu and Julie Zhu

NEW YORK/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Some investors of TikTok’s parent company ByteDance seeking to take over the popular social media app are valuing it at about $50 billion, significantly more than peers such as Snap Inc (N:), according to people familiar with the matter.

Beijing-based ByteDance is considering a range of options for TikTok amid pressure from the United States to relinquish control of the app, which allows users to create short videos with special effects and has become wildly popular with U.S. teenagers. The app’s success has helped turn ByteDance into one of only a handful truly global Chinese conglomerates.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a U.S. government panel which reviews deals by foreign acquirers for potential national security risks, has raised concerns about the safety of the personal data that TikTok handles under its Chinese owner, Reuters has previously reported.

Privately held ByteDance has received a proposal from some of its investors, including Sequoia and General Atlantic, to transfer majority ownership of TikTok to them, the sources said. It has also fielded acquisition interest in TikTok from other companies and investment firms, the sources said.

The investors’ bid values TikTok at 50 times its projected 2020 revenue of about $1 billion, according to the sources. By comparison, Snap is valued at 15 times its projected 2020 revenue, at about $33 billion, according to data provider Refinitiv.

It is unclear whether ByteDance’s founder and CEO, Yiming Zhang, will be satisfied with the offer. ByteDance executives recently discussed valuation projections for TikTok that exceed $50 billion, one of the sources said.

TikTok is growing rapidly as it rakes in more cash from advertising, and its management team expects to achieve $6 billion in revenue in 2021, one of the sources said. ByteDance, which owns other apps including TikTok’s Chinese counterpart, Douyin‎, has set itself a revenue target for 2020 of about 200 billion yuan ($28 billion), Reuters has previously reported.

ByteDance was valued at as much as $140 billion earlier this year when one of its shareholders, Cheetah Mobile Inc (N:), sold a small stake in a private deal, one of the sources said.

If a deal for the whole of TikTok cannot be reached, ByteDance is exploring divesting only TikTok’s U.S. operations, one of the sources said. It is not clear what such a deal would be worth and what ties TikTok in the United States would maintain with its global operations.

There is no certainty that ByteDance will agree to any deal, the sources said. It is pushing ahead with structural changes that will further ringfence the U.S. business of TikTok from its global empire, the sources added. These changes could include a new holding company for TikTok and an independent board, one of the sources said, cautioning that no decision has been made. The company has already separated TikTok operationally from its other apps through dedicated teams.

The sources requested anonymity because the deliberations are confidential.

ByteDance, General Atlantic and Sequoia declined to comment, while Cheetah Mobile and a CFIUS spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment.

TARGET OF U.S. LAWMAKERS

As relations between the United States and China deteriorate over trade, Hong Kong’s autonomy, cyber security and the spread of the novel coronavirus, TikTok has emerged as a flashpoint in the dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

Last week, the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs unanimously passed a bill that would bar U.S. federal employees from using TikTok on government-issued devices. It will be taken up by the full Senate for a vote. The House of Representatives has already voted for a similar measure.

President Donald Trump and top administrations officials have said they are considering a broader ban on TikTok and other Chinese-linked apps.

ByteDance acquired Shanghai-based video app Musical.ly app in a $1 billion deal in 2017 and relaunched it as TikTok the following year. About 70% of the equity capital ByteDance has raised from outside investors has come from the United States, according to one of the sources.





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Exclusive: Alstom to win EU antitrust okay for Bombardier deal


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A logo of Alstom is seen at the Alstom’s plant in Semeac near Tarbes

2/2

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Alstom (PA:) is set to gain EU antitrust approval to buy Bombardier (OTC:) Inc’s rail business, people familiar with the matter said on Monday, a deal which will make the French rail maker the world’s second largest behind Chinese leader CRRC Corp.

Alstom earlier this month offered to sell a French rail factory, its regional train unit Coradia Polyvalent, and a Bombardier commuter trains division and the related production facilities at its Hennigsdorf site in Germany.

The French TGV high-speed train maker also proposed providing access to some products within Bombardier’s train control systems and signalling units to rivals.

The concessions came after the European Commission voiced concerns about Alstom’s greater market clout after the deal.

Alstom subsequently improved the concession on access to the Canadian company’s train control systems and signalling units but did not have to sell more assets following feedback to the Commission from rivals and customers, the people said.

The Commission, which is scheduled to decide on the deal by July 31, declined to comment. Alstom and Bombardier also declined to comment.

Last year, EU regulators blocked Alstom’s attempt to merge rail assets with Siemens AG (OTC:) after they refused to offer more concessions.

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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Exclusive: Germany wants to introduce car toll across EU


© Reuters. weekly cabinet meeting in Berlin

By Markus Wacket

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer aims to clear the way for an almost blanket motorway toll for cars across Germany and Europe during the country’s presidency of the European Union, a draft document seen by Reuters on Wednesday showed.

Within eight years, almost all vehicles on motorways, including lorries, vans and cars, would have to pay tolls, according to the draft for the EU toll directive.

“As regards member states that have already established a charging system, tolls or user charges shall be levied upon all vehicles except coaches and buses,” stated the document which Scheuer wants German ministries to approve on Wednesday.

That would make it Germany’s official proposal for its presidency of the bloc which started on July 1 and runs until the end of the year.

However, some government officials told Reuters that some German ministries wanted to put the project on ice even though a distance-based toll is widely seen as a measure to help protect the climate.

It is particularly sensitive for ministries headed by the Social Democrats (SPD), who share power with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and have long been critical of car tolls.

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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