Tuesday, March 18, 2008

New case, Libra Holidays UK, Tour operator

LIBRA Holidays has taken millions of UK holiday makers to many destinations since 1973 and the company is known and respected by both the UK travel trade and consumers. LIBRA Holidays acquired recently two other tour operators and appointed the former managing Director of My Travel.

The aim is to grow the value of the company significant to reach a high valuation and prepare the company for a trade sale or public offering in a short time. One of the largest tour operator already owns 20 percent of LIBRA Holidays.

All the Advisory board members have given their "green light" for LIBRA Holidays as a very interesting business and opportunity.

The first round is a private placement of €2.5 million for Bridge members with a share price minimum 20-30 percent below the planned second round with the FSA approved prospectus.

The subscription date in the private placement is between 17 March and 30 March. If the Private placement is oversubscribed the majority owners will consider to make own shares available and transfer such funds to the company in order to grove the business faster.

In the second round LIBRA Holidays will raise additional € 7-10 million with an FSA approved Prospectus to be distributed only to the members of Bridge Investment Network.

In 2006/07 LIBRA Holidays had a 239,000-airline seat capacity, sold, and carried some 211,453 passengers to these destinations. As the UK leisure travel market has changed rapidly over the past 5 years with the growth of the low cost airlines, the internet and new competitors, so has the need for LIBRA to embrace those changes.

For this reason, a new management team has been put in place and a new business plan developed in order to set out the future strategic direction of the business and to take advantage of significant opportunities in the market.

In parallel, over the past months, an investment opportunity arose to acquire the business of a specialist tour operator Argo Holidays Ltd. and its two brands Argo Holidays and Jetlife. Argo Holidays targets the higher end of the market and specializes in package holidays to Cyprus, Greece and the Middle East (particularly the Arabian Gulf and Egypt) offering four and five star hotel accommodation. Jetlife targets the middle market and offers a mix of tailored and standardized holiday packages for long haul destinations in Asia, the Caribbean and the United States. This acquisition fits extremely well with the future
business plans of LIBRA Holidays.

LIBRA holidays appointed industry heavyweights Michael East and Eamonn Ferrin to its new management team. Both senior members of the team come with vast experience in the travel industry. Until recently, Eamonn Ferrin was the managing director of MyTravel - Owned BCT Travel Group. Michael East is extremely well respected throughout the travel industry, particularly in the UK and also abroad. Michael is the founder of a leading executive recruitment specialist company for the travel industry.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Sting Networks sponsors World Cup in Speed skiing.

Sting Networks is sponsoring the World Cup Speed Skiing event in Sälen / Sweden. The cup is called “Väggen”, which means “The Wall” in English. It is a four day long event starting at 31 March and ending 3 April.

The competition will have TV coverage, so watch out for Sting logos on TV.

Sting are going to use the event to invite their VIP partners in Norway and Sweden.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Bridge invited to speak at the Stock Exchange in Zurich, Switzerland

In response to a special invitation issued to Bridge to address the Zurich Stock Exchange, on 31st January Mats Jäderberg and Henrik Ericsson were guest speakers at an event attended by representatives of large venture capital companies, funds and investment banks. They spoke about the Bridge investment network and the success of its investment approach, and the audience was impressed at the pace at which the Bridge investment network is growing, with more than 7,000 independent investors in the community.
Bridge also announced potential future collaboration with Red Alpine, which is an early stage fund based in Switzerland, in order to provide an increased flow of cases for the bridge community, as its own investments move from start up into the growth phase. Following the meeting, Bridge management team members were invited to meet Mr. Farley Duvall, the Managing Director of Red Herring EMEA, over dinner to explore possible joint sponsorship opportunities in Europe during 2008.
Red Herring is a media company which aims to cover global innovation, technology, financing and entrepreneurial activities. Following the meeting, Mats Jäderberg, Head of Bridge European operations, commented: “I am very impressed with the numbers of investors that Bridge has already brought into this unique concept. The fact that we were invited to speak at the Stock Exchange in Switzerland and then sit with the Managing Director of Red Herring EMEA to discuss joint activities is a clear acknowledgement to all members of the Bridge investment community that we are building something quite unique, driven by a hardcore approach to the traditional venture capital market.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bridge News

Bridge looking into Wind Farm project in Romania
During the last weekend of February the Bridge European management team were in Romania with a number of wind farm project experts. Bridge has identified a potential investment opportunity involving the development of a wind farm on a 250 acre site on the shores of the Black Sea, which experiences good wind conditions for this type of project. We believe that this opportunity, with a 3 to 5 year lifespan, will return many times the original investment. “Since joining the European Union in 2007 Romania is experiencing a lot of pressure to develop wind energy”, says Mats Jäderberg Head of Bridge European operations. Romania currently has just eight operational wind turbines with a population of 25 million people, compared with Sweden that has over 750 wind turbines and a population of less than 9 million. Following these meetings and site visits, Bridge has decided to carry out further studies into the possibility of investing in this type of business. A group of experts from Spain, Sweden, Austria and Romania will be engaged to assess the risks and potential returns of a project like this. The initial scope would be to build between 4 and 6 turbines, with the aim of expanding to between 50 and 80 turbines, acquiring more land, expanding into more countries and ultimately taking the company public.

RavenPack´s first offering sucessfully completed
Bridge is pleased to announce that the recently closed subscription in RavenPack in association with their financial advisor McNamee, was oversubscribed. ACH Securities in Geneva has confirmed that all shares have now been delivered to members.
On 12th February, RavenPack’s CEO Mr. Armando Gonzalez met with Mats Jäderberg of the Bridge European management team to discuss plans for the second round of €4.5 million and possible dates for road shows and interviews, together with the subscription date.
Ravenpack’s financial advisor McNamee is now looking into the legal requirements for dealing with securities in Spain.

GPS Buddy´s road show in Europe expected in April
On 4th February, Bridge met with GPS Buddy and William Fry, GPS Buddy’s financial advisor, to discuss the delay in obtaining approval of GPS Buddy’s prospectus from the Irish Stock Exchange. William Fry will soon be making a formal statement to Bridge members as to the exact subscription date. GPS Buddy plans to include members of the Bridge Community in Sweden, Iceland and Latvia during their upcoming roadshow. This list of countries may be expanded.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Dow Jones and RavenPack to deliver Dow Jones News Analytics with API for Customer´s Proprietary Trading Systems

Pressrelease September 2007

New Developer's Kit Enables Banks and Hedge Funds to Seamlessly Integrate News and Sentiment Data into Their Own Algorithmic Trading Models

NEW YORK (September 27, 2007) - Dow Jones & Company (NYSE: DJ) today announced the launch of a Dow Jones News Analytics Developer's Kit, an application programming interface (API) that seamlessly integrates Dow Jones News Analytics' enriched data directly into a customer's proprietary trading platform. The company also announced that Dow Jones News Analytics is now available in the U.S. and Canada, in addition to Europe.

Produced in partnership with RavenPack, a leader in computational linguistics, Dow Jones News Analytics provides a unique combination of Dow Jones real-time news and RavenPack's sentiment data. Now, firms can integrate this data into their automated trading systems while transforming the Dow Jones real-time news into actionable data within milliseconds of the news breaking in the market. Users can request and process historical and real-time news analytics directly from within their platform. Financial organizations can also choose a hosted solution to research and create new algorithmic trading models based on news.

"The algorithmic trading community is constantly searching for more ways to turn news into profits," said Joe Lanza, vice president and managing director, Algorithmic & Trading Products, Dow Jones Enterprise Media Group. "Dow Jones News Analytics translates the vast database of Dow Jones content into actionable trading data, in flexible formats to fit the customer's business and technological needs."

Dow Jones News Analytics is the company's first hosted solution to combine news, archives and analytics tools that allows users to transform Dow Jones' text-based archive into numerical data. Using RavenPack's computational linguistics technology and embedded statistical tools, Dow Jones News Analytics can identify trends and correlations in news and sentiment for most asset classes orinstruments. This data is graphically displayed and manipulated against streaming and historical price and volume data, enabling analysts and traders to design, develop and deploy proprietary models for trading, arbitrage and back-testing. RavenPack's systems are also scaled to allow the real-time, tick-by-tick analysis of large volumes of
news in Dow Jones News Analytics.

The new Developer's Kit can work with hundreds of third-party statistical and market analysis programs. It is fully compatible with the latest versions of Java. Application developers benefit from resources including testing systems, code samples, technical documentation and technical support.

Dow Jones News Analytics is the latest offering to draw on Dow Jones's award-winning news coverage and provide the depth and speed of information that algorithmic and quantitative professionals require.

The product provides sentiment analysis of each news story using various linguistic techniques. These involve classifying news by counting key words and phrases, training computer programs on the views of financial experts, and ultimately rating stories on how markets historically respond to news.

Using this hosted service, financial firms can enhance their proprietary models with leading-edge news analysis and overcome the professional, technology and cost constraints associated with text mining vast amounts of news. In addition to Dow Jones's comprehensive, real-time news, usershave instant access to more than 20 years of Dow Jones news and information represented numerically or as full text.

"We are pleased to respond to the demand for capability heard from both Europe and the U.S. by technologically and geographically broadening Dow Jones News Analytics," said Armando Gonzalez, president and CEO of RavenPack International. "We are leveraging the strengths of a leader in news with those of a leader in information analysis. This solution provides a competitive advantage to firms of all sizes in the financial markets."

About Dow Jones & Company

Dow Jones & Company (NYSE: DJ; dowjones.com) is a leading provider of global business news and information services. Its Consumer Media Group publishes The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, MarketWatch and the Far Eastern Economic Review. Its Enterprise Media Group includes Dow Jones Newswires, Factiva, Dow Jones Licensing Services, Dow Jones Indexes and Dow Jones Financial Information Services. Its Local Media Group operates community-based information franchises. Dow Jones is co-owner with Hearst of SmartMoney. Dow Jones provides news content to CNBC and radio stations in the U.S.