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Acquisitions

CommonBond Acquires NextGenVest to Fuel Expansion and Provide AI-Powered Financial Advice to Generation Z

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: zerocater.com
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

CommonBond, a leading fintech company that lowers the cost of education through data and technology, today announced the acquisition of NextGenVest, a pioneer in helping Generation Z make the best financial decisions from high school, through college, and beyond. CommonBond’s best-in-class digital lending technology and student loan benefits for millennials, combined with NextGenVest’s AI-powered financial platform for Generation Z, bring together a powerful blend of products, technology, and value for an ever-growing group of consumers as they start their financial lives.

“Paying for college can be complex and stressful, and that stress follows most people well past graduation – but it doesn’t have to,” said David Klein, CEO and co-founder of CommonBond. “NextGenVest allows us to continue delivering the transparency, affordability, and simplicity we’re known for, to the next generation of financial consumers, on the back of differentiated AI technology. With this acquisition, CommonBond bolsters its position as the only company in the country to offer a true end-to-end relationship with young financial consumers, from high school and college to graduation and employment.”

NextGenVest helps Generation Z navigate the college experience with personalized and timely advice, primarily through text messages and heavy use of AI technology. Founded in 2013, the company uses a combination of real-life “Money Mentors” and AI-powered guidance to help prepare Gen Z for college and beyond. Approximately 15 percent of college-bound seniors in New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia use NextGenVest.

“We are truly excited to team up with CommonBond to revolutionize higher education finance – and college readiness more broadly – for millions of students,” said Kelly Peeler, founder and CEO of NextGenVest and Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2018. “We have made it our mission at NextGenVest to improve the financial health of the next generation by leveraging AI to power human interactions, which is a mission we are excited to continue with CommonBond.”

Shared values in simplifying higher education and hyper-personalization

Both CommonBond and NextGenVest share a core value in helping consumers make the best decisions regarding higher education. This starts with simplifying a massively complex and generally unguided process – from school selection to financial aid applications to cost comparisons and payment options.

“Hyper-personalization is a key part of the long-term success of delivering affordable financing,” added Klein. “We know that our customers want on-demand help figuring out their best financing options, whether they’re an 18-year-old getting a loan for college, a graduate pursuing refinancing options, or an employee seeking an employer benefit for making consistent on-time student loan payments.”

“The ability to own the financial trust of Gen Z will be a huge differentiator in this industry,” added Peeler, who joins the CommonBond team as vice president, NextGen, reporting into Klein. “This consumer has a completely different attention span, and very different ways of building brand loyalty with financial services companies, than other generations have. We are excited to continue innovating on behalf of Gen Z over the coming years.”

NextGenVest employees join CommonBond’s engineering and operations teams, supporting CommonBond’s commitment to advanced technology and award-winning customer service.

Continued growth with meaning and distinction

This acquisition comes on the heels of rapid growth and distinguished market recognition for CommonBond.

Since early 2018, CommonBond has closed a $50 million Series D round of funding to invest more heavily in new technologies such as blockchain, secured AAA ratings from Moody’s and DBRS for its securitizations, and was recognized by Fast Company as one of the world’s 50 Most Innovative Companies. In October, CommonBond was recognized as one of TIME’s 50 Genius Companies, for its growth, mission, and track record of innovation.

CommonBond has raised approximately $130 million in equity to date. The company’s customer acquisition costs are known to be a fraction of industry peers, and the low default rate of its loan portfolios continues to be best-in-class. The company has been profitable for three of the last six quarters.

With this acquisition, CommonBond now serves over 100,000 customers nationwide.

Editor - With a passion photo photography, webdesign and content, it made sense for me to also integrate news editing and press release publishing. I am also passionate about the car industry, so you will surely find some exciting news reporting from my side about the automotive industry.

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Acquisitions

ASSA ABLOY Acquires Lorient in the UK

Vlad Poptamas

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ASSA ABLOY has acquired Lorient, a leading designer and manufacturer of high performance door sealing systems based in the UK with half of sales exported outside of the UK and EU.

“I am very pleased to welcome Lorient and their employees into the ASSA ABLOY Group. This acquisition delivers on our strategy to strengthen our position in the mature markets through adding complementary products and solutions to our core business,” says Nico Delvaux, President and CEO of ASSA ABLOY.

“Lorient is a very attractive addition to the EMEA division thanks to its strong position in the UK fire protection market. It allows us to offer a comprehensive door sealing portfolio alongside innovative drop-down seals and finger protection solutions from Planet GDZ, which we acquired earlier this year in Switzerland,” says Neil Vann, Executive Vice President of ASSA ABLOY and Head of the EMEA division.

Lorient was established in 1979 and has approximately 135 employees. The head office is located in Newton Abbot, Devon, UK.

Sales for 2018 are expected to reach about GBP 19 million (approx. SEK 220 million) with a good EBIT margin and the acquisition will be accretive to EPS from start.

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Acquisitions

EQT Real Estate Expands French Portfolio With Office Acquisition in Paris for EUR 42 Million

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: cometoparis.com
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  • The transaction represents EQT Real Estate’s fourth acquisition in Paris – a 9,050 square metre vacant office property for a price of EUR 42 million
  • The property is located on rue Mozart in Clichy Saint-Ouen, North Paris, less than 200 metres away from a new Metro station due to open in 2020
  • The investment represents the EQT Real Estate I fund’s ninth investment to date

The EQT Real Estate I fund (or “EQT Real Estate”) continues to invest in established European office markets and today announces the acquisition of a vacant office property located in Clichy Saint-Ouen, North Paris. The property was acquired from a French pension fund advised by investment manager AEW.

Clichy Saint-Ouen is a mature sub-market in Paris with strong transport links. It will be further improved by the extension of Metro line 14 in 2020, which will place it just three stops from Paris’Central Business District. The asset, built in 2001, comprises 9,050 square metres of office and storage space, and 199 parking spaces. The property is fully vacant and has been recently stripped out. The acquisition aligns with the firm’s strategy to focus on gateway cities with strong demographics driving sustainable GDP and office-based employment growth.

Olivier Astruc, Managing Director at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Real Estate I, says: “This investment in Clichy, North Paris, further demonstrates the strategy to create modern offices suited to occupiers’ needs for affordable and accessible grade A office space. EQT Real Estate has now completed four transactions in Paris, building a portfolio exceeding 60,000 square metres and EUR 500 million in gross development value. We continue to see strong demand from institutional investors, and EQT Real Estate’s strategy will allow us to continue to unlock value in key European sub-markets.”

During the acquisition process, EQT Real Estate I was advised by Savills, George V Notaires, De Pardieu Brocas Maffei, JLL Project & Development Services and Beadmans. Funds managed by ACOFI Gestion financed the acquisition, advised by Etude Panhard and Allen & Overy. The vendor was advised by Prud’homme & Baum and investment manager AEW.

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Accounting News & Issues

EMBRAER S.A.: Kazakhstan’s Air Astana Receives Its First E190-E2 Jet

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: aerospacemanufacturinganddesign.com
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Air Astana, the flag carrier of Kazakhstan, presented its first E190-E2 jet in a ceremony held today in Astana. The airline will receive four additional E190-E2s next year, with the last of the five aircraft, leased by AerCap, being delivered in the final quarter of 2019. The Kazakhstan airline will start flying the new aircraft on domestic and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) routes later this month.

“All of us at Air Astana are pleased to receive our first E190-E2, and we look forward to a smooth entry into service and a simple transition for our pilots. We know Embraer’s E-Jets well, and have high expectations for their new generation aircraft in terms of economics, environmental impact, and levels of comfort and convenience for our customers,” said Peter Foster, President of Air Astana.

Air Astana’s first E190-E2 features a “snow leopard” livery, designed and hand painted by Embraer in the ‘Profit Hunter’ style. Air Astana’s snow leopard joins the now famous Eagle, Tiger, and Shark E2s with the distinctive ‘Profit Hunter’ nose art. For Air Astana however, the paint scheme is designed to draw global attention to the threat of extinction faced by the wild cat. The snow leopard is an official symbol of Kazakhstan and is native to the country’s southern mountain ranges.

Foster continued. “Our passengers, staff, and in fact the whole of Kazakhstan will appreciate the amazing depiction of the snow leopard on our new jet. The snow leopard embodies the resilience and ambition of our nation, and we all strive to save these magnificent creatures from extinction and for posterity”.

“We are honored to deliver our most advanced commercial aircraft to our good friends at Air Astana”, said John Slattery, President & CEO, Embraer Commercial Aviation. “For a manufacturer, there is no better reward than to see a customer’s business continuously growing with our products. Air Astana’s decision to embrace the E2 program is a further measure of trust in Embraer and in the E-Jets family of commercial aircraft.”

The delivery marks the beginning of Air Astana’s fleet renewal. Currently the airline operates fleet of E190s aircraft, the first of which was delivered in 2011.

The E190-E2 is the first of three new aircraft types that will make up the Embraer E2 family of aircraft developed to succeed the first-generation E-Jets. Compared to the first-generation E190, the E190-E2 burns 17.3% less fuel and nearly 10% less than its direct competitor. This makes it the most efficient single-aisle aircraft on the market. The E190-E2 brings more flexibility with maximum range of up to 3,293 miles (5,300 km), about 621 miles (1,000 km) more than the first-generation E190.

The E190-E2 also generates significant savings for airlines in terms of maintenance costs, with a reduction of up to 25%. It has the longest maintenance intervals with 10,000 flight hours for basic checks and no calendar limit in typical E-Jets utilization. This means an additional 15 days of aircraft utilization over a period of ten years.

Pilots of the first-generation E-Jets require only two-and-a-half days of training without the need for a full flight simulator in order to fly the E2, which decreases the training burden and saves both time and money for the airlines. The E2 cockpit features advanced Honeywell Primus Epic 2 integrated avionics. Combined with the closed-loop fly-by-wire controls, the systems work together to improve aircraft performance, decrease pilot workload and enhance flight safety.

From the passenger’s perspective, the E2 cabin features a comfortable two-by-two layout. The absence of a middle seat enables passengers to have an enjoyable flight experience with more legroom and additional luggage storage space.

Embraer is the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial jets with up to 150 seats. The Company has 100 customers from all over the world operating the ERJ and E-Jet families of aircraft. For the E-Jets program alone, Embraer has logged almost 1,800 orders and 1,400 deliveries, redefining the traditional concept of a regional aircraft. Today, E-Jets are flying in fleets of 70 customers in 50 countries.

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