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What Tesla take over proposal could look like

By Business Desk,

Now that Tesla CEO Elon Musk has hired advisers for his plan to take the U.S. electric car maker private, and the Tesla board has named a special committee of independent directors to evaluate it — two steps CNBC reported would happen last week— the next milestone is for Musk to actually put together a formal proposal.

(Ideally, this proposal would already exist, but let’s table that point for now.)

Musk’s offer is likely to include conditional financing from third parties, including Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, and may have requirements that a certain number of Tesla shareholders roll over their existing stakes into a private company, according to M&A bankers and lawyers who have worked on similar transactions. Putting these conditions in a proposal will allow Musk to show the board something quickly without having to secure tens of billions in committed financing.

It’s also possible the Saudi sovereign wealth fund could commit much more in financing, but Tesla’s cash-burning business, costly factories and Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) issues make that less likely, the bankers and lawyers said.

Of course, Musk already tweeted he had secured financing last week, which has reportedly prompted an SEC inquiry. While conditional clauses may aid Musk’s efforts in lining up financing, the SEC will only care about what he knew to be true at the time of his first tweet, said Thomas Gorman, a lawyer at Dorsey & Whitney and a former SEC enforcement attorney who specializes in financial fraud and market manipulation.

It’s particularly important there is Saudi financing in the formal proposal because Musk has specifically said the country’s sovereign wealth fund’s interest in taking the company private was the basis for his “funding secured” comment,” said Gorman.

“The SEC needs to determine if Musk’s first tweet was a false statement when he put it out,” said Gorman. “There must be some documentation around conversations about funding, even if it’s limited. If the Saudi sovereign wealth fund has the ability and willingness to do this, and Musk knew at the time, you might not like the way he did this, but I don’t think that’s an enforcement case.”

Musk did make reference to existing shareholders rolling their stakes into a private company through a special-purpose vehicle when he first tweeted about Tesla’s take-private last week. The details around how such a fund would work weren’t clear, and there’s no obvious precedent for such a thing.

Musk said Monday he is being advised by Silver Lake on taking the company private. Silver Lake helped Michael Dell with his management-led buyout of Dell in 2013. It’s likely Musk wants to emulate how Dell took his company private, Gorman said. Still, Dell dealt with a variety of obstacles, including counterbidders and deducing a fair price for shareholders, when he attempted the leveraged buyout. Musk probably won’t have an easy time moving forward with a buyout even if he avoids the SEC’s glare, Gorman said.

“He can’t make the company do this,” Gorman said. “If the company decides it doesn’t want to do this, then it won’t.”

Ethiopian Airlines leads bids for Nigeria Air

By Business Desk,

Ethiopian Airlines already has contracts for maintenance work with two Nigeria-based carriers, Arik Air and Medview Airline, he said.

In May, Tewolde told Reuters that the airline was in talks with Chad, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea and Guinea to set up carriers through joint ventures. It aimed to create a new airline in Mozambique that it will fully own, the chief executive said at the time.

In June Ethiopia said it would open Ethiopian Airlines and other companies including the telecoms monopoly up to private domestic and foreign investment, but details have not yet been made public.

Tewolde also said that net profit in the 2017/18 financial year rose to $233 million from $229 million the previous year. Ethiopia’s 2017/18 financial year ended last month.

The airline’s operating revenue rose by 43 percent to $3.7 billion in the 2017/18 financial year.

Air Peace to operate first all-female flights on July 5

By News Desk,

Nigerian carrier, Air Peace says it will commence four-sector flights on the Lagos-Abuja, Abuja-Owerri, Owerri-Abuja and Abuja-Lagos routes with an historic all female flight and cabin crew members on Thursday.

The airline made the announcement in a statement signed by its Corporate Communications Manager, Chris Iwarah on Wednesday in Lagos.

Iwarah said the development was coming days after Air Peace gave command to Sinmisola Ajibola, who made history as the airline’s first female captain, who was decorated with her new rank by the airline’s Chairman, Mr Allen Onyema.

He noted that the flight was planned in honour of Ajibola’s achievement, a testament to Air Peace’s avowed commitment to gender equality and promotion of Nigerian women in aviation.

“Although women occupy most of Air Peace’s top positions, Ajibola’s elevation is a great milestone in our effort to build the capacity of women in the cockpit.

“Ajibola, who will be in command of the four-leg flight, will be assisted in the cockpit by Senior First Officer, Quincy Owen,” Iwarah said.

According to him, the all-female crew flight, scheduled to take off from the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at 1.10 p.m. is estimated to arrive to a water salute at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at 2.20 p.m.

Ethiopian Airlines had on Dec. 16, 2017 operated its first all female flight from Addis Ababa to Nigeria.

The Boeing 777 aircraft, which was piloted by Amsale Gualu, landed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, at 1.16 p.m. to the admiration of aviation stakeholders and other dignitaries.

New Tesla software to offer ‘full’ autonomy – Musk

By Business Desk,

SpaceX and Tesla CEO, Elon Musk announced that an update to Tesla’s Autopilot software will be released in August, “it will enable “full self-driving features” for the automaker’s electric cars”.

Musk’s comments come amid a race by automakers and tech firms to roll out fully autonomous vehicles, but also rising concerns about the safety of robotic systems.

The Tesla founder made the disclosure in a Twitter conversation, responding to a user who complained about issues with Autopilot, which is currently considered semi-autonomous with the requirement that a motorist be at the wheel at all times.

Musk said, the updated “Version 9” coming in August would help address a number of issues.

“To date, Autopilot resources have rightly focused entirely on safety. With V9, we will begin to enable full self-driving features,” he said.

Musk offered no details about the system, which could accelerate the effort to put more self-driving cars on the roads in the United States.

Federal safety investigators have been looking into a series of accidents, including at least two datal ones, involving self-driving cars.

Musk has complained about the focus on accidents, arguing that self-driving systems are likely to be far safer than human drivers.

“It’s super messed up that a Tesla crash resulting in a broken ankle is front page news and the (approximately) 40,000 people who died in US auto accidents alone in past year get almost no coverage,” Musk said last month.

The National Transportation Safety Board said in a preliminary report last week that a Tesla operating on Autopilot sped up before a crash into a freeway barrier in California that killed the driver.

In another fatal accident last year, Tesla’s Autopilot failed to detect a truck crossing the road, but investigators pointed out the driver was watching a movie at the time and not paying attention with the semi-autonomous system in operation.

After an Uber self-driving vehicle earlier this year killed a pedestrian in Arizona, investigators said the automatic braking system had been disabled.

Jaguar Land Rover to Cut 1,000 Jobs

Britain’s biggest carmaker, is poised to announce the elimination of around 1,000 posts currently filled by workers on short-term contracts as it grapples with slumping U.K. sales of diesel autos and uncertainty around Brexit.

It added: “In light of the continuing headwinds impacting the car industry, we are making some adjustments to our production schedules and the level of agency staff.

“We are however continuing to recruit large numbers of highly skilled engineers, graduates and apprentices as we over-proportionally invest in new products and technologies.

“We also remain committed to our UK plants in which we have invested more than £4bn since 2010 to future-proof manufacturing technologies to deliver new models.”

Production will be cut at the Castle Bromwich and Solihull sites, with affected staff based at Solihull.

Jaguar Land Rover would not confirm the number of jobs to be lost but said the changes would largely see agency staff not having their contracts renewed. A source told the Reuters news agency that 1,000 roles would be cut.

There are 3,200 people employed at the Castle Bromwich site and a further 10,000 at Solihull.

Some staff roles will also be moved from Castle Bromwich to Solihull.

Speaking to Sky’s Ian King in March, chief executive Ralf Speth had said: “The economy is weaker in the UK than in any other European country but it’s also quite clear that the diesel discussion, additional taxes on the latest technology have created a reaction in the consumer base.”

In January, the firm had said it would temporarily reduce production at its other British plant of Halewood this year in response to weakening demand due to Brexit and tax hikes on diesel cars.

When asked in March if there could be further production cuts at the carmaker’s UK plants, Mr Speth told Ian King: “It’s quite clear that if there’s no demand, then we have to adapt our production levels.

“It’s unfortunate that in the UK demand is not there anymore, and the UK is our home market.

“So in our home market, it’s important that the economy can grow and that we have free opportunity to sell our cars.”

Jaguar sales have fallen 26% so far this year and Land Rover dropped 20%.

Julian Knight, MP for Solihull, said: “The news that has come to us is disturbing, and I am in regular contact with JLR on this issue.

Most expensive 10 cars, costlier than jets

By NewsDesk,

From its etymology, cars were made as means of transportation, with the first steam-powered automobile capable of human transport produced in 1769 by Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot.

Over time, car making has evolved from the first combustion engine fuelled by hydrogen made in 1808 to the 1870 first gasoline powered combustion engine to 1903 when Ford produced thousands of affordable cars for sale.

In recent times, cars have moved from being just a means of transportation to being a symbol of status and power used by the very wealthy and influential.

From the stupendously-rich monarch in the Middle-East, to wealthy business moguls in Europe and America, cars have become another means of showing off wealth.

Big names like Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Rolls Royce often come at very high prices and are only meant for rich collectors as many of them are often sold out before they reach the public.

While most of the cars listed here are wildly out of the reach for most, it is a sheer pleasure just to look at them.

Some of these cars are more expensive than the most affordable Jet: the Cirrus Vision 5-seater jet which goes for $1.96 million.

In fact, the most expensive car in the world which goes for N3.9 billion ($13m), can buy 6 Cirrus Vision Jets. However, most of them are not available in the open market as there are only very limited quantity or they are manufactured on request. In fact there is only one of the most expensive car in the world and it would not be replicated.

The 10 most expensive cars in the World fall within below category:

Bugatti Chiron – $2.7m (N826 million)

Bugatti Chiron – $2.7m (N826 million)

This is one of the latest range of high priced cars made by Bugatti and it starts at around $2.7 million. However, prices are expected to reach $3 million in the least, long before it hits the market.

The Bugatti Chiron is hyped by its manufacturers and touted as the World’s most powerful, fastest, most luxurious and most exclusive production super sports car.

It is a fine example of the collusion of aerospace and automotive engineering to produce a classic device that could give a speed of 268 mph. The 8.0 litre turbo-charged W-16, 1,500-horsepower engine is actually 300 more than the Super Sport, the fastest Veyron model.

Its top speed has been limited to 261 mph on the road, its actual top speed is yet to be tested.

Pagani Huayra BC – $2.8 million (N856 million)

Pagani Huayra BC – $2.8 million (N856 million)

This is the most expensive Pagani ever made and named as a tribute to Benny Caiola, a noted Italian investor with probably the best collection of Ferraris and a very close friend of Horacio Pagani.

This car was first seen at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show with many cool aero features. It is equipped with a 6.0 liter V-12 bi-turbo AMG engine and produces 790 horsepower and 811 lb-ft torque.

And the most amazing bit is that the BC takes over the Huayra by changing the model’s standard 150
Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio – $3 million (N918 million)
This Ferrari was originally introduced as a concept car in 2013 in memory of the late son of of the founder of Pininfarina. Only six of these cars have been made so far making it one of the most coveted cars.

Each of the handmade units has an all-carbon-fibre frame, and is an open air luxury car with two seats. Like the Ferrari 458, it has no roof, side windows and windshield, and is 330 pounds lighter than its ancestor. It is fitted with a 4.5 liter F136F V-8 engine, which sends 562 hp to the rear wheels.

The owners of each of the six models were chosen by the manufacturers themselves, making this one of the rarest of the rare invite-only vehicles.

Aston Martin Valkyrie – $3.2 million (N979 million)

Aston Martin Valkyrie – $3.2 million (N979 million)

Aston Martin is yet to announce a price for this car, experts estimate that it would cost nothing less than 3.2 million dollars. This model is a renovation of the old Aston Martin-Red Bull AM-RB 001. The 6.5 liter, naturally- aspirated V-12 designed specifically for the Cosworth, has a 1:1 power /weight ratio, and comes with a Rimac-built hybrid battery system coming with the engine which yields about a 1,000 horsepower. Only 150 of this particular car is scheduled to be distributed around the world beginning from 2019.

 

 

 

Limited Edition Bugatti Veyron by Masory Vivere – $3.4 million (N1.04 billion)

Limited Edition Bugatti Veyron by Masory Vivere – $3.4 million (N1.04 billion)

This German car is one of the fastest cars in the World and has been upgraded four times since its release in 2005.

It has an awesome lacquered carbon-fibre body along with a new spoiler package providing new diffusers, a smarter cabin and front grill, larger side scoops, a shortened hood, and the like. The 8.0 litre W16 engine of the car can produce 1,200 horsepower and 1,106 pound-feet of torque. The original version could reach up to 253 mph and was named the Car of the Decade 2000-2009.

 

Lykan Hypersport – $3.4 million (N1.04 billion)

Lykan Hypersport – $3.4 million (N1.04 billion)

The headlights are made of urm, 240 15-carat diamonds and the LED blades made of 420 15-carat diamonds. And all the gems are customizable.

It looks like an armored car with scissor doors and an interior straight out of a sci-fi movie, this car featured in the ‘Furious 7’, and has actually been drafted by the Abu Dhabi police for patrol duty.

Built by W Motors, based in Lebanon, this is the first Arab supercar. And it doesn’t fare badly when compared with the traditional European biggies.

It can produce 780 horsepower through the rear wheels, and a 708 pound-feet of torque. It can get to a speed of 240 miles per hour reaching 62mph in just 2.8 seconds.

 

McLaren P1 LM – $3.6 million (N1.1 billion)

McLaren P1 LM – $3.6 million (N1.1 billion)

This is not a production car. It was made keeping in mind a select group of buyers in the U. S., Japan, U. K., and the UAE. It has a 3.8 liter twin-turbo V-8 engine surrounded with gold plating around the engine bay.

The awesomeness of the aerodynamics can be witnessed where it is made for- on track, where it can produce 1000 horsepower. As of yet, only five units have been built, all of them being sold.

 

 

 

 

Lamborghini Veneno Roadster – $4.5 million (N1.38 billion)

Lamborghini Veneno Roadster – $4.5 million (N1.38 billion)

Veneno means Poison. This car was built to celebrate the company’s 50th birthday. It has the look of an alien space capsule, this car can reach speeds that can give one of those a run for their money, literally. The 6.5 liter V12 with a seven-speed single clutch ISR automated manual transmission can spin at 8,400 rpm to yield 740 horsepowers and 507 pound-feet of torque, meaning that the car can do a 60 mph at 2.9 seconds!

Made of carbon-fiber, it had a dry weight of 3,285 pounds. Only 9 units have been made making the cars resell rate very high with the highest recorded resell being $11 million. It was the most expensive car in the world ever produced upon its introduction, and only three being available to customers in the first lot.

 

Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita – $4.8 million (N1.47 Billion)

Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita – $4.8 million (N1.47 Billion)

This is the most expensive production car allowed on the streets. street-legal production car in the world, this is coated with real diamonds. Yes, you read that right. ‘Trevita’ is an abbreviation translating into ‘three whites’. The carbon fibres are indeed coated with a diamond dust-impregnated resin, called the Koenigsegg Proprietary Diamond Weave. This technology transformed the fibres from the traditional black to shining, silvery white, making the bodywork of this car renowned throughout for its unique design and perfection. And that’s not all. Beneath the coating is a 4.8 litre, dual-supercharged V8 having a total output of 1,004 horsepower and 797 pound-feet of torque. This makes it well-equipped at overtaking semis in the freeway. This car comes with a one-of-its-kind dual carbon rear wing, iconell exhaust system, airbags, ABS powered carbon ceramic brakes, paddle-shift, infotainment system, chronometer instrument cluster, tires monitoring systems along with a hydraulic system. Only three cars of this model had been initially decided upon, before getting reduced to two, because the carbon fibre made it too difficult and time-consuming for regular manufacture.

Sweptail by Rolls Royce – $13 million (N3.99 billion)

Sweptail by Rolls Royce – $13 million (N3.99 billion)

Before you gasp at the price, do note that this car is off the markets. That’s because it was made on the recommendations of one specific customer whose name the company has refused to divulge. A company famous for its luxurious rollouts, there were only 4,000 Rolls Royce cars manufactured in 2016! This particular exclusive car comes with its custom coach work, reminiscent of the royal carriages of yore.

Probably modeled on the Wraith, this car can seat only two people (see what they mean by being exclusive?). The sunroof is fully panoramic, tapering down sharply like those of the racing yachts, as per the orders of the customer. Something very cool about the interior handcrafted with wood and leather are the hidden attaché cases for holding laptops behind each door. Not much else is available on this most expensive car in the world, except that it is based on the 1920s and 30s models, and looks like a yacht from the back. The owner does happen to be a collector of super-yachts and private planes.

Bauchi okays N1.38Bn for mass transit revival, 60 buses purchase

By NewsDesk,

The Bauchi State transportation system may soon start experiencing turn around with the state government approval of N1.38 billion earmarked for revival of the state’s Mass Transit Company, operators of ‘Yankari Express’ and other agencies.

As learnt,  the approved fund would be used to purchase 60 buses for the state’s Mass Transit project and that an 18-seater, 2015 model buses would be supplied by Transfiguration Integrated Resource Ltd on loan.

The Special Adviser, Ali Ali, Media and Strategy, to the State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar, disclosed that 30 buses out of the stated figure would be allocated to the state-owned Mass Transit Company, operators of Yankari Express, to enable the company to boost its fleet.

Briefing journalist on outcome of the State Executive Council meeting, presided over by the governor, Ali said that 20 buses would be allocated to the 20 Local Governments in the state, while the remaining 10 buses would be retained by the government.

He hinted that the loan would be repaid in three years through an irrevocable standing order of N190 million monthly and would be deducted at source.

He stated that the exco also approved for the state government to access credit facilities of N8 billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the bank’s Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme.

Ali indicated that the state House of Assembly had earlier approved the loan, while the exco, during its Wednesday’s meeting, approved the loan to improve agricultural activities in the state.

The special adviser added that the state government would access the loan through United Bank for Africa (UBA) and would be used to encourage rice, fish and agro-allied production in the state.

According to him, the state government had started accessing the credit facilities since 2016 when it introduced its ANCHOR Farmers Borrowers’ Programme.

Agency identifies security as obstacle frustrating River port

By NewsDesk, 

The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) Acting Director-General, Chidi Izuwah, has identified security as one of major issued challenges confronting Nigeria Port Authority(NPA) in Rivers, despite all measures been put in place by government to ensure the facility was free of hiccups.

Izuwah explained that the creation of the agency was to ensure that mandate of ICRC with the Public Private Partnership (PPP) was in compliance and to ensure competent execution of all PPP contracts, the measure of which was in line with terms and conditions of contracts.

Speaking on Thursday during an inspection tour of NPA facilities in Port Harcourt, the agency boss stated that the ICRC visit to the facility was to monitor if regulatory policies put in place by Federal Government were functioning as expected.

He added the agency presence at the port was aimed at finding put if there were hiccups and other relative issues that could be disturbing free flow of activities within the facility.

 

The agency’s head disclosed that the policy government on port reform was targeted at achieving increased efficiency of port operations, reducing cost of services to port users.

According to him,  promoting competition in provision of services and to make Nigerian port the hub for international shipping trade in the west and Central African sub- region were also inclusive in the government policy.

“We are here to know if the regulatory policies put in place by Federal Government is working or not, we want to know issues or challenges leading to the “not work’’, he said.

He indicated that without security in the water ways and land, set goals on the policies would not be achieved.

“Investors can only go to cities or countries where their business will strive, not where they are afraid of their lives and properties.

Izuwah urged Nigerian to join in campaign for peace and security in all communities and states to make the nation’s economy grow.

However, the agency’s  boss commended efforts of NPA Port Harcourt in taking positive steps towards ensuring that the obligations as specified in the contract were met, just as he lauded President Mohammadu Buhari administration over its policies which ensured that there be hitch free policies for investors to strive.

In his speech, the Manager, NPA, Port Harcourt, Abubakar Umar, claimed that there had been improvement in services and activities in the Port in spite of its challenges, stating that, the port had recorded more success since the year 2016 till date.

“The port have been busy with cargos coming in since 2016 than it was, we have regular coming of containers and vessels now.

He also mentioned insecurity of vessels on the water ways as one of the major challenges facing NPA Port Harcourt.

“Yes there have been improvement in our activities in the port and it’s a great improvement but not to say that there have not been challenges.

“We have so many challenges facing us on daily bases which has to do with security of our staffs, hijacking of vessels, dragging of the port, piracy and many more,’’ he said.

Umar said that many of these challenges had been put in place, such as blocking the leakages in increase in revenue, recovering some debts owed to NPA by their debtors,

Others were arrangement made to put in place port security main division, upgraded power supply from a lower grid to a higher grid.

Also, Mr Henry Cline, the acting General Manager of Port and Terminal Operators Limited Terminal’ A’ also said that continued piracies at the high sea and hijacking of vessels was one of their big challenges.

Cline also said that dredging of berths, non-construction of common roads leading to terminals, no presence of marine crafts like tugs, pilot cutter and no presence of waterfront security to facilitate the activities.

He called on Federal Government to ensure all agreement signed with the PPP would be carried out to create a conducive environment and boost the economy of the country.

Amaechi sets 2018 for Lagos-Ibadan rail project completion

By Abdulwaheed Usamah,

Assurance has emerged from Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, that by December 2018,  Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line would be completed, and ready for commissioning come January,  2019.

The minister, who passed the assurance during end of the year news briefing and inspection of Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line in Papalanto, Ogun on Tuesday, expressed satisfaction on level of ongoing work on the project, stating that, the contractors were facing challenges that have even been slowing down pace of work.

Amaechi, further said that the Jibowu and Costain bridges in Lagos would be demolished during the process, and that the ministry had gotten the right of way.

According to him, there is no way work could flow without challenges in different forms and issues as such need to be  addressed.

“The challenges are not even here in Ogun, they are worse in Lagos. We are dealing with water, drainage, gas, power and the military.

“The only thing we are dealing with here is just gas and a few power transmission lines and we can manage it.

“I was on a tour with the Governor of Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode, and we have agreed that the two bridges will come down, our target is 2018 December.”

The minister said that two locomotives and 10 coaches had arrived the country which the President will commission this December.

Dutch regulator fines Volkswagen 450,000 euros over diesel ads

Abolaji Adebayo with agency report

The Dutch markets watchdog has fined Volkswagen 450,000 euros ($534,000) for misleading consumers who bought its diesel cars between 2009 and 2015.

A Volkswagen logo is pictured at the International Auto Show in Mexico City, Mexico November 23, 2017.

The Authority for Consumer & Markets (ACM) said it had levied the maximum fine it could on the German carmaker for its use of “defeat devices”, illegal software that made its cars emit less pollution during testing than they did on the road.

The ACM said on Tuesday that Volkswagen had misleadingly advertised the diesel cars as “environmentally friendly” from 2009-2015.