NFIB small business association to join campaign to repeal gas tax hike July 11, 2018 Ed Lenderman, 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsCARMEL VALLEY (KUSI) – Supporters of the Gas Tax Repeal Initiative are touting what they says is an important endorsement.An association said to be the largest representative of small and independent businesses, in California and the nation, is joining the repeal campaign. The initiative recently qualified for the November ballot.Carl DeMaio, the principal organizer of the repeal, says the endorsement by the National Federation of Independent Businesses is important because it represents a “business-group’s break” with Governor Brown. DeMaio was live on Good Morning San Diego and told KUSI’s Ed Lenderman that the Governor and legislators in Sacramento have threatened business groups if they aren’t neutral or if they support the tax.According to DeMaio, they say their offices will be closed to groups that support the repeal and, what’s more, won’t allow the groups to get legislation done. DeMaio says a trucking association cancelled his appearance at the Governor’s request.“The gas and car tax hikes will hit California small business owners hard and will lead to higher prices for every Californian. We are pleased that NFIB is standing up to Governor Jerry Brown and Sacramento politicians to fight for small businesses and every California consumer by supporting Yes on Prop 6 to repeal the gas tax.”— Carl DeMaio, Chairman of Reform California and Yes on Prop 6 – Gas Tax Repeal Campaign.RELATED STORY: Carl DeMaio gives update on Gas Tax Hike Repeal InitiativeGovernor Brown has called the measure flawed and dangerous. For more information, click here. Ed Lenderman Updated: 11:52 AM Posted: July 11, 2018 Categories: California News, Local San Diego News, Politics Tags: Carl DeMaio, Gas Tax, Gas Tax Repeal Initiative FacebookTwitter
The Army will sell the remaining parcels on the main post at the former Fort Monmouth on the northern New Jersey coast to the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority for $33 million, under a draft agreement.While no date has been set for the two parties to complete the deal, LRA officials believe the property transfer should be completed by early fall, reported the Asbury Park Press.“There’s no doubt in my mind now we’re going to get there. It’s either going to be August, September or October,” said Bruce Steadman, the LRA’s executive director.The deal for the remaining parcels on the main post — which will be an outright sale of the property to the LRA — marks the second phase of the property transfer. The LRA plans to seek funding for the purchase from the Monmouth County Improvement Authority.The LRA plans to cover about $10 million of the debt through the sale of three parcels of land on the main post within a year of the transfer. The Army will retain all statutory environmental responsibilities on the main post, under the terms of the transfer.The Army earlier conveyed three parcels on the main post and the installation’s Charles Wood tract to the authority for $1. The Army receives 60 percent of the revenue from parcels sold under that agreement. Dan Cohen AUTHOR
Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) Now playing: Watch this: CNET may get a commission from retail offers. $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express 4 Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) $59 at eBay $999 Turo: Save $30 on any car rental $520 at HP 8:39 JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) Read Google Home Hub review I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Amazon,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. $299 at Amazon Comments Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. Rylo Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) Sprint The 15 coolest things you can do with your Amazon Echo Share your voice Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. Amazon Comments Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X 39 Photos Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) See It Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). Sarah Tew/CNET Boost Mobile Chris Monroe/CNET Angela Lang/CNET Turo Share your voice $999 Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) Read the AirPods review Read the Rylo camera preview Sarah Tew/CNET $60 at Best Buy Tags Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. See at Turo An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. Read Lenovo Smart Clock review $210 at Best Buy Smart Home Tech Industry Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. Sarah Tew/CNET See at Amazon Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) $999 What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. Best Buy $6 at Tidal Sarah Tew/CNET $999 The e-commerce giant will also release an upgraded version of its Echo speaker, which is apparently being developed at the same Sunnyvale, California, lab as Vesta, Bloomberg reported. The speaker may be wider than the current Echo to fit the additional components.In an emailed response to the report, Amazon said it doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation.First published at 6:06 a.m. PT.Updated at 8:30 a.m. PT: Adds Amazon response. The Cheapskate See It Tags Read DJI Osmo Action preview Apple iPhone XS See It See it 7 HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) The Amazon Echo Show 5 helps Alexa fit nicely on your… Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays Amazon may be putting extra resources into a home robot project. Ben Fox Rubin/CNET Amazon is reportedly putting more engineers to work on a smart home robot, a secret project called Vesta that was hinted at last year. The robot isn’t ready for mass production yet.The waist-high robot moves around on wheels, uses computer-vision cameras and may be a mobile version of Amazon voice assistant Alexa, according to Bloomberg, which cited anonymous sources familiar with the project. $155 at Google Express The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price.
Listen Laura Isensee/Houston Public MediaTrustee Diana Dávila issued an apology to the community on behalf of the Houston school board, for how they’ve behaved over the last 10 months.The Houston school board has apologized to students, teachers and parents for a contentious meeting last meeting that saw the board split along racial lines, an abrupt change in leadership and widespread criticism for dysfunctional governance.All nine members of the board for the Houston Independent School District stood together, as Trustee Diana Dávila issued the formal apology. She’s the one who made the motion last week to bring back former Houston superintendent Abelardo Saavedra as an interim leader, replacing Grenita Lathan. “Our actions have not modeled the behavior that we hope to instill in our children that we serve,” Dávila said. The board announced at the Monday afternoon press conference that they are scrapping that plan to shuffle leadership. Lathan is expected to return as interim superintendent, after an official vote at a special meeting Thursday.“The most important line of action right now is getting to work for the benefit of our school communities, our parents and, most importantly, our students,” Lathan said, quoting Maya Angelou on getting to work. “Thank you, thank you to the Board of Education for reaffirming your confidence in my abilities to lead this district.”Until last Thursday, Lathan had served as interim superintendent since March, when the previous leader, Richard Carranza, abruptly resigned and left for a job in New York City in March. Under Lathan’s tenure, the state’s largest school district, with over 200,000 students, improved several chronically struggling schools and managed to avoid tough state sanctions.The school board plans to meet Thursday to reinstate Lathan and consider other ways to improve how they govern and treat each other. Those include:an executive coach for the board;an executive coach for the acting superintendent;creating an official end date for the ongoing search for a permanent superintendent and;requesting a change in conservator from the Texas Education Agency.“We cannot change the past but must learn from it,” said Trustee Jolanda Jones. “That is a value we foster in our students and must also foster in ourselves. We will work to behave as adults and treat each other with respect.”The board also said they plan to create new guidelines for transparency and ethics.Still, the nine members of the Houston school board refused to answer any questions from reporters at the press conference and didn’t explain why they decided to backtrack on changing leadership.UPDATE:Several elected officials have defended the Houston school board. U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, spoke to reporters after trustees apologized and then refused to answer questions.“I think an apology and saying I’m sorry is one of the greatest lessons any child or any person can learn. Let’s give them a chance. They’re going to have another board meeting on Thursday. That will be a board meeting in regular order, if you will,” Jackson Lee said.Other lawmakers, however, have called for major changes. State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, said in a statement that it’s time for the Texas Education Commissioner to appoint a board of governors to manage the state’s largest school district.Bettencourt, who chairs a key education committee in the Texas Legislature, said that he was already planning to file a bill to reform how the district is governed.“These superintendents are not the problem, the HISD Board of Trustees is!” Bettencourt said in a statement. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /00:54 X Share
Syracuse crossed the plate first in the third inning for an unearned run. The Cards responded in the fifth with Melton’s single driving home Funke. Another unearned run by the Orange in the sixth inning gave the lead back to Syracuse. Story Links The University of Louisville softball team notched its first ACC win with a 4-2 victory over Syracuse (8-15, 0-1) Friday afternoon at Ulmer Stadium. Melton finished the game with four RBIs, going 2-for-3 at the plate. The redshirt senior said she got familiar with Syracuse pitcher Alexa Romero. Redshirt freshman Taylor Roby recorded a one-out double in the bottom of the sixth. A strike out put the pressure on as sophomore Maddy Newman took the plate. The Indiana native dropped down a bunt and beat out the throw to first to keep the scoring chance alive. Preview ACC Network Extra Louisville 4 – Syracuse 2 Sidney Melton Postgame Interview Live Stats “That was my fourth at bat so I had seen her a couple of times so I thought I could get on top of the ball. I knew what she was throwing so I could hit it square,” Melton said. Redshirt senior Sidney Melton pushed the winning runs across in the sixth inning with a three-run double to help the Cards overcome a 2-1 deficit. Sophomore Danielle Watson (6-5) pitched a complete game, striking out nine and allowing four hits. Watch Live Full Schedule Roster Funke walked to load the bases with two outs. With a 0-1 count, Melton cracked a bases-clearing double to flip the scoring favor back to Louisville. Junior Celene Funke tied a school record with a pair of triples, scored two runs and added a stolen base in the win. The centerfielder has an ACC- and team-high eight triples. The Cardinals (18-7, 1-0 ACC) and the Orange (8-15, 0-1) will meet in game two on Saturday at 1 p.m. Watson stamped the game a two swinging-strikeouts to finish off the Orange. Matchup History Louisville is 4-1 in ACC openers and 15-5 in conference openers overall. The Cardinals are 7-0 at Ulmer Stadium this season. UofL has won 12 of its last 13 games. Celene Funke tied a school record with two triples in the game. She now has eight triples on the season and 10 in her career- placing her tied for fourth on Louisville’s all-time list. Funke is currently on a nine-game hitting streak. She leads the team with a .407 batting average, 35 hits, 25 runs and a .674 slugging percentage. Melton has reached base via a hit or a walk in the last nine games. Melton leads the team with 11 stolen bases and has 44 in her career, standing sixth on Louisville’s all-time list. She needs two more to move into a three-way tie for fourth with Kristin Austin (2009-12) and Candi Hicks (2004-07) Rebecca Chung extended her hitting streak to seven games. Danielle Watson earned her sixth win of the season – all three of Louisville’s starting pitchers have six wins apiece.Print Friendly Version Alexa Romero (4-4) took the loss, allowing four earned runs on eight hits and striking out eight in 6.0 innings.LOUISVILLE NOTES Next Game: SYRACUSE 3/16/2019 | 1:00 p.m.
Chinese Streamer iQIYI Squeezed by Changing Content Context Chinese video streaming giant iQIYI is looking to expand its service across 10 countries within South East Asia. The move would be the NASDAQ-listed company’s first venture beyond Greater China.The move was disclosed on Wednesday by Yang Xianghua, president of membership & overseas business group, iQIYI, as part of a presentation at the APOS conference in Indonesia. He provided no timetable for execution of the plan.The company’s biggest rival in China, Tencent Video is already moving in the same direction. Tencent gave a soft launch to a VoD service in Thailand in November last year. It formally launched its Thai service last month under the name WeTV, with a mix of Chinese, Thai, Korean and U.S. content.The Chinese video industry has evolved rapidly from a DVD-based and piracy dominated industry at the beginning of the decade into one of the most sophisticated online environments in the world. The three long form leaders – iQIYI, Tencent Video and Alibaba’s Youku — now have higher content spend than China’s traditional TV players. And they have achieved global scale, while operating in China without competition from Netflix and Amazon. Popular on Variety Related China’s iQIYI in Talks for Indonesia Expansion iQIYI operates a mixed business model with both advertising and subscription tiers. It reports 87 million paying subscribers, delivering $1.58 billion (RMB10.6 billion) of revenue from membership services. Subscriptions account for roughly a third of iQIYI’s group revenue.iQIYI plans to make its app available for download from virtual stores across the region, but it will not become wholly operational in each territory straight away. It is understood to be considering the opening of a Singapore office and is exploring relations with Astro in Malaysia.Those two countries boast significant Chinese diaspora populations. Other priority countries are understood to include Thailand, which boasts a significantly digital savvy population and tumbling data costs, and youthful Vietnam.iQIYI boasts a large volume of original Chinese-language content, which it has commissioned or produced. Innovative technology and original content have helped convert free users into paying subscribers within China. The company now foresees further increases in production budgets to make original content that will win over Asian viewers.In the medium term iQIYI original content could be supplemented with original local content, co-productions and acquired material.To date iQIYI’s only operational experience outside mainland China has been in Taiwan. “We have learned a lot about different models and systems, and about different tastes in films, and Korean series,” said Yang. “We have other strengths such as music – our series ‘The Rap of China’ is already popular in Malaysia – and the strength of Chinese stars and idols.”“In Asean, Thailand and Indonesia are two strategic countries for Tencent and the company has a lot of consumer business in Thailand that it can leverage faster,” Li Kaichen, director of strategy development at Tencent and head of Tencent’s overseas video business, recently told Thai media. Tencent owns the WeChat social media ecosystem in China and in 2016 acquired majority control of Thai directory and social media platform Sanook. Many industry commentators expect Asia’s multitude of regional streaming companies to undergo a phase of rationalization within the next two years. While neither iQIYI or Tencent has talked of corporate acquisitions in Asia, their deep pockets and an ambition to keep growing once the Chinese video market reaches maturity, makes it an intriguing possibility. It would potentially put the Chinese video giants head to head with the global platforms Netflix, Amazon and Disney+.“The way that Chinese companies have approached e-commerce in the region has been to plant a flag, see where they can grow organically, and then to buy where necessary,” a streaming executive told Variety at APOS. “It remains to be seen how well they can operate video in markets where Chinese content is not dominant.” ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15
Captive Zebra Finch Taeniopygia guttata at Bodelwyddan Castle Aviary, Denbighshire, Wales. Image: Arpingstone/Wikipedia. (PhysOrg.com) — In a recent study, in what is likely to stir some controversy, researchers from the Max Planck Institute in Germany have shown that finches in the wild, normally a monogamous type of bird, tend to cheat on their “spouses” and what’s more, it appears to be an inherited trait; but that’s not the end of it, the researchers also suggest in their paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that such inherited traits may also exist in other species, including man. It has actually been known for quite some time that finches tend to stray, and while the male behavior seemed clear and well understood, the female behavior was somewhat of a puzzle. The males, by straying were spreading their seed around, thus keeping things in the finch world, richly diversified. But why would the females go along with the whole game, as there didn’t seem any reward for them?To find out, the team, led by Wolfgang Forstmeier, studied 1,554 zebra finches over five generations; taking DNA samples along the way. In addition to studying their natural behavior, they also swiped the eggs from some nests and deposited them in others to make sure the birds weren’t learning their errant behavior from a parent.What they found was that male finches with a father that strayed, were more likely to stray themselves, regardless of whether that father was around to help raise them. They also found the same was true for the females, a surprising result, but one that makes sense when you consider that if birds in any given area are to remain diversified, at least some of the females are going to have to stray as well; but not all, as clearly finches benefit from having nearly monogamous mates to help raise their young.The authors, even as they step out on a limb to suggest the same traits may hold true for human beings as well as for birds, immediately backtrack, making it clear they realized that there is far more going on when people stray, than when birds do so. Even so, it’s an interesting idea; one some people might use after learning about the results of this study, when looking for a rationale to excuse their behavior. More information: Female extrapair mating behavior can evolve via indirect selection on males, PNAS, Published online before print June 13, 2011, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1103195108AbstractIn many species that form socially monogamous pair bonds, a considerable proportion of the offspring is sired by extrapair males. This observation has remained a puzzle for evolutionary biologists: although mating outside the pair bond can obviously increase the offspring production of males, the benefits of such behavior to females are less clear, yet females are known to actively solicit extrapair copulations. For more than two decades adaptionist explanations have dominated the discussions, yet remain controversial, and genetic constraint arguments have been dismissed without much consideration. An intriguing but still untested hypothesis states that extrapair mating behavior by females may be affected by the same genetic variants (alleles) as extrapair mating behavior by males, such that the female behavior could evolve through indirect selection on the male behavior. Here we show that in the socially monogamous zebra finch, individual differences in extrapair mating behavior have a hereditary component. Intriguingly, this genetic basis is shared between the sexes, as shown by a strong genetic correlation between male and female measurements of extrapair mating behavior. Hence, positive selection on males to sire extrapair young will lead to increased extrapair mating by females as a correlated evolutionary response. This behavior leads to a fundamentally different view of female extrapair mating: it may exist even if females obtain no net benefit from it, simply because the corresponding alleles were positively selected in the male ancestors. Explore further Citation: Study shows genes may play a role in promiscuity (2011, June 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-06-genes-role-promiscuity.html © 2010 PhysOrg.com Infidelity pays off for female Gouldian finches This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Swedish cable operator Com Hem has unveiled plans to raise about SEK5.5 billion (€610 million) through an IPO on the Stockholm stock exchange.Com Hem said the goal of the offering is to reduce the company’s debt levels and provide additional financial flexibility. The company aims to reduce its net leverage to about 4.15 times underlying EBITDA as of June 30, with a target of getting the ration down to between 3.5 and 4 times EBITDA in the medium term.Com Hem’s announcement follows a Bloomberg report last week that it was in advanced stages of planning an IPO. The company was first reported to be in talks with its owner, London-based private-equity firm BC Partners, about a possible listing back in January.The operator has highlighted its strong fundamentals, with a 39% share of Swedish homes connected to its network and a 61% share of digital TV subscribers within its footprint. It is also the number one broadband provider in its footprint with a 44% share and the number two broadband provider nationally. The company posted net sales of SEK4.448 billion last year with underlying EBITDA of SEK2.2 billion.The share issue will primarily consist of a new ordinary shares issue, although BC Partners may sell some of the shares in Com Hem held by its local holding company NorCell.JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Nordea are acting as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners, while Carnegie is acting as a joint bookrunner and Rothschild is financial advisor.““We have in the past few years made significant investments in the network, new products and the operations, which will enable us to fully capture the potential of this company,” said Com Hem CEO Anders Nilsson.“Com Hem has the fastest broadband offering in 80 percent of our cable footprint, last year we launched the leading digital TV offering with TiVo in Sweden and we have made an accelerated entry into the B2B segment through the acquisition of Phonera Företag this year.”Nikos Stathopoulos, managing partner at BC Partners said: “Becoming a public company is a natural next step for Com Hem as it will broaden its shareholder base, provide financial flexibility by reducing leverage and enhance the company’s growth prospects. We will continue to support Com Hem, its strong management team and staff and we welcome new shareholders to take part in the future development of Com Hem.”