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  • 14 Feb 2022 9:39 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    “We envision an Indo-Pacific that is open, connected, prosperous, resilient, and secure—and we are ready to work together with each of you to achieve it.”
    President Joe Biden
     East Asia Summit
    October 27, 2021

    The Biden-Harris Administration has made historic strides to restore American leadership in the Indo-Pacific and adapt its role for the 21st century. In the last year, the United States has modernized its longstanding alliances, strengthened emerging partnerships, and forged innovative links among them to meet urgent challenges, from competition with China to climate change to the pandemic. It has done so at a time when allies and partners around the world are increasingly enhancing their own engagement in the Indo-Pacific; and when there is broad, bipartisan agreement in the U.S. Congress that the United States must, too. This convergence in commitment to the region, across oceans and across political-party lines, reflects an undeniable reality: the Indo-Pacific is the most dynamic region in the world, and its future affects people everywhere.

    That reality is the basis of the Indo-Pacific Strategy of the United States. This strategy outlines President Biden’s vision to more firmly anchor the United States in the Indo-Pacific and strengthen the region in the process. Its central focus is sustained and creative collaboration with allies, partners, and institutions, within the region and beyond it.

    The United States will pursue an Indo-Pacific region that is:

    1. FREE AND OPEN

    Our vital interests and those of our closest partners require a free and open Indo-Pacific, and a free and open Indo-Pacific requires that governments can make their own choices and that shared domains are governed lawfully. Our strategy begins with strengthening resilience, both within individual countries, as we have done in the United States, and among them. We will advance a free and open region, including by:

    • Investing in democratic institutions, a free press, and a vibrant civil society
    • Improving fiscal transparency in the Indo-Pacific to expose corruption and drive reform
    • Ensuring the region’s seas and skies are governed and used according to international law
    • Advancing common approaches to critical and emerging technologies, the internet, and cyber space

    2. CONNECTED

    A free and open Indo-Pacific can only be achieved if we build collective capacity for a new age. The alliances, organizations, and rules that the United States and its partners have helped to build must be adapted. We will build collective capacity within and beyond the region, including by: 

    • Deepening our five regional treaty alliances with Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK), the Philippines, and Thailand
    • Strengthening relationships with leading regional partners, including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Pacific Islands
    • Contributing to an empowered and unified ASEAN
    • Strengthening the Quad and delivering on its commitments
    • Supporting India’s continued rise and regional leadership
    • Partnering to build resilience in the Pacific Islands
    • Forging connections between the Indo-Pacific and the Euro-Atlantic
    • Expanding U.S. diplomatic presence in the Indo-Pacific, particularly in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands

    3. PROSPEROUS

    The prosperity of everyday Americans is linked to the Indo-Pacific. That fact requires investments to encourage innovation, strengthen economic competitiveness, produce good-paying jobs, rebuild supply chains, and expand economic opportunities for middle-class families: 1.5 billion people in the Indo-Pacific will join the global middle class this decade. We will drive Indo-Pacific prosperity, including by:

    • Proposing an Indo-Pacific economic framework, through which we will:
      • Develop new approaches to trade that meet high labor and environmental standards
      • Govern our digital economies and cross-border data flows according to open principles, including through a new digital economy framework
      • Advance resilient and secure supply chains that are diverse, open, and predictable
      • Make shared investments in decarbonization and clean energy
    • Promoting free, fair, and open trade and investment through the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), including in our 2023 host year
    • Closing the region’s infrastructure gap through Build Back Better World with G7 partners

    4. SECURE

    For 75 years, the United States has maintained a strong and consistent defense presence necessary to support regional peace, security, stability, and prosperity. We are extending and modernizing that role and enhancing our capabilities to defend our interests and to deter aggression against U.S. territory and against our allies and partners. We will bolster Indo-Pacific security, drawing on all instruments of power to deter aggression and to counter coercion, including by:

    • Advancing integrated deterrence
    • Deepening cooperation and enhancing interoperability with allies and partners
    • Maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait
    • Innovating to operate in rapidly evolving threat environments, including space, cyberspace, and critical- and emerging-technology areas
    • Strengthening extended deterrence and coordination with our ROK and Japanese allies and pursuing the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula
    • Continuing to deliver on AUKUS
    • Expanding U.S. Coast Guard presence and cooperation against other transnational threats
    • Working with Congress to fund the Pacific Deterrence Initiative and the Maritime Security Initiative

    5. RESILIENT

    The Indo-Pacific faces major transnational challenges. Climate change is growing ever-more severe as South Asia’s glaciers melt and the Pacific Islands battle existential rises in sea levels. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to inflict a painful human and economic toll across the region. And Indo-Pacific governments grapple with natural disasters, resource scarcity, internal conflict, and governance challenges. Left unchecked, these forces threaten to destabilize the region. We will build regional resilience to 21st-century transnational threats, including by:

    • Working with allies and partners to develop 2030 and 2050 targets, strategies, plans, and policies consistent with limiting global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius
    • Reducing regional vulnerability to the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation
    • Ending the COVID-19 pandemic and bolstering global health security
    • Source: The White House

  • 14 Feb 2022 9:31 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Air New Zealand is preparing to restart dozens of international routes off the back of the government's easing of borders and isolation requirements.

    A raft of 24 international routes to the Pacific, trans-Tasman and long-haul destinations have been scheduled between February 28 and September. Among the flights the airline has confirmed will return to service are direct services to Seoul, Chicago and New Caledonia.

    Last week's announcement of the phasing out of MIQ and border restrictions from February 28 was met with excitement by the national carrier.

    With much of the international network dormant since the beginning of 2020, the five-step border plan has seen a huge uptick in demand for long-haul travel through 2022.

    New home isolation for international travel has boosted confidence in international travel, says Air New Zealand's Chief Customer and Sales Office, Leanne Geraghty.

    "As expected, we have seen strong demand following the announcement with our first flights on February 28 almost sold out."

    Three-hundred flights have been rescheduled between New Zealand and Australia in March, following the removal of MIQ requirements for Kiwis returning from abroad.

    Geraghty said that last week's border announcement was something their international network had been preparing for.

    "We've kept our operation ready for this. In the last few months, it's been great to bring back some of our pilots, with some cabin crew returning to training from February 28, as we anticipate a return to global travel. "

    Auckland-Singapore is set to be the first long-haul relaunch from March 27 and the flagship Auckland-Chicago route to O'Hare is due to be back in operation by the end of September.

    There is, as yet, no date for Air New Zealand's promised direct Dreamliner service to New York. The airline confirmed that this service was still on track to be announced this year.

    Last year, airline boss Greg Foran said the Big Apple was still on the table with "a team working to get this route up and running" for 2022.

    New Zealand's other international airports are also due to get new connections.

    Christchurch and Wellington are set to get direct air links to Nadi Airport in Fiji. Queenstown, Christchurch and Wellington will also be getting additional connections with Australia from the middle of the year.

    From midnight on February 27 New Zealanders returning from Australia will be able to bypass MIQ to isolate at home. On March 13 this will be open to New Zealanders returning from other international destinations. Finally, from April, New Zealand visa holders will be able to enter the country without an MIQ booking.

    To fly abroad passengers will have to comply with Air new Zealand's international checklist.
    This includes possession of an up-to-date International Vaccine Certificate, which is different to the My Vaccine Pass, a negative pre-departure test and appropriate online or paper travel declarations.

    These are likely to differ depending on your intended final destination.

    And don't forget to check your passport is still in date.

    The long haul restart plan:

    Asia and US

    Auckland - Singapore, March 27
    Auckland - San Francisco, April 14
    Auckland - Seoul, July 7
    Auckland - Chicago, September 30

    Pacific

    Auckland - Honolulu, July 4
    Auckland - Tahiti, July 6
    Auckland - New Caledonia, July 6
    Christchurch - Nadi, July 5
    Wellington - Nadi, July 5

    Australia

    Auckland - Adelaide, July 6
    Auckland - Cairns, July 5
    Auckland - Hobart, July 7
    Auckland - Gold Coast, March 2
    Auckland - Sunshine Coast, July 9
    Christchurch - Brisbane, February 28
    Christchurch - Sydney, March 1
    Christchurch - Melbourne, July 2
    Christchurch - Gold Coast, July 3
    Wellington - Brisbane, March 31
    Wellington - Melbourne, April 4
    Wellington - Sydney, April 5
    Queenstown - Brisbane, June 24
    Queenstown - Melbourne, June 24
    Queenstown - Sydney, June 25

    Source: NZ Herald

  • 13 Feb 2022 2:49 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Formus combines AI and biomechanics to empower orthopedic surgeons with fully interactive 3D models to optimize the preoperative planning process.

    AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Feb. 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Formus Labs, the world's first automated 3D planner for joint replacement surgeries, today announced it has raised US $5 million (USD) and the public launch of its orthopedic surgery planning solution which provides surgeons with unprecedented insight into the pre-operation planning process. The investment was led by VC firm GD1 (Global from Day 1), with participation from Punakaiki Fund, Icehouse Ventures, Pacific Channel, and Flying Kiwis. The company will use the funds to accelerate product development and its expansion into the US.

    Formus Labs also announced its partnership with Zimmer Biomet, a global medical technology leader committed to the co-development and commercialization of Formus Hip in Australia and New Zealand, as well as to the investigation of international markets for global expansion.

    Globally, one in five knee replacements are unsatisfactory and one in ten hip replacements need revision, which ends up costing the orthopedic industry $10 billion (USD) per year. Joint replacement surgery is extremely technical and each procedure is unique since each patient requires different sized and positioned parts. Additionally, the process to accurately diagnose, size and complete a joint replacement is currently fraught with time-intensive manual imaging processing, as well as other costs related to sterilization and shipping logistics when it comes to the range of trays needed for each surgery.

    The Formus platform is ushering in the future of orthopedic planning by fully automating the joint replacement planning process. It uses artificial intelligence and biomechanics to produce fully interactive 3D models to pinpoint the size and orientation required before a patient ever enters the operating room. It also allows surgeons to work on cases remotely at any hospital anywhere in the world, significantly reducing patient wait times, improving overall workflow, and ultimately creating better outcomes for patients.

    With Formus Labs a surgeon can get automated, specific plans that are personalized to each patient. The software is able to deliver plans in an hour and can be updated in real time making same day 3D planning a reality.

    "Everyone knows someone that has had a joint replacement, but few know just how complex, variable, and costly the process can be," said Dr. Ju Zhang, founder and CEO of Formus Labs. "Our goal is to make orthopedic surgery as simple as it can be by arming surgeons with the latest cutting-edge technology so every joint replacement has a Formus plan that reduces the need for revisions, instills confidence, and facilitates better outcomes for patients, at a lower cost."

    "We have been tracking Formus Labs for a while and from the very first time we met with Ju and the Formus team, we were impressed with the passion and vision to modernize a part of the care continuum that is still woefully underserved. We are very excited to support their critical mission in helping to deliver state-of-the-art, personalized, data-driven and scalable orthopedic care globally and look forward to the team executing on its goals," said John Kells, co-managing partner at GD1. "As value adding partners beyond the capital we've invested, GD1 will continue to work closely with Formus to refine their go-to market strategy, assist with the team's expansion, and by identifying strategic partners and co-investors for the journey ahead."

    Formus Labs will officially launch the Hip product offering in Australia and New Zealand this month, to be followed by focused and strategic product evaluation in the United States after expected FDA approval in mid-2022. The company is rapidly expanding its team, both in ANZ and the US, including strategic computer-guided orthopedic surgery experts, engineering, commercial, and marketing roles. For more information visit, formuslabs.com/careers.

    About Formus Labs
    Formus Labs is the world's first automated 3D planner for joint replacement surgeries. The Formus cloud platform brings surgeons together with AI and computational biomechanics to deliver cutting-edge orthopedic software solutions. Founded from within the world-renowned Auckland Bioengineering Institute, Formus empowers surgeons to improve the lives of patients worldwide. For more information, visit formuslabs.com.

    About GD1
    GD1 is an institutional-grade VC fund manager supporting globally ambitious companies with capital, operating expertise, and a vast network in order to help them achieve growth on the world stage. We invest from seed to scale, with headquarters in New Zealand and connections globally. Our purpose is to help New Zealand founders and teams believe bigger by helping New Zealand to dream, act, and achieve at a global scale. GD1's deep expertise in venture capital and real-world global operating knowledge was gained via experience in technology companies across Europe, Silicon Valley, and New Zealand. This experience, as well as ongoing relationships, ensures that founders and management teams are supported from day one. We dedicate our expertise, resources, and networks to influence change and build global winners. For more information, visit gd1.vc.

    SOURCE Formus Labs

  • 26 Jan 2022 4:51 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    DCI Data Centers (DCI) has secured its second site in New Zealand to construct a major new data centre.

    DCI plans to develop the 5-hectare site in North Auckland into one of New Zealand’s largest data centres. DCI commenced construction of its first New Zealand cloud data centre at its North West site (AKL01) mid last year.

    Malcolm Roe, Chief Executive Officer for Australia and New Zealand, says securing the second site is a significant milestone in the company’s investment in New Zealand.

    “With increasing use of cloud services, we are committed to a major investment programme for cloud data infrastructure in New Zealand.

    “AKL01 was the first step on this journey and with construction now well underway, we are pleased to have secured our second site to help meet strong demand and address a critical capacity gap in the area.

    “DCI AKL01 and AKL02 will be purpose-built, secure, environmentally-friendly cloud data centres designed specifically for the New Zealand market.

    “These two investments by DCI will collectively bring over NZD $600 million to the Auckland region, with a combined economic value exceeding NZD $1.4 billion over the life of the projects. Each data centre will create more than 150 jobs during construction and approximately 250 ongoing skilled information technology and telecommunications jobs once the sites are operational.

    “AKL01 and AKL02 will deliver the infrastructure required for Kiwis to access the best internet-based services, at high speed and competitive prices, while ensuring a vibrant and competitive local cloud services market and the sovereignty of New Zealand citizens’ data.”

    Roe says DCI has taken a highly consultative approach in New Zealand.

    “We have engaged with both government and industry stakeholders to design a data centre ready for an accelerated digital agenda, one that enables the use of cloud technology to drive innovation, improve productivity, and enhance security to better protect data and information for all New Zealand organisations.

    “We are delighted to commence construction of our first highly-secure and sustainable cloud data centre in New Zealand. As organisations adopt cloud technologies to automate digital processes and simplify their IT operations, the need for reliable, local cloud delivery will become increasingly business critical.”

    DCI is committed to working with local trade and construction organisations and has chosen construction firm Naylor Love to build the new AKL01 facility in North West Auckland.

    “We’re delighted to be partnered with Naylor Love on this project. Their work is world-class, and they share our absolute commitment to sustainability,” says Roe.

    “As our data centre fleet continues to grow, we are realising efficiencies with how we design and build facilities at speed across the Asia Pacific region, and we look forward to working with the local design and construction sectors to bring these insights to AKL01 and AKL02.

    “DCI is leading the industry in delivering new cooling technologies to significantly enhance our power utilisation effectiveness and water utilisation effectiveness to minimise our impact on the environment.

    “We intend to run our facilities in New Zealand from 100 per cent renewable sources, and to set industry leading benchmarks for water and energy efficiency.”

    AKL01 is already fully leased and will be ready for service in early-2023. Construction of AKL02 is scheduled to commence in mid-2022.

    Connect with us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/dci-data-centers/

  • 20 Jan 2022 10:42 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    We’re super excited to announce that the second act of the Moxion story begins today!

    When we began Moxion in 2015, our dream was always to provide the world's filmmakers with the most innovative cloud-based dailies and production tools.

    By joining forces with Autodesk, that ambition takes a giant leap forward.

    And with this giant step, we will continue our customer-first approach and ensure the resources and reach of Autodesk are focused on helping Moxion deliver even better features and integrations for our filmmakers.

    As founders, we are committed to both our customers and the company - which is why nothing changes there and we will continue to be at the helm and your usual Moxion contact points remain.

    What does change is that now we can combine the talents of our brilliant Moxion team with the deep resources and wealth of engineering talent at Autodesk to give our customers more: 

    More powerful tools and features. 

    More integrated processes across the entire content production chain to help unite data, increase collaboration and improve project efficiencies. 

    And more creativity as we align with Autodesk's incredible offerings in downstream post-production.

    While this acquisition is a logical blending of two complementary businesses, it is also a tribute to the creativity, ingenuity and expertise of New Zealand’s tech community - and another feather in the cap of the talent we have in this country.

    In sum, we have more movies and television to help make and a rapidly evolving industry to help shape. And through this exciting new shared vision with Autodesk, to find even more innovative ways to help filmmakers everywhere tell better stories, faster.

    https://www.moxion.io/


  • 13 Jan 2022 11:46 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Business can compete and win on the strength of our ideas.

    In her first State of American Business address today, U.S. Chamber President and CEO Suzanne P. Clark highlighted the innovation and resilience of American business while warning against increasing government overreach stifling competition and free enterprise.  

    “The state of American business is competitive,” said Clark. “Businesses are not simply competing to win today, but to build a better tomorrow … to propel our country and world toward a brighter future of growth, solutions, and opportunity.” 

    However, despite the clear innovation, the resilience, and the dynamism of our economy, we have leaders who think the government needs to step in and impose a heavy hand, Clark said. 

    “If bureaucrats and elected officials don’t stop getting in the way, we will stop them. We will challenge overreach and defend the rule of law at every turn, in every agency, and with every tool at our disposal … in Washington, in statehouses, and in the courts.” 

    “Competition will enable us to innovate our way through this pandemic,” she said. “And it will help us use all of the challenges, disruptions, and opportunities accelerated by the pandemic to shape a new economic era that will define our future.” 

    Worker Shortage 

    Addressing the worker shortage crisis, Clark called for doubling the number of people legally immigrating to the U.S.; a permanent solution for the “dreamers;” and the removal of barriers to work facing parents, those without broadband access, and formerly incarcerated individuals. 

    “Let’s ensure everyone in this country has the skills, the education, and the opportunity to go as high and as far as their hard work and talent will take them—for the 11 million jobs that sit vacant today,” she said. “And for the jobs of tomorrow that haven’t even been invented yet.” 

    Trade 

    Clark warned that by one vital measure—trade—the United States is falling behind.  

    “While other economies race to ink new deals, the U.S. hasn’t entered an agreement with a new trade partner in a decade. And the current administration is doing little to change that.” 

    Bold Business Advocates 

    Clark also warned against political gridlock and said we need more politicians who are focused on winning over voters to their ideas, and then building broad coalitions to turn those ideas into good policy. 

    “The U.S. Chamber is calling for a new movement of bold—and I mean bold—business advocates committed to defending those elected officials who dare to find the common ground necessary to enact durable policies to move our country forward.”  

    Click here to read the full speech transcript. 

    Following Clark’s speech, leaders in business and government including Pfizer Chairman and CEO Dr. Albert Bourla, UPS CEO Carol Tomé, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) discussed innovations and smart solutions that will move our country forward.  

    Over the next four weeks, the U.S. Chamber will continue the conversation through “The Competition” series of virtual events. The new series will feature business leaders, lawmakers, and policy experts exploring how competition is shaping the future of talent, ideas, the marketplace, and global leadership. Join us on Tuesday, January 18 at 11 a.m. for our first conversation: Competition for Global Leadership: Trade, AI, and Security

  • 11 Jan 2022 2:30 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    New Frontline Success Platform helps service businesses lead from the frontline

    PORTLAND, Oregon and AUCKLAND, New Zealand: AskNicely, a leader in customer experience software for service businesses, announced today that it has completed a $32M Series B funding round and is launching the world’s first Frontline Success Platform. 

    The round was led by Five Elms Capital with participation from existing investors Nexus Venture Partners and Blackbird Ventures. As part of the funding, Ryan Mandl from Five Elms will join the AskNicely board.

    The funding will help AskNicely lead the next generation of customer experience software for service businesses, bringing better technology to frontline teams. According to CEO, Aaron Ward, “Traditional customer experience software solutions do an ok job keeping analysts busy with mountains of data, but they totally ignore the actual people responsible for serving the customer. It’s kind of outrageous that the class of worker that’s most impactful on the customer experience is also the most under-served, under-paid, and under-appreciated. We’ve designed AskNicely for the frontline worker and made it our mission to make frontline work awesome.

    The new Frontline Success platform takes inspiration from some of the world’s leading people-powered businesses who’ve invested in technology to coach and motivate millions of frontline workers with no requirement for supervision or layers of traditional management.  “Brands like Uber and Airbnb have proven how customer feedback can be gamified for customer-facing staff to unlock small daily improvements which, over time, drive status and rewards with concepts like ‘Superhost’ or ‘Uber Platinum Pro’. For the first time, any service business can now empower every frontline worker with the same capability in a simple mobile app at a fraction of the cost,” explains Ward. 

    The benefits to early customers have been significant. Ward reports, “We’ve had clients report NPS results doubling and multi-million dollar sales and marketing cost savings from increased repeat purchases and referrals.”

    “Service businesses are experiencing increasingly high levels of competition for both customers and employees as customer loyalty has declined and labor shortages persist post-COVID,” adds Ryan Mandl, Managing Director at Five Elms Capital. “AskNicely has developed a beautifully elegant set of software solutions to ensure every customer gets the right experience and the frontline worker gets the right feedback, coaching, and recognition for their work. Given that frontline workers make up 80% of the planet’s working population, we see an enormous market opportunity for AskNicely’s Frontline Success Platform, and are excited to partner with Aaron and the AskNicely team to continue to develop innovative products for their fast-growing, global customer base.”

    As AskNicely prepares to double headcount across its Portland, Auckland and Amsterdam offices, the company is investing in a culture that it calls “experience-first”. Ward explains, “We think work from home or hybrid work models are short-changing our people. Where you work matters a lot less to us than the experiences you have doing the work”. He points to concepts like “Nice Days” where AskNicely staff can take time out anytime for mental well-being and “Work from Anywhere” travel incentives for staff to meet and work together anywhere in the world as examples of the range of experience-first benefits the company offers.

    About AskNicely

    Founded in 2014, AskNicely is the Frontline Success platform pioneer, connecting the dots between employee experience, customer experience, and revenue growth for service businesses. The industry-leading mobile technology platform delivers personalized coaching and motivation for frontline workers powered by real-time customer feedback and eliminates the need for layers of middle management. AskNicely services over 1,300 companies worldwide and has offices in the United States, New Zealand, and the Netherlands. 

    For more information, visit www.asknicely.com

    About Five Elms

    Five Elms Capital is a leading growth investor in world-class software businesses that users love. Five Elms provides capital and resources to help companies accelerate growth and further cement their role as industry leaders. Five Elms maintains offices in North America and Europe and invests in the best software platforms globally. 

    For more information, visit www.fiveelms.com.

  • 06 Jan 2022 3:59 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Product portfolio includes award-winning situational awareness and remote monitoring

    SCHAFFHAUSEN, Switzerland/Jan. 3, 2022/Business Wire – Garmin® Ltd. (NYSE:GRMN), today announced it has acquired Vesper Marine, a privately-held provider of AIS, VHF and vessel monitoring solutions for the marine industry. This acquisition is expected to bolster Garmin’s industry-leading lineup of marine products and technology designed to provide peace of mind and enhanced situational awareness for boaters.  

    With almost 15 years of experience, Vesper has developed a suite of communication products and solutions for power, sail and workboats, including the award-winning Cortex system. Cortex combines a state-of-the-art VHF radio with Vesper’s unique smartAIS transponder and remote vessel monitoring technology. Vesper’s smartAIS transponders incorporate built-in alarms to alert mariners of potential collisions, dragging anchors and man overboard situations. The company also offers mobile apps to monitor, view and manage a Cortex system or smartAIS transponder for iOS and Android devices.  

    “Vesper has pioneered a number of innovations in the marine communications space, with recognition across the industry for its emphasis on user-friendly and intuitive interfaces that make it easier to communicate on the water,” said Jarrod Seymour, Garmin vice president, marine segment leader. “Together with the Vesper team, we look forward to providing an unmatched portfolio of integrated marine communications products and services to our customers.”

    “We are excited to have the support from a marine technology leader like Garmin,” said Carl Omundsen, Vesper Marine co-founder. “This combination will allow Vesper to expand its capabilities and integration into the marine communication market to make an even greater impact in the boating industry.”

    Vesper Marine is headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand and will join Garmin’s existing team and facility located in Auckland. Financial terms of the acquisition will not be released.

    Engineered on the inside for life on the outside, Garmin products have revolutionized life for anglers, sailors, mariners and boat enthusiasts everywhere. Committed to developing the most innovative, highest quality and easiest to use marine electronics in the industry, Garmin believes every day is an opportunity to innovate and a chance to beat yesterday. For the seventh consecutive year, Garmin was recently named the Manufacturer of the Year by the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA). Other Garmin marine brands include Fusion® and Navionics®. For more information, visit Garmin’s virtual pressroom at garmin.com/newsroom, email media.relations@garmin.com, or follow us at facebook.com/garmin, twitter.com/garminnews, instagram.com/garmin or youtube.com/garmin.

  • 03 Jan 2022 11:31 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    The Department of State recognizes the positive impact of temporary work visa holders on the U.S. economy and is committed to facilitating nonimmigrant travel and reducing visa wait times.  We are pleased to announce that consular officers are now temporarily authorized, through December 31, 2022, to waive in-person interviews for certain individual petition-based nonimmigrant work visas and their qualifying derivatives in the following categories: Persons in Specialty Occupations (H-1B visas), Trainee or Special Education Visitors (H-3 visas), Intracompany Transferees (L visas), Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement (O visas), Athletes, Artists, and Entertainers (P visas), and Participants in International Cultural Exchange Programs (Q visas).

    Additionally, the Secretary of State has extended consular officers’ current ability to waive the in-person interview, through December 31, 2022, for the following other categories of nonimmigrant visas: Temporary Agricultural and Non-agricultural Workers (H-2 visas), Students (F and M visas), and Student Exchange Visitors (Academic J visas).  We recognize the many contributions of international visitors to our communities and campuses.  Lastly, the authorization to waive the in-person interview for applicants renewing a visa in the same visa class within 48 months of the prior visa’s expiration has been extended indefinitely.

    The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in profound reductions in the Department’s visa processing capacity.  As global travel rebounds, we are taking these temporary steps to further our commitment to safely and efficiently reduce visa wait times while maintaining national security as our priority.  We made this determination with the concurrence of our Department of Homeland Security partners.

    Embassies and consulates may still require an in-person interview on a case-by-case basis and dependent upon local conditions.  We encourage applicants to check embassy and consulate websites for more detailed information about this development, as well as current operating status and services.  For more information, visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/important-announcement-on-waivers-of-the-interview-requirement-for-certain-nonimmigrant-visas.html.

  • 01 Jan 2022 10:55 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    BELLEVUE, WA / ACCESSWIRE / December 31, 2021 / Trilogy International Partners Inc. ("Trilogy" or "TIP Inc.") (TSX:TRL), an international wireless and fixed broadband telecommunications operator, and its minority partner Tesbrit BV, today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to sell 100% of their equity in Two Degrees Group Limited ("2degrees") to Voyage Digital (NZ) Limited ("Voyage"), a joint venture between Macquarie Asset Management and Aware Super as owners of Vocus Group Limited. Trilogy owns 73.17% of the equity in 2degrees. It first announced discussions with Macquarie Asset Management and Aware Super and a potential merger of 2degrees with Orcon Group in October 2021.

    The implied enterprise value of 2degrees equates to NZ$1.70 Bn (including lease liabilities). This represents an EV/EBITDA multiple of 8.9x based on last twelve months of New Zealand Segment Adjusted EBITDA at September 30, 2021 on a US-GAAP basis and using an implied enterprise value of NZ$1.58 Bn excluding lease liabilities. On a cash free debt free basis, the purchase price for 100% of 2degrees shares (including employee options that will convert into shares in connection with the sale) represents an equity value of NZ$1.315 Bn, subject to potential adjustments at closing for specific costs or payments by 2degrees between signing and closing.

    "Over the past several months we have been focused on strategic initiatives to maximize value for our stakeholders. This transaction crystalizes value for Trilogy shareholders at a valuation which reflects the remarkable accomplishments of our team in New Zealand and runway for future growth," said Brad Horwitz, President and CEO of Trilogy.

    The transaction is subject to required regulatory approvals and the approval of Trilogy's shareholders.

    Trilogy anticipates that closing will take place in the first half of 2022.

    Trilogy and 2degrees are being advised by Montarne, and Macquarie Asset Management, Aware Super and Vocus Group Limited are being advised by UBS.

    Shareholder Approval and Recommendation of the Board

    Under the provisions of the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia), Trilogy's governing corporate law statute, the sale of all or substantially all of its undertaking requires approval by way of a special resolution, which is a resolution approved by at least two-thirds of the votes cast on the matter at a meeting of shareholders. The special meeting of common shareholders is currently expected to be held in Q1 2022. SG Enterprises, II LLC ("SG"), Brad Horwitz and Alignvest Management Corporation ("Alignvest") and certain of its affiliates, have entered into support agreements agreeing to vote their Trilogy common shares in favor of the transaction.

    Trilogy's board of directors, after consultation with management, its financial adviser and its legal advisors and reliance upon a fairness opinion from Grant Samuel and Associates Limited, and as to be more fully described in the management information circular to be filed and mailed to common shareholders in connection with the transaction, has unanimously approved the transaction and determined that it is in the best interests of Trilogy and recommends that common shareholders vote in favor of the transaction.

    The Purchase Agreement

    Under the terms of the purchase agreement, Voyage will acquire all of the equity interest of 2degrees. In addition to shareholder and regulatory approvals, the closing of the transaction is subject to the receipt of certain third-party consents, as well as a number of other customary conditions, including with respect to the accuracy of the parties' representations and warranties and material compliance with their respective covenants.

    The purchase agreement includes customary non-solicitation provisions subject to certain fiduciary exceptions.

    Copies of the purchase agreement and the management information circular to be mailed to common shareholders in connection with the transaction will be filed with Canadian securities regulators and will be available on the SEDAR profile of Trilogy at www.sedar.com. Shareholders are urged to read the management information circular and the other relevant materials when they become available, as such materials will contain important information regarding the transaction.

    The Bridge Loan

    SG, Brad Horwitz and Alignvest have also committed to provide up to a $10M loan (the "Bridge Loan") to fund Trilogy's corporate costs and certain transaction related costs between signing and the expected closing date of the transaction, subject to the approval of the Toronto Stock Exchange.

    The entrance into the Bridge Loan constitutes a related-party transaction under Multilateral Instrument 61-101-Protection of Minority Security Holders in Special Transactions ("MI 61-101") due to the participation by certain Trilogy insiders as lenders. The Bridge Loan is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements of MI 61-101 pursuant to sections 5.5(a) and 5.7(1)(a) of MI 61-101 as the fair market value of the Bridge Loan does not exceed 25.0% of Trilogy's market capitalization. The material change report in relation to the Bridge Loan will be filed fewer than 21 days before the closing date of the Bridge Loan as Trilogy wishes to complete the Bridge Loan as soon as commercially practical after all required approvals are obtained.

    About Trilogy International Partners Inc.

    TIP Inc. is the parent company of Trilogy International Partners LLC, a wireless and fixed broadband telecommunications operator formed by wireless industry veterans John Stanton, Theresa Gillespie and Brad Horwitz.

    Trilogy currently provides wireless and fixed broadband communications services through its operating subsidiaries in New Zealand and Bolivia. Its head office is located at 155 108th Avenue NE, Suite 400, Bellevue, Washington, 98004 USA.

    For more information, visit www.trilogy-international.com