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  • 31 Jul 2020 12:37 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Forget In-N-Out Burger – US burger chain Five Guys is finally coming to New Zealand.

    The franchise, renowned for its made-to-order burgers with 15 toppings and American-style milkshakes, is expected to open next year.

    Seagrass Boutique Hospitality, the group behind restaurants The Meat & Wine Co, Ribs & Burgers, Italian Street Kitchen, and Hunter & Barrel, confirmed the chain would be coming New Zealand and Australia.

    Five Guys has more than 1500 outlets worldwide and counts the UK and Hong Kong as its major successes outside the US.

    Initial sites are now being scouted in Sydney, but it is not yet known where Five Guys plans to open stores in New Zealand.

    Melbourne and Brisbane will also be one of the first cities to open across Australia.

    Five Guys was founded in 1986 in Arlington County, Virginia, by Janie and Jerry Murrell and their sons Jim, Matt, Chad and Ben.

    Source: NZ Herald Business

  • 30 Jul 2020 1:18 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    NASDAQ: LAUR) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Strategic Education, Inc. (NASDAQ: STRA) for the sale of its Australian and New Zealand operations – Torrens University Australia and Think Education in Australia and Media Design School in New Zealand.

    The three operations have approximately 19,000 students enrolled in technical, undergraduate and postgraduate programs in a variety of academic disciplines, including Business, Education, Hospitality, Design and Creative Technology, and Health. Torrens University was founded by Laureate in 2014 and was the first new university to open in Australia in 20 years. Think Education joined Laureate in 2013, seven years after it was established. Media Design School, founded in New Zealand 22 years ago, became part of the Laureate network in 2011.

    Strategic Education, Inc. is an established operator of campus-based and online higher education institutions in the United States, including Capella and Strayer Universities.

    The purchase price is US$642.7 million and is subject to certain closing adjustments based on the aggregate working capital and indebtedness and on forecasted performance. Torrens University, Think Education and Media Design School will remain part of the Laureate International Universities network until the closing of the transaction, which is expected to occur by the first quarter of 2021. It is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by relevant Australian and New Zealand authorities and a mutual right of termination based on the occurrence of a material adverse change in certain forecasted performance.

    Commenting on the transaction, President and Chief Executive Officer of Laureate, Eilif Serck-Hanssen said, “This transaction is an outgrowth of the process Laureate initiated earlier this year to explore strategic alternatives for each of its business units. We’re incredibly proud of what our Australian and New Zealand teams have achieved – from establishing Australia’s first new university in two decades, to consistently delivering quality student learning experiences with high employability outcomes. We have built a highly efficient student centric culture focused on strong ties to employers and community partners – and we have been rewarded with robust growth and student loyalty. Under the stewardship of Strategic Education, Inc., I’m confident that our institutions will continue to be supported in delivering on their mission of providing highly innovative programs with high student satisfaction and strong outcomes.”

    Karl McDonnell, Chief Executive Officer of Strategic Education, Inc., said: “We’re excited to be expanding our business into the Australian and New Zealand markets. We have been impressed by the growth and impact the three Laureate institutions have made and look forward to welcoming Torrens University, Think Education and Media Design School into our network.”
  • 30 Jul 2020 1:05 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Performance Insights, the largest Pipedrive CRM reseller globally and a leading sales software and consultancy firm to the Financial Services sector, today joins the FileInvite partner network in North America.

    The partnership adds FileInvite’s cloud-based secure personal data sharing product to Performance Insights’ portfolio of CRM, client portals and marketing automation solutions for customers in banking, insurance, wealth management and credit. Secure personal data sharing through FileInvite means banks and credit providers can more efficiently complete their due diligence on consumer applications, improving both the customer experience and compliance.  

    Interest in secure document transfer has surged as a result of the CARES Act and during COVID-19 as consumers turn to online transactions rather than visiting bank or mortgage brokers in person. FileInvite makes it easier for bank employees to receive and safely store customers’ financial documents without meeting in person. 

    Performance insights, which counts Wells Fargo and Bank of America as clients, offers File Invite an extensive network of consultants and decades of industry expertise which will allow new customers to onboard faster.

    The new partnership with FileInvite significantly improves document collection, a critical part of the loan and mortgage origination process that, historically, has been inefficient, time consuming and resulted in a poor user experience.  FileInvite offers a very efficient process to collaborate with clients, collect important financial documents and deliver a wonderful user experience - especially important when everyone is working from home.  We are very excited to introduce our clients and the financial services market in North American to FileInvite.
    Ron Buck, Founder & CEO Performance Insights 
    “We're excited to partner with a well established and trusted name like Performance Insights to bring secure data sharing to more companies across North America. New regulations and the pandemic are forcing change upon the collection of personal information, and FileInvite is positioned to solve this for consumers and their financial providers,.
    James Sampson, FileInvite CEO

  • 27 Jul 2020 12:00 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Pacific Edge Limited (NZX: PEB), has been notified by Novitas1 that the LCD: Biomarkers for Oncology (L35396) provides coverage for Cxbladder, CPT codes 0012M (Cxbladder Detect) and 0013M (Cxbladder Monitor), for tests performed on or after July 1, 2020 that are medically necessary.

    This includes reimbursement for all Cxbladder tests performed for patients covered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) across the USA, at the already determined national CMS price for Cxbladder of US$760 per test. The CMS provides healthcare coverage for all US citizens over 65 years, as well as assistance for healthcare coverage to people with low incomes.  CMS tests currently make up approximately 40% of Pacific Edge’s current Commercial Tests in the USA. Pacific Edge will also be seeking to negotiate reimbursement for the Cxbladder tests that have previously been completed and invoiced for CMS patients.

    CEO of Pacific Edge, David Darling, said: “This is a transformational milestone for Pacific Edge and the result of a number of years of hard work and effort from our teams in New Zealand and the USA. This long awaited outcome results from the generation of substantial clinical evidence, publication of numerous clinical papers demonstrating the compelling clinical utility and outperformance of Cxbladder, and growing commercial use of our tests by urologists in the USA and other markets.

    “Coverage under the LCD for our two Cxbladder tests with CPT codes2 will unlock access to the CMS revenue which currently represents approximately 40% of Pacific Edge’s commercial sales in the US. The coverage decision is also expected to positively impact on demand and positive reimbursement decisions from other healthcare organisations and payers as well. It signals a new phase in Pacific Edge’s commercial journey and we will be pushing hard on the back of this announcement to gain adoption of Cxbladder by other large scale healthcare organisations.”

    The LCD coverage notification comes hot on the heels of the signing of a commercial agreement with Kaiser Permanente, one of the largest non-profit healthcare providers in the USA, which was announced by Pacific Edge on 17 June 2020. Kaiser Permanente is one of the largest non-profit healthcare providers in the US, with over 12 million members and annual operating revenue of $84.5b3. It operates 39 hospitals, 714 medical offices and employs approximately 23,000 physicians.

    Cxbladder is already in commercial use by the majority of the public healthcare providers in New Zealand and many have adopted it into their guidelines for both the evaluation of haematuria and in the monitoring for recurrence of urothelial cancer.

    Chair of Pacific Edge, Chris Gallaher, said: “The LCD coverage signals a major step change for our company with the successful completion of the major reimbursement milestones in the USA. For a company from New Zealand, this is a huge  achievement and one of which we are very proud. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank our team who have worked tirelessly to make this happen and shareholders for their patience and support as we have worked to commercialise our Cxbladder technology.”


    1. NOVITAS is the CMS’s Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) for Pacific Edge’s USA commercial reimbursement for CMS patients. MACs regionally manage policy and payment related to reimbursement and act as the fiscal intermediary for Medicare. MACs manage provider claims for payment and establish regional policy guidelines, called Local Coverage Determinations (LCDs).

    2. Administrative MAAA CPT Codes are issued by the American Medical Association (AMA) Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) Editorial Panel  and are a key component of the reimbursement process in the USA.

    3. Kaiser Permanente Fast Facts


  • 14 Jul 2020 10:03 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    One of New Zealand's leading medicinal cannabis companies has announced a second distribution agreement to the United States.

    NUBU Pharmaceuticals now has two deals with the first being with MGC Pharmaceuticals Ltd, a European cannabis-based biopharma company supplying GMP Phyto-cannabinoid derived medicines to patients globally.

    The second deal is with the US-based, global medicinal cannabis manufacturer and distributor Plants Not Pills (PNP), NUBU announced today.

    The global medicinal cannabis market is estimated to be worth over one hundred billion by 2026.

    NUBU's CEO Mark Dye, a former television and Newstalk ZB presenter, said the distribution agreements with MGC & PNP were an exciting development in the growth phase of the business.

    "NUBU is now one of the largest New Zealand based medicinal cannabis companies (in terms of patient numbers), and continuing to build a robust network of key partners, like MGC, will not only see revenue increase, but also help satisfy existing and future demand."

    Partnering with MGC, he added, will bring many other additional benefits as well.

    "MGC collaborates extensively with the world's best universities and companies to undertake extensive research and development across many healthcare areas, most exciting is their current research in neurological disorders, but they are also researching everything from cancer treatment through to autoimmune diseases. We are delighted to be working with MGC."

    The announcement comes after another Kiwi medicinal cannabis company, Rua Bioscience, signed an export partnership with a German distributor, the Herald revealed.

    Rua Bioscience, based on the East Coast, secured a deal with Nimbus Health, an independent pharmaceutical wholesaler which specialises in importing and distributing pharmaceutical-grade medicinal cannabis products in Germany.

    Founded in 2016 as a subsidiary of Hikurangi Enterprises Ltd, Rua Bioscience was the first company in New Zealand to be granted a licence to cultivate pharmaceutical-grade cannabis and the first to legally import high THC seeds in 2018.

    The company export-led growth strategy under the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme became operational in April.

    "We are aiming to fulfil the first exports under the partnership in the second half of 2021," Rua Bioscience CEO Rob Mitchell told the Herald.

    "While at this time we are not in position to confirm specific quantities or the value of the agreement, it is likely to amount to a few hundred kilograms in the first year of operation to a few thousand kilograms within three years."

    New Zealanders, meanwhile, will vote in September on a non-binding referendum over whether the recreational use of cannabis should become legal, based on the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill.

    By: Sam Hurley New Zealand Herald business journalist

  • 08 Jul 2020 9:49 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Blenheim-based food producer Annies has fronted a million-dollar turnaround in profits over the past year despite disruption from Covid-19.

    Annies, which manufactures fruit bars and other snacks, entered two new export markets during the mandatory lockdown and pivoted its business model to deal with fallout from the pandemic.

    Sales across the brand are now higher than they were pre-Covid - and are soaring in the United States, where Covid-19 cases are growing by tens of thousands by the day.

    Bonnie Slade, sales manager for Annies, and Māori-owned parent company Kono, said sales in the US had accelerated significantly since it partnered with California-based subscription food box company Imperfect Foods in February.

    Covid-19 cases in the US have surpassed 3 million and more than 132,000 deaths have been recorded. In some states, including New Jersey, transmission rates have hit a 10-week high.

    Annies sales in the US through its undisclosed national retailer initially spiked in the US at the start of the pandemic and during lockdown before drying up. They have since returned to "near-normal" levels.

    "What we've seen worldwide, and it happened in New Zealand as well, with the restrictions of numbers allowed into supermarkets, and some people not wanting to go to supermarkets, we saw a big spike at the start ... but that petered off because were at home [baking]," Slade told the Herald.

    "On the flip side to that drop in demand, we saw huge demand from our US customer who is online."

    Annies sends product to Imperfect Foods under private label. It puts its own branding on and delivers the product along with other commercially unsellable items in a weekly food box.

    Slade said Annies was able to pivot and send more product to Imperfect Foods following demand loss from its retail partner quickly as the business experienced a surge in online orders.

    Imperfect's business had increased ten-fold through the pandemic and was already a popular growing business prior to the outbreak, she said.

    "They are seeing huge demand - they've got distribution centres all over the US - and many people are unwilling to go out so they are getting them online."

    Annies sold more than 8.5 million fruit bars over the past 12 months and sent almost 500,000 new products to Imperfect Foods in the past few months.

    The US is Annies' fastest-growing market, it is forecasting more than 420 per cent growth in the current financial year.

    Annies was founded 33 years ago and acquired by Kono in 2014. Slade said the company had spent the past 12-18 months to re-strategising the business for growth. As part of this Kono and its brands set out seeking partnerships with other organisations.

    The brand has been exporting to the United States since 2015 via an undisclosed retail chain and began sending product to Imperfect Foods during lockdown.

    It also launched into China during lockdown and began exporting to the Middle East with a private label customer two weeks before lockdown. At the beginning of lockdown at the end of March, it also launched four new products and updated its packaging.

    Other markets it exports to include Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan.

    Slade said sales in the US despite the ongoing pandemic had exceeded expectations.

    Growth in the market had happened faster than the company had forecast, he said.

    "We knew Imperfect was going to be a good customer for us, we were not expecting the growth to be as fast as it has."

    Annies is now focused on growing its business in Australia and markets closer to New Zealand.

    Source: Aimee Shaw, a business reporter focusing on retail, small business, NZ Herald

  • 02 Jul 2020 11:52 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    VICTOR, N.Y., June 25, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE: STZ and STZ.B), a leading beverage alcohol company, today announced it has signed an agreement with Sazerac Company, Inc., one of America’s oldest privately held distillers, to divest the Paul Masson Grande Amber Brandy brand, related inventory and interests in certain contracts for an aggregate of approximately $255 million. The deal is subject to certain purchase price and closing adjustments, requires FTC review and clearance, and is expected to close in the second quarter of fiscal 2021.

    Constellation has signed a separate agreement with E. & J. Gallo Winery to divest its Nobilo Wine brand and certain related assets and liabilities for $130 million, subject to purchase price and closing adjustments. The Nobilo transaction is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2021. This agreement was previously announced in December 2019 and is contingent on closing the amended revised deal announced in May 2020 in which Constellation agreed to divest a portion of its wine and spirits portfolio principally priced at $11 retail and below, and certain related facilities to E. & J. Gallo Winery for approximately $1.03 billion, subject to closing adjustments, of which $250 million is an earnout based on divested brand performance over a two-year period after closing. This amended revised deal, which requires FTC review and clearance, and governmental approvals, is expected to close in the second quarter of fiscal 2021.

    “These agreements represent another step forward in our efforts to transform our wine and spirits business,” said Bill Newlands, president and chief executive officer at Constellation Brands. “Thanks to the continued hard work of our Constellation team members, together with our distributor and retailer partners, our strategy continues to gain momentum. We look forward to closing these transactions in the coming months.”

    Additional commentary related to these agreements will be provided during Constellation Brands’ first quarter fiscal 2021 results conference call to be held Wednesday, July 1, 2020, at 11:30 a.m. EDT. The conference call can be accessed by dialing +1-877-673-1771 and entering conference identification number 2076116, beginning at 11:20 a.m. EDT. A live, listen-only webcast of the conference call will be available on the company’s website,, under the Investors/Events & Presentations section.

    This news release contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. The word “expect” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain such identifying words. These statements may relate to business strategy, future operations, prospects, plans and objectives of management, as well as information concerning expected actions of third parties. All forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in, or implied by, such forward-looking statements.

    The forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations and should not be construed in any manner as a guarantee that such results will in fact occur or will occur on any contemplated timetable. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this news release and Constellation Brands undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The revised wine and spirits transaction, the Nobilo transaction and the Paul Masson Grande Amber Brandy transaction are each subject to the satisfaction of certain closing conditions, including the receipt of required regulatory clearances and other governmental approvals. The Nobilo transaction is also conditioned on the completion of the revised wine and spirits transaction. There can be no assurance that the revised wine and spirits transaction, the Nobilo transaction, or the Paul Masson Grande Amber Brandy transaction will occur or will occur on the terms or timetables contemplated hereby or that Constellation Brands will receive any earnout (contingent consideration).

    In addition to risks and uncertainties associated with ordinary business operations, the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are subject to other risks and uncertainties, including completion of the revised wine and spirits transaction, the Nobilo transaction, and the Paul Masson Grande Amber Brandy transaction on the expected terms, conditions, and timetables; regulatory requirements; actual purchase price adjustments and other actual closing adjustments; the actual market performance of brands included in the contingent consideration payment opportunity; the accuracy of all projections; and other factors and uncertainties disclosed from time-to-time in Constellation Brands’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 29, 2020, which could cause actual future performance to differ from current expectations.


  • 29 Jun 2020 5:50 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    There's good news and bad news from the founders of Invisible Urban.

    The Auckland startup has landed tens of millions more worth of contracts in the US and gained backing from one of the biggest names on the American private equity scene.

    But at home, it's just been knocked back by the Green Fund and the PM's office.

    The powers-that-be that are dishing out billions in Covid stimulation money seem tech-averse, according to co-founder Nigel Broomhill. "Digging holes and laying roads is nice and simple," he says.

    When the Herald last caught up with Invisible Urban, in February, it had signed US$22.7 million (NZ$35m) in North American orders for its electric vehicle chargers - which it plans to operate on a pioneering charging-as-a-service model.

    Co-founders Nigel Broomhill and Jake Bezzant were targeting the likes of large property developers, city authorities and hotel chains.

    They had so far landed six anchor clients, including the on-again, off-again Ovation development near Nashville, Tennessee, which include about 130,000sq m of office space, two hotels, plus retail and restaurants over 58ha.

    The idea is that Invisible Urban owns and maintains the EV chargers at a location, monitors usage and adds more if demand dictates, clipping the ticket along the way.

    Its chargers will be contract-manufactured in NZ and the US.

    Broomhill also runs Charge Net, which will sell you an EV charger for your garage, while Bezzant had a four-year stint in charge of Parking Sense USA - the maker of sensors for managing carparks that was founded in the Waikato but made its bones with a monster 21,000-space contract in LA. If his face looks vaguely familiar, it could be because you've seen it on a billboard recently. The blue-green entrepreneur is standing for National in the Upper Harbour seat vacated by Paula Bennett when she went list-only.

    This week, despite the challenges of Covid-19, which has pushed out installations scheduled to start this year, Broomhill updated that Invisible Urban has had two major positive developments in the US.

    One, he says Invisible Urban's number of exclusive car parks has increased from 51,000 to 122,290, with the number of chargers that will be installed rising from 1278 to 3057 - pushing the initial contract value from US$22.7m to US$56.2m (NZ$80m). To put that in context, the contracts now cover five times as many EV chargers as are currently installed in NZ.

    And two, high-profile private equity player Eileen Murray has come aboard as a strategic adviser and minority shareholder.

    Murray was co-CEO of the world's largest hedge fund, the US$160 billion Bridgewater Associates, for the best part of a decade before stepping down in the New Year. She was recently confirmed as chair of Wall Street's latest attempt at a self-regulatory body, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra).

    Knockbacks at home

    The bad news is on the home front: recent approaches to the Prime Minister's office, MBIE and the Green Fund have all been knocked back.

    Broomhill and Bezzant initially focused on North America in part because of its scale (the US has roughly 1 million electric cars next to NZ's 20,000-odd) and partly because of its more EV-friendly regulatory environment. The coal-loving President Trump draws the most headlines, but at the state level, many governments now require 25 per cent of spaces in new carparks to be EV charger-ready. And Bezzant pointed out it was not just the usual suspects like New York and California. Georgia recently implemented a similar initiative. In NZ, new malls still get a token one or two EV slots.

    But with the coronavirus slowdown temporarily putting Invisible Urban's North American plans on hold earlier this year, and the Government asking for Covid stimulus ideas, Broomhill started to think about a plan to bring the company's model to NZ.

    He came up with a business plan to employee 200 people in skilled jobs, paid an average $70,000, to cover the design, manufacturing and installation of EV chargers.

    Broomhill was angling for a government loan of $85m over 10 years. He saw the government making $20m directly over the term of the loan, and much larger indirect benefits as a new industry was created, with export potential, and the potential to boost the so-far-sluggish uptake of EVs in NZ, which would in turn reduce emissions and improve air quality.

    Chicken and egg

    The Crown does have a history of subsidising chargers as part of the EECA's multi-year, $23.8m (and counting) effort to promote EV uptake.

    In an EECA EV round just closed, for example, Foodstuffs received $600,400 toward 15 fast chargers that will be installed at various urban and provincial supermarket carparks in partnership with the privately-held ChargeNet; the Warehouse Group received $265,588 for fast-chargers in eight locations; and ChargeNet also got a total $334,000 toward four new chargers in Taupo, plus chargers in Mokau and Palmerston.

    All up around 600 state-subsidised EV chargers are up and running, from a total of 1000 or so that have been funded.

    But the Government is still a long, long way from its aim to have at least one charging station every 75km. It's a chicken and egg situation. Few chargers and range anxiety slow sales of electric vehicles, and with few EVs on the road, charging network progress is slow.

    Broomhill's idea was that his loan-backed proposal would break that logjam. Or the funds could be used to make hundreds of chargers here for his company's North American contracts.

    He saw various signs of hope, from the thirst for Covid stimulus projects, to the presence of the ( now departed ) Rob Fyfe on the Government's business adviser panel to Invisible Urban's successful start in US and all the bona fides that provides.

    But so far, he's had no luck from his conversations with the Prime Minister's office, and his application to the Green Fund, which has just allocated its first funding, was knocked back.

    The Crown-backed, $100m Green Fund has just announced its first financing: $15m to Wellington's CentrePort for a project to electrify vehicles and generate renewable energy at the capital's main port.

    Broomhill says he sought $20m from the Green Fund, which would have created a new smart industry. "Instead [they think] it's better to provide a Wellington Regional Council-owned company with a $15m loan for something they haven't specced yet," he said.

    (The Herald has asked the the Prime Minister's office for comment. Environment Minister James Shaw declined to comment, saying the Green Fund was independent, and that it was up to the fund to issue any response to its decisions.)

    Green Fund CEO Craig Weise said, "Though we don't comment on the specific details about why we make those choices about any specific opportunity, there are many reasons – fit with our objectives, risk profiles, expected returns, maturity of the company, and other priorities in our pipeline, amongst others – why we would want take an opportunity forward, or not."

    Broomhill said he was not impressed by the general tenor of projects being funded by the Government as part of its billions in Covid-19 stimulus spending, which he sees as too focused on roading.

    "Tech is always a hard one for them to get their heads around. Digging holes and laying roads is nice and simple. Smart infrastructure, it's a bit harder," Broomhill said.

    Rebates required

    Broomhill's criticism came the same day as the Herald spoke to Mercury general manager of retail and digital Kevin Angland, who said his company wanted to more than triple its "Drive" EV leasing programme to more than 200 vehicles.

    However, limited models, and limited stock overall was a problem.

    The Government provides a range of incentives for EV owners, including a temporary break on road user charges. But Angland said there also needed to be a direct incentive, such as the US$7000 rebates offered to EV buyers in various US states.

    The coalition discussed a so-called "feebate" scheme, which would have seen importers of ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles levied, to make EVs more attractive by comparison. However, that indirect approach was vetoed by NZ First.

    Angland still saw hope for some form direct rebate, however, depending on the mix of paries in power after September's election.

    Source: Chris Keall

    Business writer, NZ Herald

  • 18 Jun 2020 10:03 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    It gives us great pleasure to announce that Pacific Edge Limited and Kaiser Permanente have reached an agreement for the commercial use of our Cxbladder tests.

    Kaiser Permanente has approved the commercial use of Cxbladder by their urologists for patients being evaluated for bladder cancer.

    Kaiser Permanente is one of the largest non-profit healthcare providers in the US, with over 12 million members. It operates 39 hospitals and employs approximately 23,000 physicians.

    Cxbladder urine sampling systems will be sent directly to Kaiser Permanente patients in their homes for onward delivery to Pacific Edge’s US laboratory in Pennsylvania for analysis and reporting. Kaiser Permanente patients will also have the ability to provide a urine sample at one of the many Kaiser Permanente sample collection clinics for onward delivery to Pacific Edge for analysis and reporting.

    Cxbladder’s ability to provide for the collection of the urine sample in-home will allow Kaiser Permanente patients to be regularly tested for bladder cancer at home and will also enable their physicians to do more patient management using tele-consultation. Based on the test results, many patients will also be able to avoid having any further invasive procedures. This has obvious benefits for patients and also frees up essential healthcare capacity for Kaiser Permanente.

    Kaiser Permanente has previously completed a successful Cxbladder User Programme, including in-home sample collection. The Pacific Edge team has been working with Kaiser Permanente’s staff on the necessary business logistics and the training which will ensure that start-up of commercial tests can occur as expediently as possible.

    CEO of Pacific Edge, David Darling, said: “We are delighted to be working with Kaiser Permanente to implement the delivery of Cxbladder into their patient care program for urology. This outcome highlights Kaiser Permanente’s recognised position as an industry leader in their approach to high-quality healthcare, innovation and value-based medicine.”

    “The clinical utility provided by the Cxbladder in-home sampling programme has also been recognised in both the USA and New Zealand. In New Zealand, three large public healthcare providers have been actively using Cxbladder for in-home sample collection and two public healthcare providers have moved to mainstream commercial use of two Cxbladder products. Remote consultations and the ability for patients to supply Cxbladder test samples from home will help protect patients and frees up essential capacity for healthcare providers around the world, both during the COVID-19 global pandemic and beyond.”


  • 12 Jun 2020 11:29 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Agility CIS accelerates growth in the United States and enters Japanese market by acquiring USA-based Znalytics. Acquisition strengthens Agility’s position as a leading global solution for energy suppliers.

    Agility CIS, a market-leading provider of cloud-based utility billing and customer experience solutions globally, is pleased to announce it has completed the acquisition of United States-based cloud-native energy solutions company, Znalytics. With the addition of Znalytics, Agility strengthens its position in the United States and expands into the recently deregulated Japanese market.

    Agility CIS is a privately held company backed by SilverTree Equity, a London-based software and technology focused private equity firm, and Pioneer Capital, a leading New Zealand private equity firm.

    “Znalytics is a fast-growing business with a cloud-native platform and a strong delivery capability,” said David Forsyth, CEO of Agility. “We are excited to bring Agility and Znalytics together - the combination will accelerate our product development roadmap and expand our global opportunities.

    “The addition of Znalytics to the Agility group significantly grows our business footprint in the United States and opens up the attractive Japanese market, which is the world’s largest deregulated energy market, to complement our existing strong market positions in Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East.”

    Mr Forsyth said the acquisition enhances Agility’s product offering with new energy Internet of Things solutions and provides Agility with strengthened delivery capability to manage large, complex migrations and implementations through a best-in-class global delivery model that combines local resources with those from Znalytics’ experienced delivery team in Hyderabad, India.

    “By leveraging our collective capabilities, our valued clients will also benefit from accelerated development of exceptional cloud billing and customer experience solutions that help their businesses thrive in competitive, fast-moving utility markets.”

    Mr Forsyth said the Founders of Znalytics, CEO Mari Reddy and President Subash Sama, are continuing with the company post acquisition and will lead the business in the United States and Japan. Agility intends to retain the Znalytics brand in association with the Agility brand to drive growth in those markets.

    “Mari, Subash and their colleagues bring deep utilities and software expertise and complementary skills to Agility’s existing leadership. We are thrilled they are joining Agility’s global team.”

    Founded just over five years ago in Atlanta, Georgia, Znalytics is a fast-growing, SaaS company servicing utility retailer clients across the United States and Japan. The acquisition brings together Znalytics’ next generation, cloud-native retail energy solutions for the United States and Japanese markets with the strength of Agility’s robust utility billing software solutions globally. It also has a significant developer-focused team based in Hyderabad, India. Together, the company’s operations will span the globe with offices in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Japan, India and the Middle East.

    Nicholas Theuerkauf, the Managing Partner of SilverTree Equity, added: “Znalytics is highly complementary – the acquisition aligns with Agility’s strategy to significantly accelerate growth in the United States, focus on SaaS solutions, and enter attractive new markets.  The acquisition also underscores SilverTree’s commitment to strengthening Agility’s industry leadership position both organically and through acquisition.”

    The United States and Japanese markets represent excellent growth opportunities for Agility, as ongoing deregulation encourages new energy retailers to enter the market as well as existing retailers to expand into new geographies. Japan is now the world’s largest deregulated energy market, with over 100 million customer meters and approximately 600 retail energy providers now active.

    About Znalytics

    Znalytics was founded in November 2014 by CEO Mari Reddy and President Subash Sama, who head a leadership team with over 100 years of combined experience in the retail energy industry. Znalytics supports retail energy providers with a range of SaaS solutions including billing, customer enrolment, custom pricing and reporting/analytics. Znalytics’ market-leading cloud-native billing solution leverages modern cloud technology with a range of features that provide superior scalability, security and performance to drive efficiencies for its clients. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Znalytics employs approximately 75 people across customer service and sales offices in Atlanta and Tokyo (Japan) as well as a delivery centre in Hyderabad (India). For more information please visit

    About SilverTree Equity

    SilverTree Equity is a sector specialist private equity firm. SilverTree invests exclusively in software, technology, and technology-enabled businesses. The firm is differentiated by its focus on value creation, sector specialism, and a deep network of operational resources and industry relationships. The SilverTree team has successfully completed or been involved in over 50 transactions. For more information, please visit

    About Pioneer Capital

    Pioneer Capital is one of New Zealand’s leading private equity firms. The firm has invested in more than 20 companies and made over 16 bolt-on acquisitions with a focus on accelerating growth via international expansion. Pioneer has a track record of partnering with owners and managers to build sustainable value. Pioneer Capital is based in Auckland and manages capital on behalf of some of New Zealand’s leading institutional and private investors. For more information, please visit