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Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield confirms strong liquidity position

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Paris, Amsterdam, March 19, 2020

Press release

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield confirms strong liquidity position

Restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus currently limit the operations of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (“URW” or the “Group”) in several of its markets, as announced on March 16, 2020 (available at urw.com). Since then, further restrictions have been added in France and Germany and the Group’s US centres will also be substantially closed for the time being. The duration and extent of the situation and its impact on the Group’s earnings remain uncertain. 

In light of this evolving situation, URW has taken all precautionary measures needed to ensure its access to liquidity. The Group now has €10.2 Bn in cash on hand and undrawn credit lines, which provides it with the liquidity needed to cover all expected funding needs even under an extreme “stress test” scenario.

As noted in the release of March 16, 2020, the Group has also implemented a programme to actively reduce non-staff expenses, defer non-essential capital expenditure and make use of any relevant facilities or arrangements provided by the various national authorities to assist companies through the crisis. The Group is already prepared to increase the scope of these measures if the crisis were to persist for an extended period.

For further information, please contact:

Investor Relations  Samuel Warwood Maarten Otte  +33 1 76 77 58 02  [email protected]

Media Relations  Tiphaine Bannelier-Sudérie +33 1 76 77 57 94 [email protected]

About Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield is the premier global developer and operator of Flagship destinations, with a portfolio valued at €65.3 Bn as at December 31, 2019, of which 86% in retail, 6% in offices, 5% in convention & exhibition venues and 3% in services. Currently, the Group owns and operates 90 shopping centres, including 55 Flagships in the most dynamic cities in Europe and the United States. Its centres welcome 1.2 billion visits per year. Present on 2 continents and in 12 countries, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield provides a unique platform for retailers and brand events, and offers an exceptional and constantly renewed experience for customers. With the support of its 3,600 professionals and an unparalleled track-record and know-how, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield is ideally positioned to generate superior value and develop world-class projects. The Group has a development pipeline of €8.3 Bn. Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield distinguishes itself by its Better Places 2030 agenda, that sets its ambition to create better places that respect the highest environmental standards and contribute to better cities. Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield stapled shares are listed on Euronext Amsterdam and Euronext Paris (Euronext ticker: URW), with a secondary listing in Australia through Chess Depositary Interests. The Group benefits from an A rating from Standard & Poor’s and from an A2 rating from Moody’s.

For more information, please visit www.urw.com Visit our Media Library at https://mediacentre.urw.com Follow the Group updates on Twitter @urw_group, Linkedin @Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield and Instagram @urw_group Access the URW 2018 report at https://report.urw.com/2018/

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Independent Insurance Group LLC Announces the Signing of a Definitive Agreement for the Acquisition of Sterling National Life Insurance Company

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Jan. 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Independent Insurance Group LLC (“Independent Group”) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Sterling National Life Insurance Company (“Sterling National”) from SILAC Insurance Company (“SILAC”).  

Independent Life Insurance Company (“Independent Life”), Independent Group's life and annuity subsidiary, is focused on the primary issuance of structured settlement annuities, with the mission of helping personal injury victims and their families meet their financial needs over their lifetimes.  Independent Group was founded by management and LKCM Headwater Investments, the private equity arm of Luther King Capital Management, an SEC-registered investment advisory firm based in Fort Worth, Texas.  Sterling National, licensed in 33 states and the District of Columbia, ceased writing insurance business in early 2020. 

“This acquisition is a key element of our broader strategy to continually enhance our overall business profile,” said George Luecke, President and Chief Strategy Officer of Independent Group. “Building upon the strong foundation we have created to date, Sterling National brings us licenses in the majority of states across the U.S., further expanding our footprint, market presence and diversification potential.”

“2020 was a year of many accomplishments for us,” added Michael Upchurch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Independent Group.  “We will continue to take prudent steps to benefit our company, brokers and payees, and bring innovation and growth to our industry.  We are looking forward to making further positive announcements in 2021.”

Dan Acker, President of SILAC, commented “We are pleased to announce the sale of Sterling National, a wholly owned subsidiary of SILAC, to Independent Group. This transaction will allow us to continue our focus on providing valuable fixed annuity products through more than 11,000 agents and advisors under the SILAC brand. SILAC will remain domiciled in Utah and this transaction will not impact any of our employees”.

Further details of the transaction were not disclosed.  Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP acted as legal counsel and Fletcher Financial, Inc. acted as broker to Independent Group in this transaction.  The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.  

ABOUT INDEPENDENT INSURANCE GROUP

Independent Life, Independent Group's life and annuity subsidiary, is the first insurance company to focus exclusively on structured settlements.  Independent Group's goal is to provide competitive and innovative annuity products and services that professional consultants can efficiently integrate into their settlement planning solutions, for the long-term protection of personal injury victims and their families.  Among other significant achievements since its formation, Independent Life was recognized as the second fastest growing life and annuity insurance company in 2019 by S&P Global Market Intelligence1.  For additional information on Independent Life, please visit www.independent.life.

ABOUT SILAC INSURANCE COMPANY

SILAC was established in 1935. The company is Utah's oldest active life insurance company and among the state's largest insurers. Licensed in 47 states and the District of Columbia, SILAC has focused on meeting the life and health insurance needs of seniors for decades. Since entering the annuity market in 2018, they have grown their annuity product line and premium revenue to over $3 billion in annual sales. For additional information, please visit www.SILACins.com.

ABOUT LKCM HEADWATER INVESTMENTS

LKCM Headwater Investments is a Texas-based private equity firm that partners with management teams to build highly successful companies.  LKCM Headwater Investments is affiliated with Luther King Capital Management, an SEC-registered investment advisory firm established in 1979 with $21.6 billion of assets under management as of December 31, 2020.  LKCM's proven investment discipline centers on a long-term focus of investing in well-managed companies that demonstrate an ability to re-invest cash flows into high return investment opportunities.

1 S&P Global Market Intelligence 6.9.2020

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SOURCE Independent Insurance Group

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St Kitts and Nevis' Citizenship by Investment Programme Only Accepts Applicants of the Highest Moral Standing

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LONDON, Jan. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Federation of St Kitts and Nevis' Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme maintains its 'Platinum Standard' brand by accepting applicants of only the highest moral standing, Prime Minister Timothy Harris asserted during a recent press conference. First introduced in 1984, the dual-island nation has been operating the world's longest-standing CBI Programme offering foreign investors and their families a safe and secure route to a second citizenship.

Once investing through the Sustainable Growth Fund – hailed as the most straightforward path to St Kitts and Nevis citizenship – applicants gain access to a range of benefits. This includes increased global mobility to nearly 160 countries and territories and the right to live and work in the nation. Since citizenship is for life, it also holds the invaluable option to pass it down for generations to come. However, applicants must first undergo a stringent multi-tiered vetting process that ensures that only those with a clean background are accepted as citizens, thus protecting the CBI Programme's reputation.

Regarding the matter, Prime Minister Harris said, “Our key priority is really to ensure that the good name of our country remains intact and that only the most discerning of persons become part of it […] People who can withstand the tests of the vigorous due diligence procedures that are in place with respect to our programme.” He also highlighted that citizens from any nation were welcome to invest in St Kitts and Nevis' CBI Programme save for those hailing from Iran, North Korea and Afghanistan.

Les Khan, the CEO of St Kitts and Nevis' CBI Unit, expanded on other factors that play into application acceptance last year for a documentary by the Financial Times' Professional Wealth Management magazine. “There are other reasons we will deny [granting citizenship]. For example, in St Kitts and Nevis, we have a regulation that says: if you have been refused a visa from a country that we have visa-free access to, then you will be refused by us,” he said.

Applicants who successfully pass the security checks can gain receipt of citizenship within two months and thus apply for their second passport. St Kitts and Nevis offers one of the most family-friendly programmes on the market, recently enabling investors to include siblings within an application.

Contact:
[email protected] 
www.csglobalpartners.com

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European Venture Capital Dealmaking and Fundraising Activity Achieved New Annual Records in 2020

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SEATTLE, Jan. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — PitchBook, the premier data provider for the private and public equity markets, today released its 2020 Annual European Venture Report, which found venture capital (VC) deal value remained aloft and set a new annual record despite COVID-19 and the subsequent macroeconomic damage. Pandemic-induced opportunities and existing VC companies within technology and healthcare were well positioned to grow at the same time the deluge of capital deposited into larger rounds continued a decade-long trend. Capital from the US flowed freely into Europe and deal value with corporate VC (CVC) participation set a new annual record. After a lethargic start, exit value gathered momentum as the year progressed with one of the strongest quarterly showings ever in Q4. The pandemic created favourable market conditions for VC-backed companies seeking an exit in sectors such as biotech and pharma. European VC fundraising also achieved a record high in 2020 as LPs and GPs across the continent shrugged off long-term concerns posed by COVID-19. Fundraising processes have successfully adapted to remote tools, while larger VC vehicles have attracted burgeoning heaps of capital from existing and nontraditional investors to target pandemic-proof and pandemic-induced opportunities. Restrictions on travel, recessions and battered sectors have not stifled commitments from LPs, as GPs have been supplied with record levels of capital to put to work heading into 2021.

To download the full report and underlying data, click here.

“Few predicted the insatiable appetite to commit to and invest in VC in 2020. While other asset classes crumbled amid widespread volatility, Europe's maturing VC ecosystem – and venture as an investment strategy – showed remarkable resilience with dealmaking, fundraising and CVC participation reaching record highs,” said Nalin Patel, PitchBook EMEA Private Capital Analyst. “We believe capital will continue to pour into pandemic-driven areas as recoveries commence and the allure of a return to normality will drive capital into resurgent pre-pandemic trends, both of which will combine to hold overall VC activity aloft in 2021.”

Investment Activity

  • VC deal value reached a new annual record of €42.8 billion across 9,341 deals, representing a 14.8% year-over-year increase in value from the previous record set in 2019.
  • Deals sized over €25 million represented a record 61.8%, or €26.5 billion, of capital invested in 2020. CureVac's €560.0 million late-stage round in Q3 was the largest deal of the year. Klarna, Deliveroo, N26, Revolut, and Northvolt all closed deals over €500 million as well, whereas just two companies raised such a sum in 2019.
  • Investors deployed €14.5 billion into the software sector across 2,123 deals, marking a marginal 7.9% year-over-year increase and more substantial 22.3% year-over-year decrease, respectively. The sector remains the most popular investment strategy, representing a third of total European VC deal value in 2020, but investment into biotech & pharma startups jumped 41.1% year-over-year to €5.4 billion as COVID-19 held attention globally.
  • All regions apart from Central & Eastern Europe beat their respective deal value figures from 2019. The UK & Ireland remained the highest deal value provider with a record €14.3 billion in 2020, providing a third of the total in Europe despite Brexit.
  • CVC participation accrued €19.4 billion in value through 2020, easily surpassing the previous record of €15.6 billion set in 2019. CVCs participated in many of 2020's largest rounds, including Deliveroo's €527.6 million round and Hopin's €106.2 million round.

Exit Activity

  • Despite market volatility, total European VC exit value rose 13.9% year-over-year to €18.6 billion across 697 deals. The European exit market gained momentum after a lethargic Q1, closing on €7.6 billion in value in Q4.       
  • Biotech & pharma companies capitalized on increased interest in the sector, securing €6.7 billion in venture exit value in 2020, or 35.9% of Europe's total. Notable exits in the sector include the IPOs of CureVac and ADC Therapeutics, both totalling over €200 million, and the acquisition of Themis Bioscience, which sold for €1.1 billion.
  • As was the case in 2019, the DACH region (Austria, Germany, and Switzerland) generated the most liquidity of any European ecosystem, closing on €4.6 billion in 2020, or 24.7% of the continent's total. The region's expertise in developing highly valued biotech & pharma companies bolstered exit figures.
  • VC-backed IPOs grew slightly to 50 in 2020 from 46 in 2019, suggesting that some startups were bullish and willing to list even amid such a turbulent year. The resurgence of public equities and lack of listings in the second and third quarters created pent-up demand for IPOs, and healthcare startups such as Compass Pathways, Freeline and Nanox decided it was the perfect time to exit.

Fundraising Activity

  • European VC funds raised a record €19.6 billion in 2020, representing a 35.2% year-over-year increase as LPs and GPs across shrugged off long-term apprehension posed by COVID-19. The quantity of closed VC funds ticked up to 172, reversing a two-year decline.
  • VC funds over €100 million represented 82.0% of the total capital raised in Europe in 2020, just below the peak of 83.8% set in 2019, and we expect they will continue gaining share in 2021. Fund sizes have climbed during the last decade, buoying overall capital raised year to year.
  • The UK & Ireland raised the most capital for venture funds with €5.1 billion, narrowly topping the DACH region, which raised €5.0 billion in 2020. Israel-based VC funds have now raised over €1.0 billion in each of the last five years, with a record €2.7 billion raised in 2020, and we believe GPs based in this region have the capital resources to develop their ecosystem even further and compete globally for commitments.

Additional coverage in this report includes:

  • Introduction
  • Overview
  • Corporate VC
  • Spotlight: 2021 Outlook
  • Exits
  • Fundraising

For more information about PitchBook, click here.

About PitchBook
PitchBook is a financial data and software company that provides transparency into the capital markets to help professionals discover and execute opportunities with confidence and efficiency. PitchBook collects and analyzes detailed data on the entire venture capital, private equity and M&A landscape—including public and private companies, investors, funds, investments, exits and people. The company's data and analysis are available through the PitchBook Platform, industry news and in-depth reports. Founded in 2007, PitchBook has offices in Seattle, San Francisco, New York and London and serves more than 45,000 professionals around the world. In 2016, Morningstar acquired PitchBook, which now operates as an independent subsidiary.

Cision View original content to download multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/european-venture-capital-dealmaking-and-fundraising-activity-achieved-new-annual-records-in-2020-301214648.html

SOURCE PitchBook

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