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Genstar Capital Announces Agreement to Acquire Drilling Info Holdings, Inc.

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Genstar Capital Announces Agreement to Acquire Drilling Info Holdings, Inc.

Genstar Capital, a leading private equity firm focused on investments in targeted segments of the software, industrial technology, healthcare, and financial services industries, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Drilling Info Holdings, Inc. a portfolio company of Insight Venture Partners. Upon closing of the transaction, Genstar will become the new majority shareholder of the business, with Insight Venture Partners retaining a significant minority stake.

Drillinginfo is the leading software, data, and analytics platform for the energy value chain. The Drillinginfo platform is powered by an ever-expanding, industry-leading dataset derived from public and proprietary energy industry sources and delivered through a SaaS platform providing decision support insights to exploration and production companies, oilfield services companies, electrical power companies, and other commodity market and capital market participants.

Notably, the single instance platform is unique in serving most operational silos within these various entities and across all market sizes, from the world’s largest companies to its very smallest. The company serves over 3,500 customers in 50 countries and has over 45,000 named users. Headquartered in Austin, TX, Drillinginfo has over 675 employees across 13 offices.

Eli Weiss, Managing Director of Genstar, said, “Our investment focus in the software sector is to identify companies with market-leading technologies operating in dynamic growth markets. As with our earlier successful partnerships, we will provide the additional investment capital and resources to further broaden Drillinginfo’s customer relationships and execute their growth strategy. Drillinginfo’s focus on the world’s largest vertical market, the energy industry, brings ample opportunity for future growth. We will aggressively identify key acquisition and growth opportunities that will consolidate data onto the existing platform, broaden Drillinginfo’s product mix, expand its geographic footprint, and accelerate entry into adjacent market segments. We look forward to driving accelerated growth to build Drillinginfo’s future.”

Jeff Hughes, CEO & President of Drillinginfo, said, “Our growth is attributed to the unmatched quality of our products combined with an unwavering focus on the customer and supported by our incredibly talented team of people. We are now doing a better job than ever of serving customers as large as supermajors and as small as sole proprietors. We will continue to expand our range of product technologies to support our customers’ growing needs anywhere in the world. Genstar has a deep understanding of SaaS platforms like ours and we look forward to working together to further expand our suite of product offerings in areas important to our customers.”

Geoff Miller, Director of Genstar, said, “We are excited to partner with Jeff and Drillinginfo’s senior leadership team in this exciting new chapter for the company. Every day Drillinginfo delivers value to almost every kind of user in the energy sector from geoscientists to commodity traders, they’re helping them be more productive together. Nobody else in the market does this. We see numerous opportunities to build the business and we plan to drive growth with a focus on expanding service offerings through selective acquisitions to enhance its industry-leading data and energy analytics solutions.”

“It has been a privilege to work alongside Allen, Jeff and the rest of the executive team as they’ve driven Drillinginfo to be the SaaS analytics and data leader in the oil and gas industry,” said Deven Parekh, Managing Director at Insight Venture Partners. “We look forward to continuing our relationship and partnering with Eli, Geoff, and the Genstar team in this next phase of growth.”

Drillinginfo has successfully completed over 10 acquisitions to further strengthen its business. Recently, Drillinginfo announced the acquisition of PLS, Inc.’s research and database business and 1Derrick, two highly-visible companies in the oil and gas industry that offer services for sourcing, valuing and analyzing asset transactions.

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Australia says no further Facebook, Google amendments as final vote nears

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Australia says no further Facebook, Google amendments as final vote nears 1

By Colin Packham

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australia will not alter legislation that would make Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google pay news outlets for content, a senior lawmaker said on Monday, as Canberra neared a final vote on whether to pass the bill into law.

Australia and the tech giants have been in a stand-off over the legislation widely seen as setting a global precedent.

Other countries including Canada and Britain have already expressed interest in taking some sort of similar action.

Facebook has protested the laws. Last week it blocked all news content and several state government and emergency department accounts, in a jolt to the global news industry, which has already seen its business model upended by the titans of the technological revolution.

Talks between Australia and Facebook over the weekend yielded no breakthrough.

As Australia’s senate began debating the legislation, the country’s most senior lawmaker in the upper house said there would be no further amendments.

“The bill as it stands … meets the right balance,” Simon Birmingham, Australia’s Minister for Finance, told Australian Broadcasting Corp Radio.

The bill in its present form ensures “Australian-generated news content by Australian-generated news organisations can and should be paid for and done so in a fair and legitimate way”.

The laws would give the government the right to appoint an arbitrator to set content licencing fees if private negotiations fail.

While both Google and Facebook have campaigned against the laws, Google last week inked deals with top Australian outlets, including a global deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

“There’s no reason Facebook can’t do and achieve what Google already has,” Birmingham added.

A Facebook representative declined to comment on Monday on the legislation, which passed the lower house last week and has majority support in the Senate.

A final vote after the so-called third reading of the bill is expected on Tuesday.

Lobby group DIGI, which represents Facebook, Google and other online platforms like Twitter Inc, meanwhile said on Monday that its members had agreed to adopt an industry-wide code of practice to reduce the spread of misinformation online.

Under the voluntary code, they commit to identifying and stopping unidentified accounts, or “bots”, disseminating content; informing users of the origins of content; and publishing an annual transparency report, among other measures.

(Reporting by Byron Kaye and Colin Packham; Editing by Sam Holmes and Hugh Lawson)

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GSK and Sanofi start with new COVID-19 vaccine study after setback

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GSK and Sanofi start with new COVID-19 vaccine study after setback 2

By Pushkala Aripaka and Matthias Blamont

(Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi on Monday said they had started a new clinical trial of their protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, reviving their efforts against the pandemic after a setback in December delayed the shot’s launch.

The British and French drugmakers aim to reach final testing in the second quarter, and if the results are conclusive, hope to see the vaccine approved by the fourth quarter after having initially targeted the first half of this year.

In December, the two groups stunned investors when they said their vaccine would be delayed towards the end of 2021 after clinical trials showed an insufficient immune response in older people.

Disappointing results were probably caused by an inadequate concentration of the antigen used in the vaccine, Sanofi and GSK said, adding that Sanofi has also started work against new coronavirus variants to help plan their next steps.

Global coronavirus infections have exceeded 110 million as highly transmissible variants of the virus are prompting vaccine developers and governments to tweak their testing and immunisation strategies.

GSK and Sanofi’s vaccine candidate uses the same recombinant protein-based technology as one of Sanofi’s seasonal influenza vaccines. It will be coupled with an adjuvant, a substance that acts as a booster to the shot, made by GSK.

“Over the past few weeks, our teams have worked to refine the antigen formulation of our recombinant-protein vaccine,” Thomas Triomphe, executive vice president and head of Sanofi Pasteur, said in a statement.

The new mid-stage trial will evaluate the safety, tolerability and immune response of the vaccine in 720 healthy adults across the United States, Honduras and Panama and test two injections given 21 days apart.

Sanofi and GSK have secured deals to supply their vaccine to the European Union, Britain, Canada and the United States. It also plans to provide shots to the World Health Organization’s COVAX programme.

To appease critics after the delay, Sanofi said earlier this year it had agreed to fill and pack millions of doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from July.

Sanofi is also working with Translate Bio on another COVID-19 vaccine candidate based on mRNA technology.

(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru and Matthias Blamont in Paris; editing by Jason Neely and Barbara Lewis)

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Don’t ignore “lockdown fatigue”, UK watchdog tells finance bosses

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Don't ignore "lockdown fatigue", UK watchdog tells finance bosses 3

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) – Staff at financial firms in Britain are suffering from “lockdown fatigue” and their bosses are not always making sure all employees can speak up freely about their problems, the Financial Conduct Authority said on Monday.

Many staff at financial companies have been working from home since Britain went into its first lockdown in March last year to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

One year on, the challenges have evolved from adapting to working remotely to dealing with mental health issues, said David Blunt, the FCA’s head of conduct specialists.

“During this third lockdown, there has been a greater impact on mental well-being, with many people struggling with job security, caring responsibilities, home schooling, bereavements and lockdown fatigue.”

Bosses should continually revisit how they lead remote teams, he said.

“The impact of COVID-19 is creating a huge workload for those considered to be high performers, while the remote environment potentially makes it much more challenging for those who were previously considered low performers to change that perception,” Blunt told a City & Financial online event.

Companies should consider “psychological safety” or ensuring that all employees feel confident about speaking out and challenging opinions.

“We’ve heard varying reports of how successful this has been,” Blunt said.

Pressures in the financial sector were highlighted this month when accountants KPMG said its UK chairman Bill Michael had stepped aside during a probe into comments he made to staff.

The Financial Times said Michael, who later apologised for his comments, had told staff to “stop moaning” about the impact of the pandemic on their work lives.

Blunt was speaking as the FCA next month completes the full rollout of rules that force senior managers at financial firms to be personally accountable for their decisions to improve conduct standards.

There have only been a “modest” number of breaches reported to regulators so far as firms worry about being “tainted” but more cases will become public as sanctions are revealed, Blunt said.

“Regulators won’t be impressed by lowballing the figures.”

(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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