Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Dr Pepper Snapple and Keurig Green Mountain to Merge, Creating a Challenger in the Beverage Industry with a World-Class Portfolio of Iconic Brands and an Unrivaled Nationwide Distribution Capability

BusinessWire


PLANO, Tex. & BURLINGTON, Mass.----Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. (“Dr Pepper Snapple”) (NYSE: DPS) and Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. (“Keurig”) today announced that the companies have entered into a definitive merger agreement to create Keurig Dr. Pepper (“KDP”), a new beverage company of scale with a portfolio of iconic consumer brands and unrivaled distribution capability to reach virtually every point-of-sale in North America. Under the terms of the agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the Dr. Pepper Snapple Board of Directors, Dr. Pepper Snapple shareholders will receive $103.75 per share in a special cash dividend and retain 13% of the combined company.
KDP will have pro forma combined 2017 annual revenues of approximately $11 billion. This combination of two iconic beverage companies joins together beloved brands Dr. Pepper, 7UP, Snapple, A&W, Mott’s and Sunkist with leading coffee brand Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and the innovative Keurig single-serve coffee system, as well as more than 75 owned, licensed and partner brands in the Keurig system.
Larry Young, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dr. Pepper Snapple, said, “This transaction will deliver significant and immediate value to our shareholders, along with the opportunity to participate in the long-term upside potential of our combined company and attract new brands and beverage categories to our platform in a fast-changing industry landscape. We are excited to combine with Keurig to build on the rich heritage and expertise of both companies and provide the highest-quality hot and cold beverages to satisfy every consumer throughout the day.”
Bob Gamgort, Chief Executive Officer of Keurig, said, “Our view of the industry through the lens of consumer needs, versus traditional manufacturer-defined segments, unlocks the opportunity to combine hot and cold beverages and create a platform to increase exposure to high-growth formats. The combination of Dr. Pepper Snapple and Keurig will create a new scale beverage company which addresses today’s consumer needs, with a powerful platform of consumer brands and an unparalleled distribution capability to reach virtually every consumer, everywhere. We are fortunate to have talented leadership teams within both companies, and I look forward to working together with the Dr. Pepper Snapple team to make this combination a success for all of our stakeholders.”
Bart Becht, Partner and Chairman of JAB Holding Company and Chairman of Keurig, said, “We are very excited about the prospect of KDP becoming a challenger in the beverage industry. Management’s proven operational and integration track record along with their commitment to innovation and potential future brand consolidation opportunities, while maintaining an investment grade rating, positions the company well for long-term success and material shareholder value creation.”
Dirk Van de Put, CEO of Mondelēz International, which will have a significant stake in KDP, said, “We have been very pleased with our coffee partnership with Keurig, and strongly support the strategic rationale for this transaction. We look forward to continuing to participate in the compelling value-creation and long-term growth opportunities inherent in this powerful beverage platform.”
Compelling Value for Shareholders
The company believes its complementary portfolio, access to high-growth segments of the beverage industry and shareholder value-focused management team will enable it to achieve sustained growth through continued innovation, brand consolidation opportunities and enhanced household penetration for its leading brands.

KDP targets realizing $600 million in synergies on an annualized basis by 2021. Dr. Pepper Snapple expects to pay its first-quarter ordinary course dividend of $0.58 per share. At the close of the transaction, the company expects to deliver an annual dividend of $0.60 per share.
The company will deliver strong cash flow generation and accelerate its deleveraging, with a target Net Debt/EBITDA of below 3.0x within two to three years after closing. KDP anticipates total net debt at closing to be approximately $16.6 billion and it anticipates maintaining an investment grade rating.
Keurig Performance Update
Since becoming a private company following its acquisition by a JAB-led investor group in March 2016, Keurig has renewed its marketing investment and improved its new brewer innovation pipeline, which has resulted in renewed top-line volume growth, increasing U.S. household penetration for Keurig brewers to 20%, from 17%, in the last two years. In the same period, Keurig has added key brand partners into the Keurig system with the help of strategic pod price reductions and value-added services. The combination of those two factors has allowed the company to improve its pod growth from the low-single digits to mid-single digits in the second half of calendar year 2017.

Keurig also delivered a 14.1% annual improvement in operating income and increased its operating margin by 710 basis points in the last two years behind significant productivity improvement programs. The company has also strengthened its balance sheet and significantly reduced its debt/EBITDA to 2.7x as of December 2017, from 5.5x as of March 2016, when the company was acquired.
Transaction Details
Under the terms of the merger agreement, Dr Pepper Snapple shareholders will receive a special cash dividend of $103.75 per share and will retain their shares in Dr Pepper Snapple. Upon closing of the transaction, Keurig shareholders will hold 87% and Dr Pepper Snapple shareholders will hold 13% of the combined company.

JAB Holding Company, a global investment firm with a proven track record of investing long-term capital in global consumer brands, and its partners, will together make an equity investment of $9 billion as part of the financing of the transaction. JAB will be investing equity capital from JAB Holding Company as well as through JAB Consumer Fund, an investment fund backed by a group of like-minded, long-term oriented investors. Both JAB Holding Company and JAB Consumer Fund are overseen by three senior partners: Peter Harf, Bart Becht and Olivier Goudet. Entities affiliated with BDT Capital Partners, a Chicago-based merchant bank that provides long-term private capital and advice to closely held companies, are also investing alongside JAB. Upon closing of the transaction, JAB will be the controlling shareholder. Mondelēz International, JAB’s partner in Keurig, will hold an approximately 13-14% stake in the combined company.
The balance of the transaction financing will be provided through financing debt commitments from JPMorgan Chase Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs. The transaction is not subject to a financing condition and is expected to close in the second calendar quarter of 2018, subject to the approval of Dr Pepper Snapple shareholders and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals.
Management and Governance
Bob Gamgort, current chief executive officer of Keurig, will serve as chief executive officer of the combined company and Ozan Dokmecioglu, current chief financial officer of Keurig, will serve as its chief financial officer. Dr Pepper Snapple President and CEO Larry Young intends to transition to a role on KDP’s Board of Directors to help the new management team realize the full potential of the company. Bart Becht, of JAB, will serve as Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors and Bob Gamgort will become an Executive Member of the Board. Four additional directors will be appointed by JAB, two directors will be appointed by Dr Pepper Snapple, including Mr. Young, two directors will be appointed by Mondelēz International, and two independent directors will be appointed.

Keurig and Dr Pepper Snapple will continue to operate out of their current locations and Bob Gamgort, CEO of the combined company, will be based in Burlington, Mass. The combined company will draw on the leadership teams of both companies, who will continue running their respective businesses.
Conference Call/Investor Events
Dr Pepper Snapple will host a conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET today, January 29, 2018, to discuss this announcement. The dial-in numbers for the call are 1-877-871-3172 (U.S. Toll Free) or 1-412-902-6603 (International) and the access code for the call is 4135855. The call will also be webcast live and can be accessed through Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s investor website. The conference call will be available for replay. The dial-in number for the replay is 1-877-344-7529 (U.S. Toll Free) or 1-412-317-0088 (International). The access code for the replay is 10116644.

Dr Pepper Snapple and Keurig also intend to hold an Investor Day in mid-March to provide additional details on the combined company.




Disclaimer: Kevin Surbaugh is an independent sales representative of Youngevity (YGYI) and is a shareholder in the publicly traded company. He also has positions in Coca-Cola (KO) but has no positions in any other stocks that may have been mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours.
--- go ahead share your thoughts with me now, my ears are open. I'm always eager to hear what you think.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Youngevity Acquires Gigi Hill Brand

GLOBE NEWSWIRE



SAN DIEGO, Calif.,  -- Youngevity® International, Inc., (NASDAQ: YGYI), a leading omni-direct lifestyle company, today announced the acquisition of the Gigi Hill Handbag and Accessory Brand.  The company has also entered into a long-term contract with Gabrielle "Gigi" DeSantis, Co-Founder of Gigi Hill, to lead the integration of Gigi Hill handbags and accessories.
Gigi Hill, based in Orange County California and started in 2007, was born out of the need for women to have more stylish, and functional handbags and luggage.  The line will be marketed within Youngevity’s fashion and jewelry verticals where the company believes many strong cross-marketing opportunities exist.  Gigi Hill’s new collection is expected to be available in the second quarter of 2018.
"We are extremely honored and excited to join the Youngevity team and its family of brands.  We feel Gigi Hill’s unique collection of travel and everyday accessories will thrive within Youngevity’s omni direct platform.  As part of Youngevity, our Stylists should greatly benefit from the robust earning opportunity and cross-selling benefits that exists within Youngevity,” said Co-Founder, Gabrielle “Gigi” DeSantis.
Steve Wallach, Youngevity Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are impressed with the loyal following of the Gigi Hill brand and we are excited to be forging a partnership with Ms. DeSantis.  We anticipate this partnership has the potential to create excitement and positively impact other verticals within Youngevity.”

About Youngevity International, Inc.                                    
Youngevity International, Inc. (NASDAQ: YGYI), is a leading omni-direct lifestyle company - offering a hybrid of the direct selling business model, that also offers e-commerce and the power of social selling.  Assembling a virtual Main Street of products and services under one corporate entity, Youngevity offers products from the six top-selling retail categories:  health/nutrition, home/family, food/beverage (including coffee), spa/beauty, apparel/jewelry, as well as innovative services.  The Company was formed in the course of the summer 2011 merger of Youngevity Essential Life Sciences with Javalution® Coffee Company (now part of the company's food and beverage division). The resulting company became Youngevity International, Inc. in July 2013.  For investor information, please visit YGYI.com.  
Safe Harbor Statement
 This release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 on our current expectations and projections about future events. In some cases forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "may," "should," "potential," "continue," "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates," "encouraged" and similar expressions. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release include statements regarding the many strong cross-marketing opportunities with the GIGI HILL Handbag and Accessory Brand, the availability of the Gigi Hill’s new collection in the second quarter of 2018, and Gigi Hill. Stylists benefiting from the robust earning opportunity and exciting cross-selling benefits that exist within Youngevity. These forward-looking statements are based on management's expectations and assumptions as of the date of this press release and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations and assumptions from those set forth or implied by any forward-looking statements. Important factors that that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include, among others, the ability to successfully implement cross-marketing opportunities with the GIGI HILL Handbag and Accessory Brand, the ability to launch the Gigi Hill’s new collection in the second quarter of 2018, and the ability of Gigi Hill. Stylists to benefiting from the earning opportunity and cross-selling benefits that exist within Youngevity and the other factors discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, and our subsequent filings with the SEC, including subsequent periodic reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K. The information in this release is provided only as of the date of this release, and we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this release based on new information, future events, or otherwise, except as required by law.






Disclaimer: Kevin Surbaugh is an independent sales representative of Youngevity (YGYI) and is a shareholder in the publicly traded company.

He also has positions in Coca-Cola (KO) but has no positions in any other stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours.

--- go ahead share your thoughts with me now, my ears are open. I'm always eager to hear what you think.

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Debt Hole

Kevin Surbaugh

When you are in debt, especially when you owe more than what you earn, it can seem like you will never get yourself out.  Debt is a trap that can sneak up on you. You don't think it will be a problem and then like a hunters trap, it has you.  You are caught with nowhere to go. Jow are you going to get out.  You owe, a car company or two, then there is a major credit card not to mention two or three store cards.  The debt keeps piling up and you are sinking lower and lower. How will you ever get out?
It is easy to think borrowing more can help.Those in the situation may turn to payday or other risky lenders to pay bills. The problem is that using such loans, only create more debt. Thus digging the hole deeper.Even the savviest of us can get caught up in this cycle.  Even those that may have been through Dave Ramsey's no debt classes.  It takes discipline and courage, to say no to debt.  Even when we are faced with certain needs and dare I say it, even desires. Especially desires to try to make your spouse happy. 
So what can one do?  Bite the bullet, spend less than you earn and pay down those debts.  No matter how hard it may be, in the long run, you will be happier.






--- go ahead share your thoughts with me now, my ears are open. I'm always eager to hear what you think.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Mortgage Rates Drop

Marketwired

MCLEAN, VA-- Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average mortgage rates dropping to start the year.
News Facts
  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.95 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending January 4, 2018, down from last week when it averaged 3.99 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.20 percent. 
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.38 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.44 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.44 percent. 
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.45 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.47 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.33 percent.
Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.



 Kevin Surbaugh no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours.
--- go ahead share your thoughts with me now, my ears are open. I'm always eager to hear what you think.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Business Round-Up

Press Release


NexPoint Capital, Inc. Announces Tender Offer for Common Stock

DALLAS, TX  (PRNewswire) -- NexPoint Capital, Inc. (the "Company"), a non-traded publicly registered business development company and affiliate of Highland Capital Management, L.P., today announced the expiration and final results for its tender offer (the "Tender Offer") for up to 2.5% of its outstanding common stock ("Shares") at a price equal to 90% of the offering price per Share in effect on the Expiration Date (as defined in the Offer to Purchase) (the date of repurchase) and any unpaid dividends accrued through the expiration date of the Tender Offer. The Fund's Tender Offer expired on December 29, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. New York City time. 10,820 shares of the Company were tendered for repurchase in the Tender Offer.
Any questions regarding the Tender Offer can be directed to the Company's Tender Agent, DST Systems, Inc., at 1-844-485-9167. The Company's current offering price for its Shares, as well as other information, including information about management and the healthcare-focused investment strategy, are available at http://nexpointcapital.com. The information on or accessible through http://nexpointcapital.com is not incorporated by reference herein.

Essence Ventures Announces Acquisition of Essence Communications from Time Inc.

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Essence Ventures LLC, an independent African-American owned company focused on merging content, community, and commerce, today announced its acquisition of multi-platform media company Essence Communications Inc. from Time Inc. ESSENCE President Michelle Ebanks will continue at the helm of the company and will also join its board of directors. In addition, the all-Black female executive team of ESSENCE, including Ebanks, will have an equity stake in the business.

“This acquisition of ESSENCE represents the beginning of an exciting transformation of our iconic brand as it evolves to serve the needs and interests of multigenerational Black women around the world in an even more elevated and comprehensive way across print, digital, e-commerce and experiential platforms,” said Ebanks. “In addition, it represents a critical recognition, centering and elevation of the Black women running the business from solely a leadership position to a co-ownership position.”
Through the Essence Ventures’ investment and resulting incremental growth opportunities, ESSENCE will focus on expanding its digital businesses via distribution partnerships, compelling original content and targeted client-first strategies. In addition, the brand will expand its international growth by planting its rich content ecosystem, including the flagship magazine, digital properties, and successful live event franchises, in more global markets with women who have shared interests and aspirations.
“The strategic vision and leadership that Michelle has provided to ESSENCE over the years have been exemplary, and we are thrilled to work with her and her talented team to provide the necessary resources and support to continue to grow the engagement and influence of the ESSENCE brand and transform this business,” said Richelieu Dennis, founder and chairperson of Essence Ventures. “As importantly, we are excited to be able to return this culturally relevant and historically significant platform to ownership by the people and the consumers whom it serves and offers new opportunities for the women leading the business to also be partners in the business.”


PetSmart® Wraps up Historic Buy a Bag, Give a Meal™ Pet Food Donation Program After Generating More Than 63 Million Meals, About 340 Semi Truckloads of Pets in Need

PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PetSmart announced today that it has wrapped up its Buy a Bag, Give a Meal program where the retailer donated a meal to a pet in need for every bag of dog or cat food purchased between March 1 – Dec. 31, 2017. The program beat its goal of 60 million meals* with more than 63 million meals generated. The Buy a Bag, Give a Meal program is the largest philanthropic initiative in PetSmart’s 30-year history and is among the largest pet food donation efforts the industry has seen.

PetSmart announced today that it has wrapped up its
Buy a Bag, Give a Meal™ program where the retailer
donated a meal to a pet in need
for every bag of dog or cat food purchased
 between March 1 – Dec. 31, 2017.
The program, expected to donate 60 million meals,
has surpassed its goal by generating more
 than 63 million meals. In collaboration with the
 nonprofit partner, PetSmart Charities,
who is teaming up with nonprofits
GreaterGood.org’s Rescue Bank and Feeding America®,
 the donated pet food has been, and will continue to be,
 distributed to thousands of destinations to help feed hungry
 pets in need across the U.S. and Canada.
Pet food is a rare offering at food banks and pantriesand this program
provides petfood so families in need can provide ffood forevery member of the family,
including their dogs and cats. This PetSmart program
is the largest philanthropic initiative in PetSmart’s
30-year history and is among the largest petfood donation efforts the industry has seen.
(Photo: Business Wire)
“We are so pleased that, together with our shoppers who bought dog and cat food bags at our stores and PetSmart.com, we’ve not only met, but exceeded our goal of donating 60 million meals,” said Joshua Kanter, PetSmart’s executive vice president of marketing and customer experience. “To date, we’ve distributed about 35 million meals to help feed hungry pets in need, and we expect to deliver the remaining 29 million to pet shelters and rescues, as well human food banks, pantries and meal programs across the U.S. and Canada in the first half of 2018.”
The delivery of such a large-scale volume of donated food presented significant logistical challenges for PetSmart. In collaboration with nonprofit partner, PetSmart Charities, who is teaming up with nonprofits GreaterGood.org’s Rescue Bank and Feeding America®, the donated pet food has been and will continue to be, efficiently distributed to thousands of destinations to help feed hungry pets in need across the U.S. and Canada.







Kevin Surbaugh no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
--- go ahead share your thoughts with me now, my ears are open. I'm always eager to hear what you think.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Learn How to Reduce Your Taxes by $100k or more in 1 Year with Passive Income Generators (PIGs)

PRweb

LOS ANGELES - December 30, 2017 - High-income earners who reside in high-income tax states, help is on the way.
We are offering you an alternative to permanently reduce your taxes by $100k or more within 1 year. This methodology was created over the past decade and has been used by many of the wealthiest people on earth, including President Trump.
This training will show you how to eliminate your tax liability by $100K or more in one year just by implementing three (3) easy steps. We have proven that once you implement these three steps you will be protected from any adverse changes as a result of tax reform.
One recent customer shared the following….“I had no idea that I could reduce my taxes by utilizing the tax code. In the past, my CPA’s had advised me just to make less money or buy a larger house. Now, I have found ways to not only reduce my taxes but to also replace my high taxable income with lower taxed income.
Here are the details:
DATE: Thursday, January 4th, 2018
TIME: 11am PST/2:00 PM EST
LOCATION: ONLINE
COST: NO COST
ENROLL: HERE
Hosted by Gena Lofton, the Founder of A2A. A2A stands for Accredited2Accredited, which is a Los Angeles Based edutainment company which helps the global investing community work less, make more money and pay less in taxes. Having grown up homeless and in foster care in South Central Los Angeles, Gena escaped and learned the secrets of the wealthy, one of which is related to Taxes. Today, she uses the tax code to build wealth and helps others do the same with A2A. Gena resides in the highest taxed state in the union, California, and uses the tax code, in the same manner, thus pays very little in taxes.
In addition to leading A2A, Gena is an active investor across all asset classes, including real estate, oil, and gas, media and entertainment, natural resources and mining. As an author and speaker, she contributes as an industry expert across the globe. Gena’s corporate career is expansive, including but not limited to, a member of the management team of the largest pay television service in the world, DIRECTV until the sale to ATT, prior to DIRECTV, she lead a successful career, at Ernst & Young, LLP.
The training is now open for registration. SPACE IS LIMITED TO 250 PEOPLE. SO ENROLL EARLY HERE





Kevin Surbaugh no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
--- go ahead share your thoughts with me now, my ears are open. I'm always eager to hear what you think.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Pre-Token Sales Launch on December 28, 2017, for the Privacy Mobile Phone

Newswire

StealthCryptoTM is launching the world’s largest decentralized, community-distributed, telecommunications network in less than 48 hours. The much-anticipated ICO opens pre-token sales at midnight on December 28, 2017, and is expected to sell out rapidly due to the fluctuation of the cryptocurrency market. Sharky Ashmore, CEO of BTC Media Group, states, “The bitcoin has so much movement that investors are looking for a stable, investment-grade place and StealthCryptoTM is as stable and profitable as we have seen in the past six months.” The smartphone features include full privacy with hard kill switches and a built-in privacy control center whereby the user is always in total control.
Larry Castro, CEO of StealthCryptoTM, says, “One of the most impressive features of the phone is the wallet which allows various currencies and the privacy app included on the StealthCryptoTM page ensures approval from the user with IBE and split encryption authentication integration.” The StealthCrypto CloudTM NAS (Network-Attached System) is fully decentralized with files distributed and stored all over the world on multiple containers. The network is robust to attacks and therefore has no central point of weakness.
The genius of the StealthCrypto CloudTM is the fact that NAS has an embedded Wi-Fi router container that connects to peer-to-peer cloud storage, telecommunications, communications, IoT (Internet of Things) connections and mining and is powered by a decentralized StealthCryptoTM incentive-based, Quantum meshed network. The integrated StealthCryptoTM MESH network delivers Quantum Entropy with quantum key generation and distribution. StealthCryptoTM has taken every step to ensure privacy and the pre-order list for phones are in the tens of thousands due to smartphone users’ need for privacy in their day-to-day lives.
About Stealth Grid™
StealthCrypto™ provides a proprietary, quantum secure blockchain solution, utilizing a multi-layer approach on the endpoints, dynamic split encryption, and Dynamic GeoDistribution™, eliminating the setup and management challenges associated with certificate-based solutions. StealthCrypto™ can be scaled to levels required for massive deployment characteristic of the Internet of Things and Blockchain and protect billions of devices and transactions with ease.
The StealthCrypto™ ecosystem provides products based on quantum secure blockchain technology for cloud storage, data protection, email, instant messaging, video conferencing, voice calls, mobile, AI cybersecurity and the StealthCrypto™ smartphone, all on its quantum mesh network and its Qubit Blockchain™.
All cryptocurrencies depend upon elliptic curve public-key cryptography (ECDSA) to generate digital signatures which allow transactions to be verified securely. The most commonly used signature schemes are ECDSA, DSA, and RSA. All these schemes are theoretically vulnerable to quantum computing attacks. Qubit Blockchain is being developed to be quantum computer-resistant and to provide transactions speeds untouchable by other blockchains.


 --- go ahead share your thoughts with me now, my ears are open. I'm always eager to hear what you think.