I offer you a completely draft-quality, madly dashed off, translation of the item. (more…)
Source: Portal ClippingMP.
BTG Pactual, the investment bank led by André Esteves, has dropped out of the running for Brazilian telephone company GVT, controlled since 2009 by the French communications and entertainment groupo Vivendi.
At the outset, the company was pursued by four suitors, but that number fell to three when BTG, due to a combination of factors, including … price, as Valor discovered. BTG has no comment on the story. It is believed that Esteves could rethink the company’s offer and rejoin the fray.
The sale of GVT is in its “data room” phase, opening its books to interested parties. Binding offers are expected in February, but in the meantime, the company’s data has undergone constant, though minor, adjustments.
The three groups still in the running are (1) the consortium comprising the American fund KKR, the Brazilian asset manager Gávea — founded by former Brazilian central bank chairman Armínio Fraga — and Cambuhy Investimentos; (2) Apax, a Brazilian private equity partnership; and (3) the American DirecTV.
GVT has been valued at some R$16 billion. When it decided to sell off its Brazilian holdings, Vivendi decided to offer between €7 billion e €9 billion for GVT. As soon as bidding began, Vivendi showed signs of a willingness to accept R$19 bilhões, or €6.3 billion.
In 2009, a Vivendi invested R$ 7.5 billion in the purchase of 100% of GVT after disputing the deal with Telefónica.
The value of GVT as estimated by the interested parties places it above its competitor, Oi, with its R$15 billion in market capital. The Telefonica-Vivo group has a market value of R$55.7 on the São Paulo Stock Exchange | Bovespa.
I wish it were easier to call up share price data from the Web site of the BMF-Bovespa.
Brazilian blog Fusões e Acquisições has been tracking the deal since June of last year.
Vivendi began to consider divesting itself of GVT after a failed attempt to sell off Activision Blizzard, its digital gaming unit. Sources say, however, that the company was not willing to pay the offer price. “Selling off GVT is no longer a taboo subject and is being discussed internally,”said one source. But Vivendi has not yet hired an investment bank to sell the company off.
Vivendi, a conglomerate whose holdings range from telecom to entertainment, is reviewing its internal structure in order to shore up its falling share price. Investment banks have submitted investment plans that provide for the sale of business units or the complete dismembering of the Vivendi group.
Valued at [?]20.5 billion, Vivendi is led by board chairman Jean-René Fourtou, 72, who took over after former CEO Jean-Bernard Levy announced he was leaving last month, citing a falling out among board members over how best to restructure the group.
Vivendi’s share price has recovered somewhat in the meantime, from €13.63 to €17.
Filed under: Brazil, Broadband Convergence, Business, Competition, Entertainment, Globalization, Government, Information Technology, Infotainment, Outsourcing, PR & Advertising, Technology | Leave a Comment »
«… solving the problems of an industry or a corporation is not a sexy way to make a living»
Source: Folha de S. Paulo | Brasilianas.Org
By: Reinaldo Chaves
Translation: C. Brayton
The Start-Up Brasil program, launched by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation in November of last year, is an attempt to replicate international success stories in support for start-ups — fledgling companies in the IT sector — based on a joint effort by government and the private sector.
Chile founded a similar program two years ago and has already attended 397 companies and 888 entrepreneurs. The annual budget of Start-Up Chile is US$ 14 million. Israel has invested heavily in start-ups since the 1990s, mostly in the areas of military, energy and aerospace technologies. The University of Jerusalem receives annual funding of more than US$ 1 billion.
The Brazilian program calls for investing R$ 40 million in three years in at least 150 companies. At the outset, six accelerators will be selected to service the selected start-ups.
The accelerators will create incubators and provide research and consulting — see the «Mission Statement», below. (more…)
Luiz Carlos Azenha of Viomundo, on the upcoming Venezuelan election, urges the poll-follower to beware.
I would say that last-minute opinion polls should be greeted with extreme skepticism.
The recall election of 2004 should not be forgotten: 58.25% of voters supported maintaining Chavez in power and 41,54% to remove him, based on a constitutional clause that permits recall elections two years into a term in office.
Because Venezuelan law bans the release of exit poll results while polls remain open, the numbers were published in New York and retransmitted all over the world.
This sort of juridictional arbitrage is also seen in Brazil, whose election laws provide for strict controls — almost unenforceably strict, in fact — over electioneering content.
If such a message is order taken down, it can simply be moved to an offshore server in, say, Palo Alto and in this way sneak back in over the Paraguayan border.
In Venezuela, polls were still open and the publication of these contradictory results may have had a triple objective: demoralize Chavez voters who had not yet voted, encourage opposition voters, and lay the groundwork for protests questioning the legitimacy of results.
The technical term for this strategy is FUD: Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.
Somewhere here I have an excellent study of poll manipulation as a political strategy. Tweaking the numbers to maintain a state of «technical tie» is one example.
Recall the world-class FUD storm surrounding the 2000 elections in Florida.
We also saw FUD at work in Mexico in 2006 — Nielsen Net Ratings and political marketers Dick Morris and Rob Allyn played a central role — and we are now seeing a chronic technical tie in most but far from all polling organizations in the São Paulo mayoral race this year.
In recent days, Capriles has claimed that unpublished polling results show him in the lead, Published polls show Chavez with a 10- to 20-point lead.
A source to keep an eye on for viral marketing of UDN-style screaming propaganda of this sort is ORVEX, the Organization of Venezuelan Exiles.
Jadson Oliveira of Fazendo Media draws similar conclusions:
With elections ten days away, an enthusiastic popular movement in the streets and opinion polls pointing to a stable scenario of easy victory, Chavez’s main challenge is not to win, but to win by a wide margin. Chavists say that only in this way can the charges of fraud that will be made as votes are tallied be discredited, despite the powerful international «media terrorism» network — so-called — organized by the CIA.
Capriles, an attorney and sitting governor of Miranda state, has spared no expense in the effort to disassociate himself from such labels as «bourgeois», «conservative» and «right wing», as Chavez and his supporters call him.
The spectre of Cold War black propaganda may well be the product of exaggeration and moral panic among Bolivarian supporters, but tell that to the Marines: there is verisimilitude to the charges against old Uncle Sam and its Sam’s own fault.
In Caracas, Capriles is holding well-attended campaign rallies to present his plan of government, organized by theme. Topics include a «zero hunger» program like that put in place by the Lula government in Brazil. «Our farmers will have easy credit and the shantytowns, which belong to the people, will be improved».
Heir to one of his nation’s largest fortunes, Capriles insists that his victory will represent «the will of the people» and that, as the governor who invested most in education, he is a «progressive». His speeches often site the PT government in Brazil for having «created 16 million jobs and lifted 20 million Brazilians out of poverty. ».
He sounds a bit like a Venezuelan Mike Bloomberg, doesn’t he? Bloomberg has also praised and studied the Brazilian program.
In a nicely illustrated Folha de S.Paulo Sunday magazine package on elder care options in the greater Sambodian metro megalopolis, I discover an inconvenient truth: The older I get, the more like Grandpa Simpson I become.
Recall Abe’s outraged complaint to the FCC and advertisers in Season One, Episode Five, «Bart the General».
I am disgusted with the way old people are depicted on television. We are not all vibrant, fun-loving sex maniacs. Many of us are bitter, resentful individuals who remember the good old days when entertainment was bland and inoffensive. The following is a list of words I never want to hear on television again. Number one: Bra. Number two: Horny. Number three: Family Jewels.
More specifically, in the Folha‘s poll of São Paulo senior citizens shown above, I discover that I share many of the same gripes as folks of my mother-in-law’s generation, such as,
- Insecurity and urban violence
- Inadequate street lighting
- Inadequate street and road signage
- Sidewalks in poor condition
- Lack of public restrooms
- Lack of accessible cultural and sporting activities
Seniors comprise some 8% of voters, a number that has doubled in recent years. The importance of this demographic is reflected in the campaign messages, such as the item above from Serra’s TV time.
An interesting aside: one of the seniors interviewed in the campaign video — the guitar-strumming Cassiano dos Santos Neto, 66 – also turns up as an interview subject in the Folha’s coverage of programs for the elderly. Are political marketers and journalists working hand in hand on these pautas?
Against that backdrop, consider the most recent electioneering videos aired by two of the three front-running candidates, Serra (PSDB) and Haddad (PT), who appear to be slugging it out for a spot in the runoff election with TV personality Celso Russomanno.
Serra’s pitch tends to minimize the sensation that anything is lacking in our beloved city, piling up numbers of cinema screens and business events and commercial outlets and so on.
But how do these numbers compare with other cities, prorated by population? How do transportation and education stats, in particular, compare with what voters feel and experts say is needed to make the system easier to use and the city more open to free flows of human beings?
It would take a complete fact check to be able to comment on the numbers marshalled here, but one example might be the progress made toward the goal of expanding the subway system.
Building 2 km of subway and 5 km of commuter train trackes per year, as a matter of historical average, São Paulo state will have to build 8 km of subway and 10 km of CMPT per year in order to meet its goal for 2012-2015. The state had foreseen building 32 km of subway and 40 km of commuter rail in that time period.
Serra and his party also presided over the Great Smoking Hole of 2006 — the collapse of a huge excavation at the new Pinheiros station on the Yellow Line. The turnkey contracting model was questioned by engineers and experts.
«I, Meme, Me My
In short, the basic meme of the pro-Serra campaign is something like «São Paulo is already great, we love it the way it is and we owe it all to Serra».
If I were the specter of Mário Covas, F.H. Cardoso or Geraldo Alckmin — founding figures of the PSDB — I might feel slighted by this claim.
I cannot help feeling that Serra is beating a dead horse by adopting the discourse of autohagiographic moral integrity in this piece, which feels anachronistic and tired.
It is too soon to forget the downfall of PSDB political ally Demóstenes Torres, a self-proclaimed champion of public morality who fell hard from grace in a case not disimilar to the Tom DeLay affair.
The ethos appeal of Serra’s «my humble origins» speech recalls Nixon’s invocation of a dog named Checkers. Serra would do better — IMHO — to stick to past accomplishments and the need for continuity in technical policy areas and public works projects.
I would take Piauí magazine’s August report on the PSDB’s involvement in the «big monthly allowance» scandal as an indication that hip, informed young voters no longer view the affair through the lens of a Manichean allegory.
It is generally admitted, even in the pro-opposition press, that the PSDB and PT were simply two consecutive passengers in the black-market Tijuana taxi of the Marcos Valério money laundering scheme.
Take the one-woman polling sample who wakes me when I snore: A dyed in the wool petista, she still reacts positively to the Serra who dealt with AIDS and generic medicines during his time as federal health minister.
The problem Serra is having, according to reliable local political handicappers of various creeds, is voter rejection of the municipal administration formed by Serra’s deputy when Serra ran for governor. Kassab was a municipal secretary in the crooked, post-Malufist PSDB City Hall of Celso Pitta.
The Haddad Express
The PT has outspent the PSDB by a factor of two in spending on the current campaign, and that whole amount is reflected in its Web site and social media campaign — even if its viral videos are not racking up the volume of likes and twitteds an election manager might wish.
Seriously, the Haddad site is actually more sophisticated in its information architecture and wealth of churn-generating strategies than those of Obama and Romney. João Santana is in charge of the campaign — he would make an interesting interview for a PR industry trade magazine like O’Dwyer’s.
I believe I read that the party had recorded up to 2,000 mini-spots with ex-president Lula endorsing local candidates from across Brazil.
I think the Haddad piece speaks for itself, and its central thesis is provided by a back-slapping Lula when he says, «Dilma was an unknown but I got her elected based on her accomplishments; the same will happen with Haddad.»
Haddad himself is something of a mirror image of ex-governor Neves of Minas Gerais: Youthful, technocratic, wonkish. The «him and her» hosts of both messages mirror this age category, with Serra appealing directly to the black community.
The soundtrack appeals to current trends in youthful musical genres — rap, in particular, with a message from Emicida, and new directions in samba. Production values are remarkable.
The Russomanno Factor
Russomanno remains an unknown quantity to me, although local media heads explain that his years as presenter of the rabble-rousing Balanço Geral SP explain his name recognition.
Curiously, one reads very little in the way of explanation for the man’s leadership in the polls.
The «Power» page of today’s Folha reports on evidence of a link between the Russomanno campaign and IURD — the politically powerful, national TV network-owning Universal Church of the Kingdom of God.
As in the States, churches may not engage in electioneering and risk losing tax-exempt status if they do.
In this case, the Folha team observed the comings and going of Russomanno sound vans and «sticker trucks» from a IURD parking structure, and were even offered a job: US$ 75 per six-day week by campaign workers emerging from a religious service.
Since Russomanno has only declared a tenth of the donations as reported by the PT, it makes sense to wonder whether the Israelites are not being fed by manna from heaven.
Filed under: Black Markets, Brazil, Corruption, Democracy, Government, Infotainment, Journalism, Life in Sambodia, Media, Politics, PR & Advertising, Public Relations & Advertising, Public Works | Leave a Comment »
“And here is a story that will leave you indignant.” Globo journalism is not Globo journalism unless it tells you first how to feel about the fact, if any, that come after.
The politicization of corruption accusations is a common and a wearisome spectacle in these Sambodian climes, and major news organizations tend not to slip the leash if ordered to avoid going into attack dog mode on a political ally of ownership .
In the meantime, the PSDB government of São Paulo has been accused, and not without a certain justice, of benefiting from cozy relationships with the corporate media to avoid corruption scandals in its ranks.
Celso Pitta died a free man, more or less. And probably so will Maluf.
And so it is surprising to read of a state secretary falling on his sword over corrupt practices not even related to the exercise of his office. Terra reports.
The state government of São Paulo state confirmed late Sunday that governor Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB) had accepted the resignation of state sport, leisure and youth secretary Jorge Pagura. The neurosurgeon Pagura allegedly received payment for shifts not worked at the Regional Hospital of Sorocaba before becoming secretary, according to a report on Globo’s Fantástico today.
Fantástico — a weird amalgam of 60 Minutes and Laugh-In that runs in prime time Sunday night — is a traditional launching pad for smear campaigns and moral panics.
According to a press release, he left office voluntarily “with the objective of assisting in clarifying the facts brought forth by the state prosecutor and the [Sambodian GAO].”
According to the report, more than 70 health professionals were investigated bu police and prosecutors for suspected embezzlement of public funds. On Wednesday, 12 doctors, nurses, dentists and business managers were arrested and charged with involvement in a fraud scheme at 12 hospitals in Sorocaba, Itapevi and São Paulo. One suspect is still at large.
The state secretary was not among those investigated.
To make a long story short, however, a wiretap captured a telephone call in which arrangements are made for payment for a shift not worked.
Probity seems to have broken out on a nonpartisan basis. I know these nuances mean little to you, but I am stuck in this place and the local media sphere has permeated my brain.
The tools provided by the SIMILE project and used to develop this timeline gizmo in Drupal really are useful. .
It is useful, for example, to see Mr. Sorrell of the WPP group dining with President Obama not long after buying Blue State Digital, the agency that handles the spectacle of Obamism. I follow the company, and the timeline gives me a 1 to + 1 = 2.
I proclaim myself convinced, and I am ready to take a serious run at something I have wanted to do for several years now: track Brazilian IT.
Still a bug or two, as you an see. In any event, it all begins with the Computer Science Bill of 1985, subject of the prize-winning 1988 investigative report, long form, by Vera Dantas.
Once I get caught up and set my coverage universe, I can start think about translating the diachronic — one thing after another — into the syncrhonic — the general outcome as a whole considered as a structure or scenario.
Wandora would be one tool available for that purpose.
Information already gleaned through my Semantic Mediawiki just has to be transferred over …
And so I lift my Coney Island shot glass of Old Mudmaker arguardente to you, if you wish me well: May Brazilian IT become hot, hot, hot in about a year, by which time I will know a lot of detailed stuff about it, rather than the piecemeal knowlege I have now.
And if you do not wish me well, honi soit qui mal y pense.
Aí, o jeito que o tempo têm de complicar as coiss.
No meio da década dos 2000, eu editava um jornalzinho sobre a indústria financeira. Tinha meu gabinete quase na esquina da Rua Wall com Water.
Na época, a NYSE — a Bolsa de Nova York — era a NYSE que sempre tinha sido, ou assim pensavamos, e além de uma “demumutalização” da bolsa, não havia muita gente esperando as enormes mudanças à vir. John Thain, ex-Goldman e mostrado acima à esquerda, parecia ser um homem esperto mas nunca espertalhão.
À mesma época, atraia atenção o model de consolidaçao de pequenas bolsas pela ambiciosa e tecnicamente avançada OMX, a Bolsa de Oslo, em Noruega. Eu sempre isso um modelo que deveria interessar a BM&F, seguindo nos passos do seu grande amigo e mentor, o Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
Da Nasdaq eu, pelo menos, eu não esperava senão que ia continuar sendo o Nasdaq, cotando os preços em letras dez metros de altura no Times Square.
Então, a fusão NYSE-EURONEXT, e a emergência de bolsas de valores e balcões de transação inventandas na hora, em vez de crescer sobre o curso de um século, como tinham feitas a Londres e a NYSE.
A Nasdaq OMX Group e a IntercontinentalExchange ICE melhoraram a oferta para comprar a Nyse Euronext, oferecendo-se para pagar US$ 350 milhões, além da proposta anterior de US$ 11,18 bilhões, se autoridades antitruste bloquearem o negócio. Às 11h25 de Brasília, as ações da Nasdaq subiam 0,22%, as da ICE caíam 0,20% e as da Nyse avançavam 0,98% em Nova York.A oferta melhorada foi apresentada numa carta formal para o conselho Nyse Euronext, que na semana passada rejeitou a proposta não solicitada por motivos estratégicos.”Nós acreditamos que o conselho da Nyse Euronext procurará aumentar o valor para seus acionistas, reunindo-se conosco, para avaliar a nossa proposta melhorada”, disse o chefe-executivo da ICE, num comunicado.Representantes da Nyse Euronext não estavam disponíveis para comentar a notícia.
Filed under: Accounting, Agribusiness, Brazil, Business, Factoring, Foods, Government, Information Technology, Infotainment, Outsourcing, PR & Advertising, Public Relations & Advertising, Public-Private Partnerships, Publishing, Software, Support Services, Technology | Tagged: Captial Markets, Competition, server farms | Leave a Comment »
Softex, the software development arm of BNDES, announces:, and I translate an excerpt or two:
Intel Brasil and Softex announce the signing of a Tecnical and Scientific Cooperation agreement that establishes a mutual commitment to the Brazilian software and IT services industry, inceasing Brazil’s share of a sector that already brings inUS$ 18.5 billion and is expected to grow 25% in 2011.
In recent weeks, Intel had announced it would bypass India and China and invest half a billion dollars in an R&D center in Brazil.
The MOU establishes work standards for the training of Brazilian IT personnel in bleeding-edge technology in order to make them more competitive in the world market and making it possible to offer services and products of the highest quality to the Brazilian consumer. at the same time, innovative solutions developed in Brazil will be immediaely made available all over the world through Intel’s online store. The initiative will benefit, not just Softex members, but all organizations represented on its board, such as Assespro, Abes and Fenainfo.
The technology press here is dominated by “coverage” of the latest U.S. releases, with little if any attention paid to the Brazilian industry.
One of the first initiatives under study is a survey of IT firms which state of the art technologies,such as parallel programming, cloud computing, mobile solutions, security and graphics computing, should be focused on first in the context of the agreement. (more…)
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All speech is vain and empty unless it be accompanied by action –Demosthenes
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. –Marcus Aurelius
Justice Roberts tells the Washington Times that Supreme Court deliberations are being bugged by some rogue COINTELPRO-style operation within the FBI. Time magazine and ABC News uncritically endorse the accusation.
Justice Scalia chimes in, charging a plot to throw members of the Federalist Society to the lions.
A Warren Commission is empaneled.
The accusations turn out to be completely baseless.
Here in Brazil, O Globo publishes the outcome of a similar episode in a three-sentence footnote on an inside page of a skeleton-crew holiday edition — without repercussion in the rest of the national news media, as is customary.
A search on Google News for grampo — wiretap — turns up no reference to the story, while the same search on Google Blogs turns up a number of citations of a note by journalist Luis Nassif on the episode.
In the note, Nassif is a wee bit unfair to Globo journalism to the extent that O Globo designated blogger Ricardo Noblat offers an extended analysis of the episode as well.
Lei & Ordem reproduces Noblat’s online column — translated excerpt follows.
THE FEDERAL POLICE have concluded that there was no illegal wiretapping of the telephones of Supreme Court Chief Justice Gilmar Mendes in the episode in which a conversation between the justice and Senator Demóstenes Torres [DEM-GO] wss made public.
The feds concluded there was no interception of fixed-line or wireless telephones of the high court The Senate police had already reached the same conclusion.
Furthermore, the 10 electronic “suitcases” of ABIN, the national intelligence agency, were not used for purposes other than those for which they are intended One was used in a kidnapping case in Paraguay. A technical report by the Army attests that this equipment is not capable of intercepting telephone calls.
So where does that leave us?
There was an unforgettable uproar when Demóstenes and Gilmar confirmed to VEJA magazine that they had in fact had the conversation that appeared in print. VEJA does not have the audio of the conversation. Neither do the Senator or the former Chief Justice, for that matter.
The chief justice threatened to go on national radio and TV to denounce the emergence of a police state. He considered maintaining the high court in permanent session until the matter was cleared up. He requested a meeting with the federal president in which he spoke in harsh terms .
After this meeting, on the advice of Defense Minister Nelson Jobim, the president removed the leadership of ABIN. When things cooled off, no evidence was found of ABIN involvement, nor of any wrongdoing by federal police. Jobim’s statement that ABIN possessed equipment capable of wiretapping was refuted .
On the eve of the presidential elections in 2006, Marco Aurélio de Mello, chief justice at the time of the federal elections tribunal, announced that his telephone was bugged. It was not.. He had based his statement on an ambiguous report from a security consultant hired to sweep the court for bugs.
Filed under: Brazil, Democracy, Government, Information Technology, Infotainment, Journalism, Legal Affairs, Open Sources, Organized Crime, Outsourcing, Public Relations & Advertising, Publishing, Technology | Leave a Comment »