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The Daily Ten – Blackstone’s $16 Billion Biomed recap, The Netflix of Hotels, $2 Billion US tax fraud, Robot Cars in San Francisco…

October 16, 2020by Steve NsonNews

The Daily Ten – Blackstone’s $16 Billion Biomed recap, The Netflix of Hotels, $2 Billion US tax fraud, Robot Cars in San Francisco…

October 16, 2020 by Steve Nson
Friday, October 16th, 2020

The Daily Ten

1. Blackstone Values BioMed Realty At $14.6 billion In Recapitalization Deal | News Break

Blackstone Group Inc (NYSE: BX) announced the sale of its portfolio company BioMed Realty for $14.6 billion on Thursday, to a group led by existing BioMed investors. BioMed was acquired by Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII L.P. and co-investors in 2016 and the sale represents a $6.5 billion gain.

The internal sale transaction from one fund to another is a part of Blackstone’s long term strategy to recapitalize the unit.

With an 11.3 million sq. ft portfolio, BioMed tops the leaderboard among private owners of life science office building in the U.S.

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2. Mortgage Lender IPOs Are Booming. Which Are the Best Buys? | WSJ

A historic mortgage market is also remaking the public-stock universe for home lenders. It’s important for investors to consider how their models and multiples vary.

Home mortgage lending in the U.S. this year could hit record levels, and some big private lenders are eager to tap the public markets. Investors will have to sort out which—if any—to buy.

The first to go public this year was Rocket Companies. Its shares are up more than 24% from its August initial public offering. Now several other lenders may list. United Wholesale Mortgage is set to become public this year via a deal with a special-purpose acquisition company. Caliber Home Loans and AmeriHome revealed IPO filings this month,…

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3. Hotels on demand: Operators are selling ‘subscriptions’ to lure back visitors | CNBC

Fitness membership? Check. Streaming account? Of course. Meal kit service? Sure.

How about your hotel subscription?

Whether for pleasure, work, or long-term lodging, hospitality operators are hoping on-demand stays could be your next must-have membership as the embattled travel industry tries to expand its reach.

InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott and Accor are among the major names that have launched or are considering monthly payment plans, as hotels try to attract restless remote workers ready for a change of scene.

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4. Mortgage Credit for Some Americans Drying Up Amid Supply Deluge | Bloomberg

A flood of mortgage-bond supply combined with a dearth of credit for lower-quality borrowers point to how the U.S. housing market is becoming more uneven when it comes to access to historically cheap debt.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s index of housing credit availability dropped last month to the lowest since February 2014. The benchmark has slipped eight of nine months this year and stands 35% lower than at the same time in 2019. The index is a broad measure of credit supply that weights various borrower credit characteristics and the range of products available to them.

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5. Nasdaq’s VC arm invests in proptech startup Dealpath | The Real Deal

Nasdaq Ventures joins the likes of Blackstone and JLL backing data management company

Dealpath, the data management startup backed by the likes of Blackstone and JLL, received a new capital injection from Nasdaq’s investment arm.

Nasdaq Ventures provided Dealpath with the new funding to help the proptech company to expand its cloud-based platform that manages the workflow on investment transactions, the companies told The Real Deal.

Nasdaq declined to divulge the size of the investment.

The latest cash injection follows investments from real estate players like Blackstone, JLL Spark, 8VC, GreenSoil Investments, Goldcrest Capital, LeFrak, Milstein and Bechtel.

Gary Offner, the head of Nasdaq Ventures, said Dealpath is the first real estate company out of the 14 firms the venture capital arm has invested in.

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6. Stripe acquires Nigeria’s Paystack for $200M+ to expand into the African continent | TechCrunch

When Stripe announced earlier this year that it had picked up another $600 million in funding, it said one big reason for the funding was to expand its API-based payments services into more geographies. Today the company is coming good on that plan in the form of some M&A.

Stripe is acquiring Paystack, a startup out of Lagos, Nigeria that, like Stripe, provides a quick way to integrate payments services into an online or offline transaction by way of an API. (We and others have referred to it in the past as “the Stripe of Africa.”)

Paystack currently has around 60,000 customers, including small businesses, larger corporates, fintechs, educational institutions and online betting companies, and the plan will be for it to continue operating independently, the companies said.

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7. OJO Labs Acquires Fintech Startup Digs, Plans to Double in Size This Year | Built in Austin

Homeownership remains a dream for many but a reality for few. OJO Labs CEO John Berkowitz said a lack of financial readiness prevents most people from calling the roof over their heads their own.

On Thursday, he used an undisclosed mix of cash and equity to buy Digs, in a move to help consumers of all income classes buy, sell and save for a home.

Digs, a Chicago-based app that helps consumers manage their finances before and after purchasing a property, will now be operated under the OJO umbrella, with Berkowitz still deciding if it will retain its independent brand. He said he expected Digs’ tech to be incorporated into the AI-powered proptech platform within the next few months, and that he was attracted to the startup because of its shared mission of helping consumers make better financial decisions around their homes.

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8. DOJ charges Texas billionaire in $2 billion tax fraud scheme | Fox Business

Prosecutors also announced that Robert F. Smith, founder and chairman of Vista Equity Partners, will cooperate in the investigation and pay $139 million to settle his own tax probe.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Federal prosecutors charged Texas billionaire Robert Brockman on Thursday with a $2 billion tax fraud scheme in what they say is the largest such case against an American.

Department of Justice officials said at a news conference that Brockman, 79, hid capital gains income over 20 years through a web of offshore entities in Bermuda and Nevis and secret bank accounts in Bermuda and Switzerland. Prosecutors announced that the CEO of a private equity firm that aided in the schemes would cooperate with the investigation.

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9. GM to run robot cars in San Francisco without human backups | TechXplore

General Motors’ Cruise autonomous vehicle unit says it will pull the human backup drivers from its vehicles in San Francisco by the end of the year.

Cruise CEO Dan Ammann said in a statement that the company got a permit Thursday from California’s Department of Motor Vehicles to let the cars travel on their own.

The move follows last week’s announcement from Waymo that it would open its autonomous ride-hailing service to the public in the Phoenix area in vehicles without human drivers.

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10. The Future of Hotel Design | The New York Times

Mobile guest rooms, enhanced contactless room controls, robotic servers and pop-up dining areas are just a few of the ideas hotel designers are considering for the post-Covid travel world.

Hotel occupancy is down 50 percent nationally in the pandemic-stifled world of travel. While hundreds of hotels nationwide remain closed because of the crisis, new hotels — from the sleek high-rise Joseph Hotel in Nashville, Tenn., to the Kimpton Armory Hotel in a 1941 Art Deco landmark in Bozeman, Mont. — continue to open.

Whether they are banking on the swell of tourism that many predict will follow the introduction of a vaccine, or bound financially to open, hoteliers are making plans for a future that now must consider new outbreaks and pandemics in the same way that public buildings permanently changed their security measures in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Boutique hotels that once acted as cultural commons with art exhibitions and buzzy public spaces will be toned down and disperse guests rather that draw them together, at least until the health crisis is over.

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