News Article | April 24, 2017
Published reports indicate that cable channel ESPN is preparing another round of cuts to its on-air talent, as parent company Walt Disney Co (ticker: DIS) continues to try to right the ship at the popular network. Traditional cable TV viewers have flocked to cheaper alternatives, and Disney is still trying to solve its ESPN problem. ESPN is expected to cut 40 jobs starting on May 1, including radio hosts, on-air personalities and writers. ESPN has made similar cuts in the past, laying off 300 employees in 2013 and another 300 employees in 2015. However, the next round of layoffs is expected to include familiar on-air talent. The cost-cutting efforts at ESPN come in response to plummeting ratings and subscriber numbers. For the past two years, ESPN has been losing an average of about 300,000 subscribers per month. From 2011 to 2015, ESPN lost a total of 7 million subscribers. "Today's fans consume content in many different ways and we are in a continuous process of adapting to change and improving what we do. Inevitably that has consequences for how we utilize talent," Disney said in a statement. For Disney investors, plummeting viewership and rising content costs is a losing formula. "Given the sizable NBA rights fee step-up for ESPN in the current fiscal year, we are not surprised that ESPN would be offsetting this margin pressure with cost-cutting initiatives," Nomura analyst Anthony DiClemente said in March. Disney shares dropped 2 percent in February following a mixed fourth-quarter earnings report. Revenue from Disney's media networks unit, which includes ESPN, declined 2 percent from last year. In 2016, Disney's media networks segment accounted for more than $23.6 billion of the company's $55.4 billion in total revenue. [See: 7 of the Best Stocks to Buy for 2017.] In addition to its cost-cutting initiative, Disney is also reportedly working on an over-the-top ESPN streaming service. Last year, Disney purchased BAM Tech, which has provided technology for popular streaming services such as Time Warner's ( TWX) HBO Now and World Wrestling Entertainment's ( WWE) WWE Network. Despite the weakness at ESPN, Wall Street analysts remains bullish on Disney stock. "Our analysis of Disney's upcoming distributor renewal cycle coupled with increased conviction in new streaming bundles suggests ESPN's distribution revenue growth rate could nearly double from fiscal year 2016 levels by fiscal year 2020, turning ESPN from overhang to earnings driver," Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne says. [See: 8 Stocks to Buy For a Starter Portfolio.] Morgan Stanley maintains an "overweight" rating for Disney stock and Nomura maintains a "buy" rating. Wayne Duggan is a freelance investment strategy reporter with a focus on energy and emerging market stocks. He has a degree in brain and cognitive sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and specializes in the psychological challenges of investing. He is a senior financial market reporter for Benzinga and has contributed financial market analysis to Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha and InvestorPlace. He is also the author of the book "Beating Wall Street With Common Sense," which focuses on the practical strategies he has used to outperform the stock market. You can follow him on Twitter @DugganSense, check out his latest content at tradingcommonsense.com or email him at email@example.com.
News Article | April 21, 2017
As part of this plan, SunEd also recently announced the proposed sale of its interest in the YieldCo's – Terraform Global (NASDQ: GLBL) and Terraform Power (NASDQ: TERP) – to Brookfield Asset Management (NYSE: BAM). Insiders have described the BAM transaction as a "sweetheart deal" in keeping with company's conduct for the year it has been in bankruptcy – namely, shedding its assets at fire sale prices under the protection of chapter 11. A group of over 1,000 SunEd shareholders have joined together to fight the plan and have retained Nastasi Partners, StoneTurn Group and Energyzt Advisors to assist. Jordan Danelz, a leader of the SunEd shareholder group says, "No independent third party was ever appointed by the court to figure out what happened to our investments. A year has gone by since SunEdison entered bankruptcy – and we've been in the dark that entire time." "The case has reached a critical juncture. I cannot overstate the importance of shareholders coming forward and acting as a unified group in the pending court proceedings. There is no guarantee of a successful outcome, but at this point, two things are absolutely certain: we will lose everything if we don't act immediately, and we can't do it alone." Individuals who own SunEdison stock are encouraged to visit the SUNE shareholder portal www.suneq-equity.com to learn more about what actions they can take to preserve their investments in SunEdison. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sunedison-shareholder-group-sunedison-equity-shareholders-needed-to-help-stop-fire-sale-of-assets-and-total-loss-of-investments-300443277.html
News Article | April 24, 2017
LONDON, UK / ACCESSWIRE / April 24, 2017 / Active Wall St. announces the list of stocks for today's research reports. Pre-market the Active Wall St. team provides the technical coverage impacting selected stocks trading on the Toronto Exchange and belonging under the Real Estate Services industry. Companies recently under review include Brookfield Asset Management, Brookfield Property Partners, First Capital Realty, and FirstService. Get all of our free research reports by signing up at: On Friday, April 21, 2017, the Toronto Exchange Composite Index was down 0.07%, finishing the day at 15,614.48. Active Wall St. has initiated research reports on the following equities: Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (TSX: BAM-A), Brookfield Property Partners L.P. (TSX: BPY-UN), First Capital Realty Inc. (TSX: FCR), and FirstService Corporation (TSX: FSV). Register with us now for your free membership and research reports at: Toronto, Canada-based Brookfield Asset Management Inc.'s stock fell 1.15%, to finish Friday's session at $48.89 with a total volume of 736,646 shares traded. Over the last one month and the previous three months, Brookfield Asset Management's shares have advanced 2.77% and 5.94%, respectively. Furthermore, the stock has gained 14.96% in the past one year. The Company's shares are trading above its 50-day and 200-day moving averages. Brookfield Asset Management's 50-day moving average of $48.73 is above its 200-day moving average of $46.57. Shares of the Company, which through its subsidiaries, the firm invests in the property, power, and infrastructure sectors, are trading at a PE ratio of 31.54. See our research report on BAM-A.TO at: On Friday, shares in Hamilton, Bermuda headquartered Brookfield Property Partners L.P. recorded a trading volume of 123,075 shares. The stock ended the day 0.13% higher at $31.06. Brookfield Property Partners' stock has gained 6.37% in the last one month and 8.34% in the previous three months. Furthermore, the stock has advanced 4.65% in the past one year. The Company's shares are trading above its 50-day and 200-day moving averages. The stock's 50-day moving average of $29.76 is above its 200-day moving average of $29.41. Shares of the Company, which owns, operates, and invests in commercial properties in North America, Europe, Australia, and Brazil, are trading at PE ratio of 13.84. The complimentary research report on BPY-UN.TO at: On Friday, shares in Toronto, Canada headquartered First Capital Realty Inc. ended the session 0.99% lower at $20.09 with a total volume of 269,259 shares traded. First Capital Realty's shares have advanced 1.11% in the past one month. The stock is trading below its 50-day and 200-day moving averages. Furthermore, the stock's 200-day moving average of $20.64 is greater than its 50-day moving average of $20.12. Shares of First Capital Realty, which acquires, develops, redevelops, owns, and manages urban retail-centered real estate properties, are trading at a PE ratio of 12.63. Register for free and access the latest research report on FCR.TO at: Toronto, Canada headquartered FirstService Corp.'s stock closed the day 0.27% lower at $81.97. The stock recorded a trading volume of 43,253 shares. FirstService' shares have gained 4.77% in the last one month and 25.30% in the past three months. Furthermore, the stock has surged 50.13% in the previous one year. The company's shares are trading above their 50-day and 200-day moving averages. Moreover, the stock's 50-day moving average of $78.91 is greater than its 200-day moving average of $66.49. Shares of the Company, which provides property services to residential and commercial customers in the US and Canada, are trading at a PE ratio of 89.10. Get free access to your research report on FSV.TO at: Active Wall Street (AWS) produces regular sponsored and non-sponsored reports, articles, stock market blogs, and popular investment newsletters covering equities listed on NYSE and NASDAQ and micro-cap stocks. AWS has two distinct and independent departments. One department produces non-sponsored analyst certified content generally in the form of press releases, articles and reports covering equities listed on NYSE and NASDAQ and the other produces sponsored content (in most cases not reviewed by a registered analyst), which typically consists of compensated investment newsletters, articles and reports covering listed stocks and micro-caps. Such sponsored content is outside the scope of procedures detailed below. AWS has not been compensated; directly or indirectly; for producing or publishing this document. The non-sponsored content contained herein has been prepared by a writer (the "Author") and is fact checked and reviewed by a third party research service company (the "Reviewer") represented by a credentialed financial analyst, for further information on analyst credentials, please email [email protected]. Rohit Tuli, a CFA® charterholder (the "Sponsor"), provides necessary guidance in preparing the document templates. The Reviewer has reviewed and revised the content, as necessary, based on publicly available information which is believed to be reliable. Content is researched, written and reviewed on a reasonable-effort basis. The Reviewer has not performed any independent investigations or forensic audits to validate the information herein. The Reviewer has only independently reviewed the information provided by the Author according to the procedures outlined by AWS. AWS is not entitled to veto or interfere in the application of such procedures by the third-party research service company to the articles, documents or reports, as the case may be. Unless otherwise noted, any content outside of this document has no association with the Author or the Reviewer in any way. AWS, the Author, and the Reviewer are not responsible for any error which may be occasioned at the time of printing of this document or any error, mistake or shortcoming. No liability is accepted whatsoever for any direct, indirect or consequential loss arising from the use of this document. AWS, the Author, and the Reviewer expressly disclaim any fiduciary responsibility or liability for any consequences, financial or otherwise arising from any reliance placed on the information in this document. Additionally, AWS, the Author, and the Reviewer do not (1) guarantee the accuracy, timeliness, completeness or correct sequencing of the information, or (2) warrant any results from use of the information. The included information is subject to change without notice. This document is not intended as an offering, recommendation, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell the securities mentioned or discussed, and is to be used for informational purposes only. Please read all associated disclosures and disclaimers in full before investing. Neither AWS nor any party affiliated with us is a registered investment adviser or broker-dealer with any agency or in any jurisdiction whatsoever. To download our report(s), read our disclosures, or for more information, visit http://www.activewallst.com/disclaimer/. For any questions, inquiries, or comments reach out to us directly. If you're a company we are covering and wish to no longer feature on our coverage list contact us via email and/or phone between 09:30 EDT to 16:00 EDT from Monday to Friday at: CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA Institute. SOURCE: Active Wall Street
News Article | May 8, 2017
BROOKFIELD, NEWS--(Marketwired - May 8, 2017) - Brookfield Business Partners L.P. (NYSE:BBU)(TSX:BBU.UN) ("Brookfield Business Partners") announced today financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2017. Brookfield Business Partners reported net income attributable to unitholders for the quarter ended March 31, 2017 of $66 million ($0.61 per unit), compared to a loss of $5 million in 2016. We generated Company Funds from Operations ("Company FFO") totaling $95 million ($0.88 per unit) for the quarter, compared to $37 million in 2016. Our results benefited from a gain on the sale of our bath and shower manufacturing operations. "We had an active first quarter, signing the acquisition of Greenergy, selling our bath and shower manufacturing operations for a sizable gain, and maintaining momentum on a number of strategic initiatives to support the growth of our business," said Cyrus Madon, CEO of Brookfield Business Partners. "After the quarter, we completed the acquisition of BRK Ambiental and announced an agreement to acquire the Loblaw gas station operations. Looking ahead, we see a favorable environment for Brookfield Business Partners given strengthening market conditions, a strong balance sheet and ample liquidity, all of which will help us deliver on planned initiatives and pursue growth opportunities." The following table presents Company FFO by segment: Our business services segment generated Company FFO of $4 million in the first quarter of 2017, compared to $2 million in the same period in 2016. We are starting to recognize the benefit of the two acquisitions completed in our facilities management business in 2016 and have also seen a modest improvement in our real estate services businesses, with an early start to the spring selling season. The positive contributions from these businesses were partially offset by a slow start to the year in our financial advisory business, which tends to fluctuate from quarter to quarter. Our construction services segment contributed negative $3 million of Company FFO in the quarter, compared to $22 million in 2016, as margin compression on three Australian projects offset the positive contribution from the remainder of our portfolio. We currently have over 100 projects under construction, and although the negative impact of these three projects lowered the current quarter's results, we are confident with the projects across our diversified business. We continue to replenish our workbook and secured $500 million of new work in the quarter. Our backlog remains strong at approximately $7.3 billion, as we continue to win sizable projects across each of our primary operating regions. Our energy segment generated Company FFO of $20 million during the quarter compared to $18 million in 2016, and included $10 million of gains on the monetization of our remaining high yield debt position. Results from our Canadian operations have improved with higher commodity prices during the quarter and we continue to benefit from the active cost management and operational improvements made over the past few years. Our Australian energy operation continues to benefit from its large hedge position for oil and long term fixed price contracts for gas with our customers. Our Australian energy operation paid a $250 million dividend, or $25 million net to Brookfield Business Partners, during the first quarter. Since our acquisition in June 2015, we have recovered approximately half of our capital invested in this operation. Our industrials segment generated Company FFO of $79 million during the first quarter, compared to a loss of $5 million in 2016. The monetization of our bath and shower manufacturing operations, Maax Bath Inc. and Maax Spas Industries Corp. ("Maax") generated approximately $140 million of cash proceeds for Brookfield Business Partners and resulted in an $82 million gain for unitholders. We continue to focus on operational restructuring efforts at our graphite electrode manufacturing operation, GrafTech International Holdings Inc. ("GrafTech") and are beginning to benefit from these initiatives. Volumes and prices have improved significantly in 2017, but as graphite electrodes are primarily sold under annual fixed price contracts that are negotiated in the fourth quarter of each year in advance of delivery, recent spot price improvements are not expected to have a significant impact on 2017 results. Company FFO contribution from our palladium operations increased in the first quarter with the current rebound in the market price of palladium metal. We are selling forward the majority of our near term sales as a means to de-risk our cash flows. Subsequent to the quarter end, together with our institutional partners, we completed the previously announced acquisition of a 70% controlling stake in the core water, wastewater and industrial water treatment business of Odebrecht Ambiental, for a total investment of $908 million. Upon close, we renamed the company BRK Ambiental. The investment is comprised of a payment of $768 million to the seller and approximately $140 million of additional capital contributed at closing to fund working capital requirements and support expected growth of the business. In addition, Brookfield Business Partners and its institutional partners also expect to purchase a direct interest in related assets held through a joint venture for $116 million. Brookfield Business Partners' share of capital invested at closing is approximately $340 million for an ownership interest in the business of 26%, and its share of the direct asset purchase is expected to total $44 million. A future payment to the seller of up to R$350 million (approximately $115 million at the current exchange rate) may be made if the business achieves certain performance milestones over the three years following closing. During the first quarter of 2017, together with institutional partners, we entered into a definitive agreement to acquire an 85% controlling stake in Greenergy Fuels Holdings Ltd ("Greenergy") and expect to close the transaction imminently. Greenergy is a leading provider of road fuels in the U.K. with over 300 kT of biodiesel production capacity, significant import and storage infrastructure and an extensive distribution network which delivers over 18 billion liters of road fuels annually. The total equity commitment is approximately £210 million ($262 million), or £36 million ($45 million) at Brookfield Business Partners' proportionate share, representing an ownership in the company of 14%. Subsequent to the quarter end, with our institutional partners, we entered into a definitive agreement with Loblaw Companies Limited ("Loblaw") to acquire its gas station operations for approximately C$540 million. Brookfield Business Partners expects to have an ownership interest in the business of approximately 25%. The gas station network is one of the largest in Canada, consisting of 213 stations and associated convenience kiosks adjacent to Loblaw-owned grocery stores. We are entering into an agreement with Imperial Oil to rebrand the gas station portfolio to the Mobil fuel brand, to ensure we have a highly competitive source of fuel supply across the country. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of this year. The Board of Directors of the General Partner of Brookfield Business Partners (the "Board") has declared a quarterly distribution in the amount of $0.0625 per unit, payable on June 30, 2017 to unitholders of record as at the close of business on May 31, 2017. The Board has reviewed and approved this news release, including the summarized unaudited consolidated financial statements contained herein. Brookfield Business Partners' Letter to Unitholders and the Supplemental Information are available at https://bbu.brookfield.com/reports-and-filings/financial-reports. Brookfield Business Partners is a business services and industrial company focused on owning and operating high-quality businesses that benefit from barriers to entry and/or low production costs. Brookfield Business Partners is listed on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges. Important information may be disseminated exclusively via the website; investors should consult the site to access this information. Brookfield Business Partners is the flagship listed business services and industrials company of Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (NYSE:BAM)(TSX:BAM.A)(EURONEXT:BAMA), a leading global alternative asset manager with approximately $250 billion of assets under management. For more information, please visit our website at https://bbu.brookfield.com. Investors, analysts and other interested parties can access Brookfield Business Partners' 2017 first quarter results as well as the Letter to Unitholders and Supplemental Information on our website at https://bbu.brookfield.com The conference call can be accessed via webcast on May 8, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time at https://bbu.brookfield.com or via teleconference at 1-800-319-4610 toll free in North America. For overseas calls please dial +1-604-638-5340, at approximately 10:50 a.m. Eastern Time. A recording of the teleconference can be accessed at 1-855-669-9658 or +1-604-674-8052 (Password 1212#). Note: This news release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of Canadian provincial securities laws and "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, "safe harbor" provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and in any applicable Canadian securities regulations. Forward-looking statements include statements that are predictive in nature, depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, include statements regarding the operations, business, financial condition, expected financial results, performance, prospects, opportunities, priorities, targets, goals, ongoing objectives, strategies and outlook of Brookfield Business Partners, as well as the outlook for North American and international economies for the current fiscal year and subsequent periods, and include words such as "expects," "anticipates," "plans," "believes," "estimates," "seeks," "intends," "targets," "projects," "forecasts" or negative versions thereof and other similar expressions, or future or conditional verbs such as "may," "will," "should," "would" and "could." Although we believe that our anticipated future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements and information are based upon reasonable assumptions and expectations, the reader should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements and information because they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond our control, which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Brookfield Business Partners to differ materially from anticipated future results, performance or achievement expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and information. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated or implied by forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: the impact or unanticipated impact of general economic, political and market factors in the countries in which we do business; the behavior of financial markets, including fluctuations in interest and foreign exchange rates; global equity and capital markets and the availability of equity and debt financing and refinancing within these markets; strategic actions including dispositions; the ability to complete and effectively integrate acquisitions into existing operations and the ability to attain expected benefits; changes in accounting policies and methods used to report financial condition (including uncertainties associated with critical accounting assumptions and estimates); the ability to appropriately manage human capital; the effect of applying future accounting changes; business competition; operational and reputational risks; technological change; changes in government regulation and legislation within the countries in which we operate; governmental investigations; litigation; changes in tax laws; ability to collect amounts owed; catastrophic events, such as earthquakes and hurricanes; the possible impact of international conflicts and other developments including terrorist acts and cyber terrorism; and other risks and factors detailed from time to time in our documents filed with the securities regulators in Canada and the United States. We caution that the foregoing list of important factors that may affect future results is not exhaustive. When relying on our forward-looking statements, investors and others should carefully consider the foregoing factors and other uncertainties and potential events. Except as required by law, Brookfield Business Partners undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements or information, whether written or oral, that may be as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING USE OF NON-IFRS MEASURES This press release contains references to Company FFO. When determining Company FFO, we include our unitholders' proportionate share of Company FFO for equity accounted investments. Company FFO is not a generally accepted accounting measure under IFRS and therefore may differ from definitions of Company FFO or Funds from Operations used by other entities. We believe that this is a useful supplemental measure that may assist investors in assessing the financial performance of Brookfield Business Partners and its subsidiaries. Company FFO should not be considered as the sole measure of our performance and should not be considered in isolation from, or as a substitute for, analysis of our financial statements prepared in accordance with IFRS. References to Brookfield Business Partners are to Brookfield Business Partners L.P. together with its subsidiaries, controlled affiliates and operating entities. Brookfield Business Partners' results include publically held limited partnership units, redemption-exchange units and general partnership units.
News Article | May 1, 2017
MindRocket Media Group announced today the addition of Ross Romano, formerly of ASCD, to the MindRocket team as Managing Director of Communications and Public Affairs. Romano will be a key figure in MindRocket’s work as the PR agency of record for the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC), and his knowledge and expertise will enhance the communications support MindRocket can deliver for each of its clients. Based in Arlington, Va., Romano will further anchor MindRocket’s presence in the nation’s capitol. “I am thrilled to join the talented team at MindRocket Media Group and step into this new role at a defining moment for the company,” said Romano. “In just a few short years, MindRocket has earned industry credibility by consistently delivering quality thought leadership, and I’m confident that even greater things lie just ahead. I’m excited to collaborate with my colleagues and begin developing plans for the next stage of success.” Dr. Rod Berger, CEO of MindRocket Media Group, said of the hire: “Adding Ross to the MindRocket team is the latest exciting indicator of our explosive growth, as well as our commitment to providing unmatched expertise to each of our valued partners. Ross’s experience and connections in the education and EdTech industries will add new capabilities to the skilled and dedicated MindRocket Media Group team.” In his time with ASCD, most recently as Senior Publicist, Romano spearheaded the association’s media relations efforts and designed publicity campaigns across traditional and social media to promote the work of leading education authors, innovators, and thought leaders, as well as ASCD’s conferences and events. His efforts increased the public profile of the association’s programs and personalities and contributed to his unit’s recognition as the best small communications team by Ragan and PR Daily in 2014 and as a top Social Media-Savvy Association by Association Trends in 2015. "Ross Romano is an outstanding addition to the MindRocket team," said Dr. Peter DeWitt, a leading education author and consultant. DeWitt, who also writes the Finding Common Ground blog for Education Week, added, "I have worked with Ross over the last four years and he has an outstanding presence in person, as well as a great deal of credibility and respect in the field of education. I look forward to seeing what he does with MindRocket Media Group." Romano improved the ways in which ASCD connected with its educator audience by implementing best practices for engagement and expanding to new platforms. In partnership with BAM! Radio Network, he created and developed ASCD Learn Teach Lead Radio, a popular weekly podcast hosted by award-winning educators and featuring ASCD’s industry-leading authors and experts as guests. "I'm delighted to hear that Ross Romano will be joining MindRocket Media Group," said Errol St. Clair Smith, CEO of BAM! Radio Network. "Ross brings a strong and diverse skill set to the company. Over the last four years, we've been impressed with the way he leverages his expertise and experience in PR, new media, community building, and content development into powerful experiences for educators. We look forward to seeing how his vision and creativity will impact the trajectory of MindRocket." Prior to entering the education industry, Romano worked in the sports industry, including roles in both communications and baseball operations within Major League Baseball. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from The George Washington University and a Master’s degree from Georgetown University.
News Article | March 1, 2017
The experiments were not randomized and the investigators were not blinded to allocation during experiments and outcome assessment. ARC-Net, University of Verona: approval number 1885 from the Integrated University Hospital Trust (AOUI) Ethics Committee (Comitato Etico Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata) approved in their meeting of 17 November 2010, documented by the ethics committee 52070/CE on 22 November 2010 and formalized by the Health Director of the AOUI on the order of the General Manager with protocol 52438 on 23 November 2010. APGI: Sydney South West Area Health Service Human Research Ethics Committee, western zone (protocol number 2006/54); Sydney Local Health District Human Research Ethics Committee (X11-0220); Northern Sydney Central Coast Health Harbour Human Research Ethics Committee (0612-251M); Royal Adelaide Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee (091107a); Metro South Human Research Ethics Committee (09/QPAH/220); South Metropolitan Area Health Service Human Research Ethics Committee (09/324); Southern Adelaide Health Service/Flinders University Human Research Ethics Committee (167/10); Sydney West Area Health Service Human Research Ethics Committee (Westmead campus) (HREC2002/3/4.19); The University of Queensland Medical Research Ethics Committee (2009000745); Greenslopes Private Hospital Ethics Committee (09/34); North Shore Private Hospital Ethics Committee. Baylor College of Medicine: Institutional Review Board protocol numbers H-29198 (Baylor College of Medicine tissue resource), H-21332 (Genomes and Genetics at the BCM-HGSC), and H-32711(Cancer Specimen Biobanking and Genomics). Patients were recruited and consent obtained for genomic sequencing through the ARC-Net Research Centre at Verona University, Australian Pancreatic Cancer Genome Initiative (APGI), and Baylor College of Medicine as part of the ICGC (www.icgc.org). A patient criterion for admission to the study was that they were clinically sporadic. This information was acquired through direct interviews with participants and a questionnaire regarding their personal history and that of relatives with regard to pancreas cancers and any other cancers during anamnesis. Clinical records were also used to clarify familial history based on patient indications. Samples were prospectively and consecutively acquired through institutions affiliated with the Australian Pancreatic Cancer Genome Initiative. Samples from the ARC-Net biobank are the result of consecutive collections from a single centre. All tissue samples were processed as previously described5151. Representative sections were reviewed independently by at least one additional pathologist with specific expertise in pancreatic diseases. Samples either had full face frozen sectioning performed in optimal cutting temperature (OCT) medium, or the ends excised and processed in formalin to verify the presence of tumour in the sample to be sequenced and to estimate the percentage of neoplastic cells in the sample relative to stromal cells. Macrodissection was performed if required to excise areas that did not contain neoplastic epithelium. Tumour cellularity was determined using SNP arrays (Illumina) and the qpure tool9. PanNET is a rare tumour type and the samples were collected via an international network. We estimate that with 98 unique patients in the discovery cohort, we will achieve 90% power for 90% of genes to detect mutations that occur at a frequency of ~10% above the background rate for PanNET (assuming a somatic mutation frequency of more than 2 per Mb)52. Cancer and matched normal colonic mucosa were collected at the time of surgical resection from the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and snap frozen in liquid nitrogen. A biallelic germline mutation in the MUTYH gene was detected by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis and confirmed by automated sequencing to be the G382D mutation (or ENST00000450313.5 G396D, ClinVar#5294) in both alleles53. The primary antibodies used for immunohistochemical staining were: cytokeratin 8/18 (5D3, Novocastra), chromogranin A (DAK-A3, Dako), and CD99 (O13, Biolegend). Antibodies and staining conditions have been described elsewhere39. Whole-genome sequencing with 100-bp paired reads was performed with a HiSEQ2000 (Illumina). Sequence data were mapped to a GRCh37 using BWA and BAM files are available in the EGA (accession number: EGAS00001001732). Somatic mutations and germline variants were detected using a previously described consensus mutation calling strategy11. Mutations were annotated with gene consequence using SNPeff. The pathogenicity of germline variants was predicted using cancer-specific and locus-specific genetic databases, medical literature, computational predictions with ENSEMBL Variant Effect Predictor (VEP) annotation, and second hits identified in the tumour genome. Intogen27 was used to find somatic genes that were significantly mutated. Somatic structural variants were identified using the qSV tool as previously described10, 11, 17. Coding mutations are included in supplementary tables and all mutations have been uploaded to the International Cancer Genome Consortium Data Coordination Center. Mutational signatures were predicted using a published framework14. Essentially, the 96-substitution classification was determined for each sample. The signatures were compared to other validated signatures and the prevalence of each signature per megabase was determined. Somatic copy number was estimated using high density SNP arrays and the GAP tool12. Arm level copy number data were clustered using Ward’s method, Euclidian distance. GISTIC13 was used to identify recurrent regions of copy number change. The whole genome sequence data was used to determine the length of the telomeres in each sample using the qMotif tool. Essentially, qMotif determines telomeric DNA content by calculating the number of reads that harbour the telomere motif (TTAGG), and then estimates the relative length of telomeres in the tumour compared to the normal. qMotif is available online (http://sourceforge.net/projects/adamajava). Telomere length was validated by qPCR as previously described54. RNASeq library preparation and sequencing were performed as previously described55. Essentially, sequencing reads were mapped to transcripts corresponding to ensemble 70 annotations using RSEM. RSEM data were normalized using TMM (weighted trimmed mean of M-values) as implemented in the R package ‘edgeR’. For downstream analyses, normalized RSEM data were converted to counts per million (c.p.m.) and log transformed. Genes without at least 1 c.p.m. in 20% of the sample were excluded from further analysis55. Unsupervised class discovery was performed using consensus clustering as implemented in the ConsensusClusterPlus R package56. The top 2,000 most variable genes were used as input. Differential gene expression analysis between representative samples was performed using the R package ‘edgeR’57. Ontology and pathway enrichment analysis was performed using the R package ‘dnet’58. PanNET class enrichment using published gene signatures44 was performed using Gene Set Variation Analysis (GSVA) as described previously55. Two strategies were used to verify fusion transcripts. For verification of EWSR1–BEND2 fusions, cDNAs were synthesized using the SuperScript VILO cDNA synthesis kit (Thermofisher) with 1 μg purified total RNA. For each fusion sequence, three samples were used: the PanNET sample containing the fusion, the PanNET sample without that fusion, and a non-neoplastic pancreatic sample. The RT–PCR product were evaluated on the Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer (Agilent Technologies) and verified by sequencing using the 3130XL Genetic Analyzer (Life Technologies). Primers specific for EWSR1–BEND2 fusion genes are available upon request. To identify the EWSR1 fusion partner in the case ITNET_2045, a real-time RT–PCR translocation panel for detecting specific Ewing sarcoma fusion transcripts was applied as described59. Following identification of the fusion partner, PCR amplicons were subjected to sequencing using the 3130XL Genetic Analyzer. EWSR1 rearrangements were assayed on paraffin-embedded tissue sections using a commercial split-signal probe (Vysis LSI EWSR1 (22q12) Dual Colour, Break Apart Rearrangement FISH Probe Kit) that consists of a mixture of two FISH DNA probes. One probe (~500 kb) is labelled in SpectrumOrange and flanks the 5′ side of the EWSR1 gene, extending through intron 4, and the second probe (~1,100 kb) is labelled in SpectrumGreen and flanks the 3′ side of the EWSR1 gene, with a 7-kb gap between the two probes. With this setting, the assay enables the detection of rearrangements with breakpoints spanning introns 7–10 of the EWSR1 gene. Hybridization was performed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and scoring of tissue sections was assessed as described elsewhere60, counting at least 100 nuclei per slide. Recurrently mutated genes identified by whole-genome sequencing were independently evaluated in a series of 62 PaNETs from the ARC-Net Research Centre, University of Verona. Four Ion Ampliseq Custom panels (Thermofisher) were designed to target the entire coding regions and flanking intron–exon junctions of the following genes: MEN1, DAXX, ATRX, PTEN and TSC2 (panel 1); DEPDC5, TSC1 and SETD2 (panel 2); ARID1A and MTOR (panel 3); CHEK2 and MUTYH (panel 4). Twenty nanograms of DNA were used per multiplex PCR amplification. The quality of the obtained libraries was evaluated by the Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer on chip electrophoresis. Emulsion PCR was performed with the OneTouch system (Thermofisher). Sequencing was run on the Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine (PGM, Thermofisher) loaded with 316 or 318 chips. Data analysis, including alignment to the hg19 human reference genome and variant calling, was done using Torrent Suite Software v4.0 (Thermofisher). Filtered variants were annotated using a custom pipeline based on the Variant Effector Predictor (VEP) software. Alignments were visually verified with the Integrative Genomics Viewer: IGV v2.3 (Broad Institute). There is no contiguous structure available for CHEK2, so we produced a model of isoform C using PDBid 3i6w61 as a template for predicting the structure of sequence O96017. Modelling was carried out within the YASARA suite of programs62 and consisted of an initial BLAST search for suitable templates followed by alignment, building of loops not present in selected template structure and energy minimization in explicit solvent. Modelling was carried out in the absence of a phosphopeptide ligand, which was added on completion by aligning the model with structure 1GXC and merging the ligand contained therein with the model structure. Similarly, MUTYH is represented by discontinuous structures and so this too was modelled using PDBids 3N5N and 4YPR as templates together with sequence NP_036354.1. Having constructed both models, amino acid substitutions were carried out to make the wild-type sequences conform to the variants described above. Each substitution was carried out independently and the resulting variant structures were subject to simulated annealing energy minimization using the AMBER force field. The resulting energy-minimized structures formed the basis of the predictions. CHEK2 site mutants were generated by site-directed mutagenesis of wild-type pCMV–FLAG CHEK2 (primer sequences in Supplementary Table 16). Proteins were expressed in HEK293T, a highly transfectable derivative of HEK293 cells that were retrieved from the cell culture bank at the QIMR Berghofer medical research institute. Cells were authenticated by STR profiling and were negative for mycoplasma. Transfected cells were lysed in NP-40 modified RIPA with protease and phosphatase inhibitors. Protein expression levels were analysed by western blotting with anti-FLAG antibodies and imaging HRP luminescent signal on a CCD camera (Fuji) and quantifying in MultiGauge software (Fuji). Kinase assays were performed using recombinant GST–CDC25C (amino acids 200–256) as substrate, essentially as described63. Kinase assay quantification was performed by scintillation counting of excised gel bands in OptiPhase scintillant (Perkin Elmer) using a Tri-Carb 2100TR beta counter (Packard). Counts for each reaction set were expressed as a fraction of the wild type. All experiments were performed at least three times. The date of diagnosis and the date and cause of death for each patient were obtained from the Central Cancer Registry and treating clinicians. Median survival was estimated using the Kaplan–Meier method and the difference was tested using the log-rank test. P values of less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant. The hazard ratio and its 95% confidence interval were estimated using Cox proportional hazard regression modelling. The correlation between DAXX or ATRX mutational status and other clinico-pathological variables was calculated using the χ2 test. Statistical analysis was performed using StatView 5.0 Software (Abacus Systems). Disease-specific survival was used as the primary endpoint. Genome sequencing data presented in this study have been submitted to the European Genome-Phenome Archive under accession number EGAS00001001732 (https://www.ebi.ac.uk/ega/search/site/EGAS00001001732).
News Article | February 23, 2017
A French SCA (Partnership Limited by Shares) with a capital of 56,000,000 Euros Head Office: La Woestyne 59173 Renescure, France Registred under number: 447 250 044 (Dunkerque Commercial and Companies Register) Bonduelle to acquire Ready Pac Foods, the US leader of single-serve salads bowls Bonduelle, the world leader of ready-to-eat vegetables, present in canned, frozen, fresh cut and delicatessen has executed an agreement to acquire Ready Pac Foods, the U.S. market leader in single serve salad bowls. Based in California, Ready Pac Foods is the #1 producer of single-serve salad bowls in the U.S. through its Bistro Bowl® suite of products and its legacy of innovation and culinary expertise. Ready Pac Foods is also a producer of fresh-cut produce, offering packaged salads, fresh-cut fruits, and mixed vegetables to its retail and foodservice customers. With 4 production facilities located in Irwindale (CA), Jackson (GA), Florence and Swedesboro (NJ), and employs about 3,500 full-time employees. Ready Pac Foods generates approximately $800m of revenues, with a national presence in the U.S. and a wide customer base. This milestone transaction is a key step in Bonduelle's strategic ambition VegeGo! 2025 of being "the world reference in "well living" through vegetable products". This acquisition will strengthen Bonduelle's international footprint and dramatically change its profile, making the U.S. the largest country of operations, continuing a longstanding track record of successful acquisitions in North America, in particular Aliments Carrière, Canada, in 2007 and Allens, USA in 2012, and the fresh category, its first business segment. This transaction will also offer new opportunities to Ready Pac Foods business partners and deliver significant value to Bonduelle's shareholders. This acquisition, which is fully compatible with Bonduelle's strong financial profile, perfectly fits with its strategic plan and will strengthen its leadership positions in its core business lines: Ready Pac Foods will become Bonduelle 5th's business unit, dedicated to the Fresh business in the Americas, along with Bonduelle Long Life Europe (BELL), Bonduelle Fresh Europe (BFE), Bonduelle Eurasia Markets (BEAM) and Bonduelle Americas (BAM), the latter being devoted to canned and frozen vegetables in Americas, from North to South. Christophe Bonduelle, Bonduelle's Chairman and CEO, said: "We welcome all of the Ready Pac Foods employees into the Bonduelle family. We look forward to working with the highly skilled and successful Ready Pac Foods management team in bringing together two great companies in the vegetal food industry. This acquisition shows Bonduelle's ambition to further develop as a global leader in its markets and strengthen its positions in the consumer convenience and health segments to meet consumers' needs." "We are thrilled to partner with market leader Bonduelle in our next Chapter of growth and feel we will be right at home within the Bonduelle family of companies," said Ready Pac Foods CEO, Tony Sarsam. "Beyond common business goals, both companies share a common purpose - to help people live healthier lives through innovative fresh food products. I am enthusiastic about Bonduelle's investment in our growth strategy and for the great success we will achieve together." Crédit Agricole CIB and Willkie Farr & Gallagher acted as financial and legal advisors to Bonduelle in connection with the transaction. Harris Williams & Co. and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom acted as financial and legal advisors to Ready Pac Foods. Further information on the transaction will be communicated with half-year results, on March 2, 2017. Bonduelle, a family business, was established in 1853. Its mission is to be the world reference in "well-living" through vegetable products. Prioritizing innovation and long-term vision, the group is diversifying its operations and geographical presence. Its vegetable, grown over 128.000 hectares all over the world, are sold in 100 countries under various brand names and through various distribution channels and technologies. Expert in agro-industry with 54 industrial sites or own agricultural production, Bonduelle produces quality products by selecting the best crop areas close to its customers. Bonduelle is listed on Euronext compartment B Euronext indices: CAC MID & SMALL - CAC ALL TRADABLE - CAC ALL SHARES Bonduelle is part of the Gaïa non-financial performance index and employee shareholder index (I.A.S.) Code ISIN : FR0000063935 - Code Reuters : BOND.PA - Code Bloomberg : BON FP Home of the original Bistro Bowl® complete meal salad, Southern California-based Ready Pac Foods has been giving people the freedom to eat healthier for nearly 50 years as a premier producer of convenience fresh foods and fresh cut produce. With processing facilities throughout the United States, Ready Pac Foods manufactures a complete range of products featuring fresh produce and protein under the company's Bistro®, Ready Snax®, Cool Cuts® and elevAte(TM) brands. Offerings include fresh-cut salads, fruits, vegetables, snacking and complete meals available where consumers buy groceries and in restaurant chains across North America.
News Article | February 15, 2017
No statistical methods were used to predetermine sample size. The experiments were not randomized and the investigators were not blinded to allocation during experiments and outcome assessment. We sequenced Chenopodium quinoa Willd. (quinoa) accession PI 614886 (BioSample accession code SAMN04338310; also known as NSL 106399 and QQ74). DNA was extracted from leaf and flower tissue of a single plant, as described in the “Preparing Arabidopsis Genomic DNA for Size-Selected ~20 kb SMRTbell Libraries” protocol (http://www.pacb.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Shared-Protocol-Preparing-Arabidopsis-DNA-for-20-kb-SMRTbell-Libraries.pdf). DNA was purified twice with Beckman Coulter Genomics AMPure XP magnetic beads and assessed by standard agarose gel electrophoresis and Thermo Fisher Scientific Qubit Fluorometry. 100 Single-Molecule Real-Time (SMRT) cells were run on the PacBio RS II system with the P6-C4 chemistry by DNALink (Seoul). De novo assembly was conducted using the smrtmake assembly pipeline (https://github.com/PacificBiosciences/smrtmake) and the Celera Assembler, and the draft assembly was polished using the quiver algorithm. DNA was also sequenced using an Illumina HiSeq 2000 machine. For this, DNA was extracted from leaf tissue of a single soil-grown plant using the Qiagen DNeasy Plant Mini Kit. 500-bp paired-end (PE) libraries were prepared using the NEBNext Ultra DNA Library Prep Kit for Illumina. Sequencing reads were processed with Trimmomatic (v0.33)42, and reads <75 nucleotides in length after trimming were removed from further analysis. The remaining high-quality reads were assembled with Velvet (v1.2.10)43 using a k-mer of 75. High-molecular-weight DNA was isolated and labelled from leaf tissue of three-week old quinoa plants according to standard BioNano protocols, using the single-stranded nicking endonuclease Nt.BspQI. Labelled DNA was imaged automatically using the BioNano Irys system and de novo assembled into consensus physical maps using the BioNano IrysView analysis software. The final de novo assembly used only single molecules with a minimum length of 150 kb and eight labels per molecule. PacBio-BioNano hybrid scaffolds were identified using IrysView’s hybrid scaffold alignment subprogram. Using the same DNA prepared for PacBio sequencing, a Chicago library was prepared as described previously10. The library was sequenced on an Illumina HiSeq 2500. Chicago sequence data (in FASTQ format) was used to scaffold the PacBio-BioNano hybrid assembly using HiRise, a software pipeline designed specifically for using Chicago data to assemble genomes10. Chicago library sequences were aligned to the draft input assembly using a modified SNAP read mapper (http://snap.cs.berkeley.edu). The separations of Chicago read pairs mapped within draft scaffolds were analysed by HiRise to produce a likelihood model, and the resulting likelihood model was used to identify putative mis-joins and score prospective joins. A population was developed by crossing Kurmi (green, sweet) and 0654 (red, bitter). Homozygous high- and low-saponin F lines were identified by planting 12 F seeds derived from each F line, harvesting F seed from these F plants, and then performing foam tests on the F seed. Phenotyping was validated using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). RNA was extracted from inflorescences containing a mixture of flowers and seeds at various stages of development from the parents and 45 individual F progeny. RNA extraction and Illumina sequencing were performed as described above. Sequencing reads from all lines were trimmed using Trimmomatic and mapped to the reference assembly using TopHat44, and SNPs were called using SAMtools mpileup (v1.1)45. For linkage mapping, markers were assigned to linkage groups on the basis of the grouping by JoinMap v4.1. Using the maximum likelihood algorithm of JoinMap, the order of the markers was determined; using this as start order and fixed order, regression mapping in JoinMap was used to determine the cM distances. Genes differentially expressed between bitter and sweet lines and between green and red lines were identified using default parameters of the Cuffdiff function of the Cufflinks program46. A second mapping population was developed by crossing Atlas (sweet) and Carina Red (bitter). Bitter and sweet F lines were identified by performing foam and taste tests on the F seed. DNA sequencing was performed with DNA from the parents and 94 sweet F lines, as described above, and sequencing reads were mapped to the reference assembly using BWA. SNPs were called in the parents and in a merged file containing all combined F lines. Genotype calls were generated for the 94 F genotypes by summing up read counts over a sliding window of 500 variants, at all variant positions for which the parents were homozygous and polymorphic. Over each 500-variant stretch, all reads with Atlas alleles were summed, and all reads with the Carina Red allele were summed. Markers were assigned to linkage groups using JoinMap, with regression mapping used to obtain the genetic maps per linkage group. The Kurmi × 0654 and Atlas × Carina Red maps were integrated with the previously published quinoa linkage map13, with the Kurmi × 0654 map being used as the reference for the positions of anchor markers and scaling. We selected markers from the same scaffold that were in the same 10,000-bp bin in the assembly. The anchor markers on the alternative map received the position of the Kurmi × 0654 map anchor marker in the integrated map. This process was repeated with anchor markers at the 100,000-bp bin level. The assumption is that at the 100,000-bp bin level recombination should essentially be zero. On this level, a regression of cM position on both maps yielded R2 values >0.85 and often >0.9, so the regression line can easily be used for interpolating the positions of the alternative map towards the corresponding position on the Kurmi × 0654 map. All Kurmi × 0654 markers went into the integrated map on their original position. Pseudomolecules were assembled by concatenating scaffolds based on their order and orientation as determined from the integrated linkage map. An AGP (‘A Golden Path’) file was made that describes the positions of the scaffold-based assembly in coordinates of the pseudomolecule assembly, with 100 ‘N’s inserted between consecutive scaffolds. Based on these coordinates, custom scripts were used to generate the pseudomolecule assembly and to recoordinate the annotation file. DNA was extracted from C. pallidicaule (PI 478407) and C. suecicum (BYU 1480) and was sent to the Beijing Genomic Institute (BGI, Hong Kong) where one 180-bp PE library and two mate-pair libraries with insert sizes of 3 and 6 kb were prepared and sequenced on the Illumina HiSeq platform to obtain 2 × 100-bp reads for each library. The generated reads were trimmed using the quality-based trimming tool Sickle (https://github.com/najoshi/sickle). The trimmed reads were then assembled using the ALLPATHS-LG assembler47, and GapCloser v1.1248 was used to resolve N spacers and gap lengths produced by the ALLPATHS-LG assembler. Repeat families found in the genome assemblies of quinoa, C. pallidicaule and C. suecicum (see Supplementary Information 3) were first independently identified de novo and classified using the software package RepeatModeler49. RepeatMasker50 was used to discover and identify repeats within the respective genomes. AUGUSTUS51 was used for ab initio gene prediction, using model training based on coding sequences from Amaranthus hypochondriacus, Beta vulgaris, Spinacia oleracea and Arabidopsis thaliana. RNA-seq and isoform sequencing reads generated from RNA of different tissues were mapped onto the reference genome using Bowtie 2 (ref. 52) and GMAP53, respectively. Hints with locations of potential intron–exon boundaries were generated from the alignment files with the software package BAM2hints in the MAKER package54. MAKER with AUGUSTUS (intron–exon boundary hints provided from RNA-seq and isoform sequencing) was then used to predict genes in the repeat-masked reference genome. To help guide the prediction process, peptide sequences from B. vulgaris and the original quinoa full-length transcript (provided as EST evidence) were used by MAKER during the prediction. Genes were characterized for their putative function by performing a BLAST search of the peptide sequences against the UniProt database. PFAM domains and InterProScan ID were added to the gene models using the scripts provided in the MAKER package. The following quinoa accessions were chosen for DNA re-sequencing: 0654, Ollague, Real, Pasankalla (BYU 1202), Kurmi, CICA-17, Regalona (BYU 947), Salcedo INIA, G-205-95DK, Cherry Vanilla (BYU 1439), Chucapaca, Ku-2, PI 634921 (Ames 22157), Atlas and Carina Red. The following accessions of C. berlandieri were sequenced: var. boscianum (BYU 937), var. macrocalycium (BYU 803), var. zschackei (BYU 1314), var. sinuatum (BYU 14108), and subsp. nuttaliae (‘Huauzontle’). Two accessions of C. hircinum (BYU 566 and BYU 1101) were also sequenced. All sequencing was performed with an Illumina HiSeq 2000 machine, using either 125-bp (Atlas and Carina Red) or 100-bp (all other accessions) paired-end libraries. Reads were trimmed using Trimmomatic and mapped to the reference assembly using BWA (v0.7.10)55. Read alignments were manipulated with SAMtools, and the mpileup function of SAMtools was used to call SNPs. Orthologous and paralogous gene clusters were identified using OrthoMCL28. Recommended settings were used for all-against-all BLASTP comparisons (Blast+ v2.3.056) and OrthoMCL analyses. Custom Perl scripts were used to process OrthoMCL outputs for visualization with InteractiVenn57. Using OrthoMCL, orthologous gene sets containing two copies in quinoa and one copy each in C. pallidicaule, C. suecicum, and B. vulgaris were identified. In total, 7,433 gene sets were chosen, and their amino acid sequences were aligned individually for each set using MAFFT58. The 7,433 alignments were converted into PHYLIP format files by the seqret command in the EMBOSS package59. Individual gene trees were then constructed using the maximum likelihood method using proml in PHYLIP60. In addition, the genomic variants of all 25 sequenced taxa (Supplementary Data 5) relative to the reference sequence were called based on the mapped Illumina reads in 25 BAM files using SAMtools. To call variants in the reference genome (PI 614886), Illumina sequencing reads were mapped to the reference assembly. Variants were then filtered using VCFtools61 and SAMtools, and the qualified SNPs were combined into a single VCF file which was used as an input into SNPhylo62 to construct the phylogenetic relationship using maximum likelihood and 1,000 bootstrap iterations. To identify FT homologues, the protein sequence from the A. thaliana flowering time gene FT was used as a BLAST query. Filtering for hits with an E value <1 × e−3 and with RNA-seq evidence resulted in the identification of four quinoa proteins. One quinoa protein (AUR62013052) appeared to be comprised of two tandem repeats which were separated for the purposes of phylogenetic analysis. For the construction of the phylogenetic tree, protein sequences from these five quinoa FT homologues were aligned using Clustal Omega63 along with two B. vulgaris (gene models: BvFT1-miuf.t1, BvFT2-eewx.t1) and one A. thaliana (AT1G65480.1) homologue. Phylogenetic analysis was performed with MEGA64 (v6.06). The JTT model was selected as the best fitting model. The initial phylogenetic tree was estimated using the neighbour joining method (bootstrap value = 50, Gaps/ Missing Data Treatment = Partial Deletion, Cutoff 95%), and the final tree was estimated using the maximum likelihood method with a bootstrap value of 1,000 replicates. The syntenic relationships between the coding sequences of the chromosomal regions surrounding these FT genes were visualized using the CoGE65 GEvo tool and the Multi-Genome Synteny Viewer66. The alignment of bHLH domains was performed with Clustal Omega63, using sequences from Mertens et al.39. The phylogeny was inferred using the maximum likelihood method based on the JTT matrix-based model67. Initial trees for the heuristic search were obtained automatically by applying Neighbour-Join and BioNJ algorithms to a matrix of pairwise distances estimated using a JTT model, and then selecting the topology with superior log likelihood value. All positions containing gaps and missing data were eliminated. Trimmed PE Illumina sequencing reads that were used for the de novo assembly of C. suecicum and C. pallidicaule were mapped onto the reference quinoa genome using the default settings of BWA. For every base in the quinoa genome, the depth coverage of properly paired reads from the C. suecicum and C. pallidicaule mapping was calculated using the program GenomeCoverage in the BEDtools package68. A custom Perl script was used to calculate the percentage of each scaffold with more than 5× coverage from both diploids. Scaffolds were assigned to the A or B sub-genome if >65% of the bases were covered by reads from one diploid and <25% of the bases were covered by reads from the other diploid. The relationship between the quinoa sub-genomes and the diploid species C. pallidicaule and C. suecicum was presented in a circle proportional to their sizes using Circos69. Orthologous regions in the three species were identified using BLASTN searches of the quinoa genome against each diploid genome individually. Single top BLASTN hits longer than 8 kb were selected and presented as links between the quinoa genome assembly (arranged in chromosomes, see Supplementary Information 7.3) and the two diploid genome assemblies on the Circos plot (Fig. 2a). Sub-genome synteny was analysed by plotting the positions of homoeologous pairs of A- and B-sub-genome pairs within the context of the 18 chromosomes using Circos. Synteny between the sub-genomes and B. vulgaris was assessed by first creating pseudomolecules by concatenating scaffolds which were known to be ordered and oriented within each of the nine chromosomes. Syntenic regions between these B. vulgaris chromosomes and those of quinoa were then identified using the recommended settings of the CoGe SynMap tool70 and visualized using MCScanX71 and VGSC72. For the purposes of visualization, quinoa chromosomes CqB05, CqA08, CqB11, CqA15 and CqB16 were inverted. Quinoa seeds were embedded in a 2% carboxymethylcellulose solution and frozen above liquid nitrogen. Sections of 50 μm thickness were obtained using a Reichert-Jung Frigocut 2800N, modified to use a Feather C35 blade holder and blades at −20 °C using a modified Kawamoto method73. A 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid (Sigma-Aldrich) matrix (40 mg ml−1 in 70% methanol) was applied using a HTX TM-Sprayer (HTX Technologies LLC) with attached LC20-AD HPLC pump (Shimadzu Scientific Instruments). Sections were vacuum dried in a desiccator before analysis. The optical image was generated using an Epson 4400 Flatbed Scanner at 4,800 d.p.i. For mass spectrometric analyses, a Bruker SolariX XR with 7T magnet was used. Images were generated using Bruker Compass FlexImaging 4.1. Data were normalized to the TIC, and brightness optimization was employed to enhance visualization of the distribution of selected compounds. Individual spectra were recalibrated using Bruker Compass DataAnalysis 4.4 to internally lock masses of known DHB clusters: C H O = 273.039364 and C H O = 409.055408 m/z. Accurate mass measurements for individual saponins and identified compounds were run using continuous accumulation of selected ions (CASI) using mass windows of 50–100 m/z and a transient of 4 megaword generating a transient of 2.93 s providing a mass resolving power of approximately 390,000 at 400 m/z. Lipids were putatively assigned by searching the LipidMaps database74 (http://www.lipidmaps.org) and lipid class confirmed by collision-induced dissociation using a 10 m/z window centred around the monoisotopic peak with collision energy of between 15–20 V. Quinoa flowers were marked at anthesis, and seeds were sampled at 12, 16, 20 and 24 days after anthesis. A pool of five seeds from each time point was analysed using GC/MS. Quantification of saponins was performed indirectly by quantifying oleanolic acid (OA) derived from the hydrolysis of saponins extracted from quinoa seeds. Derivatized solution was analysed using single quadrupole GC/MS system (Agilent 7890 GC/5975C MSD) equipped with EI source at ionisation energy of 70 eV. Chromatography separation was performed using DB-5MS fused silica capillary column (30m × 0.25 mm I.D., 0.25 μm film thickness; Agilent J&W Scientific), chemically bonded with 5% phenyl 95% methylpolysiloxane cross-linked stationary phase. Helium was used as the carrier gas with constant flow rate of 1.0 ml min−1. The quantification of OA in each sample was performed using a standard curve based on standards of OA. Specific, individual saponins were identified in quinoa using a preparation of 20 mg of seeds performed according a modified protocol from Giavalisco et al.75. Samples were measured with a Waters ACQUITY Reversed Phase Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography (RP-UPLC) coupled to a Thermo-Fisher Exactive mass spectrometer, which consists of an electrospray ionisation source and an Orbitrap mass analyser. A C18 column was used for the hydrophilic measurements. Chromatograms were recorded in full-scan MS mode (mass range, 100 −1,500). Extraction of the LC/MS data was accomplished with the software REFINER MS 7.5 (GeneData). SwissModel76 was used to produce homology models for the bHLH region of AUR62017204, AUR62017206 and AUR62010677. RaptorX77 was used for prediction of secondary structure and disorder. QUARK78 was used for ab initio modelling of the C-terminal domain, and the DALI server79 was used for 3D homology searches of this region. Models were manually inspected and evaluated using the PyMOL program (http://pymol.org). The genome assemblies and sequence data for C. quinoa, C. pallidicaule and C. suecicum were deposited at NCBI under BioProject codes PRJNA306026, PRJNA326220 and PRJNA326219, respectively. Additional accessions numbers for deposited data can be found in Supplementary Data 9. The quinoa genome can also be accessed at http://www.cbrc.kaust.edu.sa/chenopodiumdb/ and on the Phytozome database (http://www.phytozome.net/).
News Article | February 16, 2017
LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kyriba Corp., the global leader in cloud-based treasury, cash and risk management solutions, congratulates client Dassault Systèmes, the 3DEXPERIENCE Company, world leader in 3D design software, 3D Digital Mock Up and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, for winning the Treasury Management International (TMI) 2016 Corporate Innovation Award for Treasury Technology. Kyriba’s digital solutions are used across Dassault Systèmes’ treasury functions to add security, cash visibility, and scalability. “Worthy winners of this award, Dassault Systèmes’ adoption of Kyriba’s SaaS technology has given them access to the latest innovations and compliance while they have continued to extend their digital agenda with a central KYC repository, a 30 percent increase in cash visibility, a secure, cloud-based approach to bank account management (BAM) and standardised bank fee reconciliation,” said Robin Page, CEO and publisher of Treasury Management International. “We congratulate Dassault Systèmes’ treasury team for their success and for winning this prestigious award from TMI,” said Jean-Luc Robert, chairman and CEO at Kyriba. “Their Treasury Group demonstrates innovation in driving bottom line value by truly leveraging all that technology offers in order to meet a complex set of requirements.” To learn how your organization can increase the strategic function of its financial professionals or how to join Kyriba PartnerSURGE, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Kyriba is the global leader in cloud-based treasury, cash and risk management solutions, delivering Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) financial technology to corporate CFOs and Treasurers. More than 1,500 global organizations use Kyriba to enhance their global cash visibility, improve financial controls, and increase productivity across their cash and liquidity, payments, supply chain finance and risk management operations. Kyriba is headquartered in New York, with offices in San Diego, Paris, London, Tokyo, Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Rio de Janeiro. To learn how your organization can increase the strategic function of its financial professionals, contact us at email@example.com. To learn more about Kyriba PartnerSURGE or join our partner program, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
News Article | March 2, 2017
A French SCA (Partnership Limited by Shares) with a capital of 56,000,000 Euros Head Office: La Woestyne 59173 Renescure, France Registred under number: 447 250 044 (Dunkerque Commercial and Companies Register) Activity and profitability in line with the annual objectives and Acquisition in USA Turnover growth and stable profitability Strengthening of the financial structure and decrease of the debt Acquisition of Ready Pac Foods in USA Annual growth and profitability objectives confirmed at the high end of the target range The 2016-2017 half-year financial statements were reviewed by the General Partner, then by the Supervisory Board on the 28th of February 2017 and checked by the Statutory Auditors. In an ever changing economic, financial and consumption climate and despite the difficult harvests observed in Summer 2016, the Bonduelle Group displayed its resilience with an activity growth and a profitability largely maintained. Its robust historical activities enable the group to consider, with confidence, the next development stage with the acquisition of Ready Pac Foods. The Bonduelle Group's turnover stands for the 1st half of financial year 2016-2017 at 1,025.6 million of euro, a growth of + 1.9% on a like-for-like basis* and of + 1.4% based on reported figures. Europe Zone For the first half of FY 2016-2017, the Europe zone's turnover remains virtually unchanged at - 0.8% on a like for like basis* and - 0.9% based on reported figures. The canned operating segment experienced a downturn over quarter 2 that was related to the lower promotional activities which were largely linked, in turn, to the harvest deficits registered in Summer 2016. The frozen segment achieved positive growth over the period, witnessing the recovery of the food service activity. Lastly, the fresh processed (delicatessen) and ready to eat (fresh-cut salad in bags) segment showed an overall stability in sales linked to an Italian market for fresh-cut salad in bags that continued to be difficult and the deterioration of production conditions in Spain (floods) at the end of the period. As for the delicatessen segment, a return to strong positive growth was observed in the second quarter. Non-Europe Zone The Non-Europe zone's turnover recorded a 6.6% growth on a like for like basis* and 5.3% based on reported figures over the first 6 months despite a high basis for comparison notably in Russia coupled with a consumption climate for this area showing no real signs of recovery. In North America, the activity continued to experience strong growth, notably in Canada. In South America, the repositioning of the canned range enabled the group to resume growth. The current operating result stands at 61.- million of euro with a current operating margin at 5.9% against 64.- million and 6.3% respectively on the 31st of December 2015. The additional cost related to the difficult harvests observed in summer 2016 in France, Russia and United States, recorded in part on the first half of this FY, coupled with a downturn of the activity in Russia, whose margins have nevertheless been preserved, explained the comparative evolution of profitability. After non recurrent items (- 0.7 million of euro), the operating profitability stands at 60.3 million of euro against 62.9 last FY, consistent with the annual objective disclosed. Financial charges reached 9.5 million of euro against 10.3 million of euro recorded on the 31st of December 2015, reflecting the decrease of the group's net debt and the lower average cost of debt (2.79% against 3.40%). After result of companies consolidated by equity method and corporate tax deduction with an effective tax rate of 28.5% over the period, the net income owner interest stands at 36.5 million of euro, representing 3.6% of the turnover, virtually unchanged compared with last FY. The group's net financial debt was set on the 31st of December 2016 at 584.2 million of euro, at a debt peak when considering the seasonal nature of its activity, against 668.2 million of euro on the 31st of December 2015, a decrease of 84 million of euro. The debt ratio (net financial debt to shareholders' equity) falls below parity at 0.96 against 1.26 last FY, attesting the ability of the group to generate free cash flow. With an average maturity debt of 3.7 years and a disintermediated rate at 49 %, the group's financial structure is fully compatible with the acquisition of Ready Pac Foods. Bonduelle, the world leader of ready-to-eat vegetables, present in canned, frozen, fresh cut and delicatessen has announced on the 23rd of February 2017 an agreement to acquire Ready Pac Foods, the U.S. market leader in single serve salad bowls. Based in California, Ready Pac Foods is the #1 producer of single-serve salad bowls in the U.S. through its Bistro Bowl® suite of products and its legacy of innovation and culinary expertise. Ready Pac Foods is also a producer of fresh-cut produce, offering packaged salads, fresh-cut fruits, and mixed vegetables to its retail and foodservice customers. With 4 production facilities located in Irwindale (CA), Jackson (GA), Florence and Swedesboro (NJ), and employs about 3,500 full-time employees. Ready Pac Foods generates approximately $800M of revenues, with a national presence in the U.S. and a wide customer base. This milestone transaction is a key step in Bonduelle's strategic ambition VegeGo! 2025 of being "the world reference in "well living" through vegetable products". This acquisition will strengthen Bonduelle's international footprint and dramatically change its profile, making the U.S. the largest country of operations, continuing a longstanding track record of successful acquisitions in North America, in particular Aliments Carrière, Canada, in 2007 and Allens, USA in 2012, and the fresh category, its first business segment. This transaction will also offer new opportunities to Ready Pac Foods business partners and deliver significant value to Bonduelle's shareholders. This acquisition, which is fully compatible with Bonduelle's strong financial profile, perfectly fits with its strategic plan and will strengthen its leadership positions in its core business lines: Ready Pac Foods will become Bonduelle 5th's business unit, dedicated to the Fresh business in the Americas and named Bonduelle Fresh Americas (BFA), along with Bonduelle Long Life Europe (BELL), Bonduelle Fresh Europe (BFE), Bonduelle Eurasia Markets (BEAM) and Bonduelle Americas (BAM). The latter being devoted to canned and frozen vegetables in Americas from North to South will be renamed Bonduelle Americas Long Life (BALL). The transaction agreed on the basis of a purchase price (enterprise value) of 409 million of dollars shows a multiple below 11 times adjusted EBITDA estimated for FY 2016-2017; lower than the comparable food market transaction multiples for the snacking and healthy eating operating segments. This acquisition, accretive as of 2017-2018, financed by debt, will keep to the group its investment grade profile with an estimated pro forma leverage ratio (net debt to recurring EBITDA) of 3.5 on the 30th of June 2017. Closing of the transaction is expected in the 4th quarter of FY 2016-2017, following approvals by the relevant regulatory authorities, notably the US Anti-Trust authorities. Based on the first half year performances, the group is confident in achieving targets at the higher end of the initial range, i.e. a turnover growth of 2 to 3 % and in a stable operating margin on a like for like basis*, excluding the acquisition of Ready Pac Foods. *at constant scope of consolidation and exchange rates - 2016-2017 3rd Quarter FY Turnover: 3rd of May 2017 (after stock exchange trading session) - 2016-2017 Financial Year Turnover: 2nd of August 2017 (after stock exchange trading session) - 2016-2017 Annual Results: 3rd of October 2017 (prior to stock exchange trading session) Bonduelle, a family business, was established in 1853. Its mission is to be the world reference in "well-living" through vegetable products. Prioritising innovation and long-term vision, the group is diversifying its operations and geographical presence. Its vegetable, grown over 128.000 hectares all over the world, are sold in 100 countries under various brand names and through various distribution channels and technologies. Expert in agro-industry with 54 industrial sites or own agricultural production, Bonduelle produces quality products by selecting the best crop areas close to its customers. Bonduelle is listed on Euronext compartment B Euronext indices: CAC MID & SMALL - CAC ALL TRADABLE - CAC ALL SHARES Bonduelle is part of the Gaïa non-financial performance index and employee shareholder index (I.A.S.) Code ISIN : FR0000063935 - Code Reuters : BOND.PA - Code Bloomberg : BON FP