Naturgy and Sonatrach to buy out Mubadala’s stake in Medgaz gas pipeline

first_img The Medgaz gas pipeline is a 210km long underwater pipeline between Algeria and Spain (Credit: MEDGAZ, S.A.) Naturgy (formerly Gas Natural Fenosa) and Sonatrach have agreed to buy out the 42.09% stake of Mubadala Investment held by its subsidiary Cepsa in the underwater Medgaz gas pipeline between Algeria and Spain.The deal values 100% of Medgaz’ equity at around €1.3bn ($1.43bn) with an enterprise value of around €1.9bn ($2.1bn).The 210km long Medgaz subsea gas pipeline, which passes through the Mediterranean Sea, has been in operation since 2010.Medgaz gas pipeline capacityThe 24inch underwater pipeline transports natural gas sourced from Beni Saf on the Algerian coast to Almeria in Andalusia with an initial capacity of eight billion cubic metres of natural gas per year (bcm).The transaction value covers an approved 2bcm expansion project of the current gas pipeline, which will boost its capacity by 25% to 10bcm per year. Investment for the pipeline expansion project is €67m ($73.91m).Following the completion of the transaction, the Medgaz gas pipeline will be owned by the Spanish gas and power utility Naturgy (49%) and the Algerian national oil company Sonatrach (51%). The Algerian company is also the fourth largest shareholder of Naturgy with a stake of 4%.The Spanish utility, which currently holds a stake of around 15% in the Medgaz pipeline, will acquire an additional 34.05% in the asset for €445m ($490.92m) through a special purpose vehicle (SPV). Naturgy said that it will look to bring in a financial partner to join it in buying the stake to reduce its equity contribution.Naturgy executive chairman Francisco Reynés said: “Overall it is a highly attractive transaction for Naturgy, not only because it is a strategic infrastructure asset in which we notably increase our control rights, but also due to the financial terms achieved in the agreement, which represent an attractive price in exchange for stable and predictable long term dividends, meeting our shareholder value creation criteria.”According to Naturgy, the expanded section of the pipeline will enter into full operations in 2021.Subject to meeting certain conditions and receipt of approvals, the transaction is expected to be closed by the end of March 2020. The Medgaz gas pipeline, which passes through the Mediterranean Sea, has been transporting gas from Algeria to Spain since 2010last_img read more

Revealed: Oxford’s use of controversial ‘gagging clauses’

first_imgTaylor added: “We would not condone the use of settlement agreements to sidestep compulsory redundancy procedures, although in some situations we recognise that voluntary severance arrangements may be acceptable.”Speaking on confidentiality clauses in redundancy settlements, an Oxford University spokesperson said: “Confidentiality clauses are often used by employers in settlement agreements documenting voluntary severance agreements.“Although we cannot comment on individual cases, the University might use a confidentiality clause placing an obligation on both the employee and the University which generally covers the terms of the agreement itself.”Universities’ contracts are coming under increasing scrutiny, amid claims that they are becoming more casualised and wages are stagnating.Last May, Oxford academics and other staff members went on strike after a dispute over low pay.Jacob Williams, Editor of the libertarian magazine No Offence, described the interest in confidentiality clauses as “an attempt by the Liberal Democrats to seem relevant.”He told Cherwell: “Compromise agreements mainly concern the internal administration of universities, not substantive opinions held by academics, and frankly aren’t interesting.“More important is the culture of intolerance towards any views that contradict secular liberalism and its faddish offshoots.” The figures show that out of 106 voluntary redundancy settlements made by the University of Oxford in the past five years, 26 have included compromise agreements, of which just under 70 per cent included a promise of confidentiality on behalf of the former employee.The use of such compromise agreements in higher education has come under fire in recent weeks.Speaking to Cherwell, Tim Farron, the Lib Dem leader, described their use across the sector as “simply outrageous”, with the risk of stifling debate.“Universities are supposed to be bastions of free speech and forthright opinions, yet our research has shown that confidentiality clauses may have been used not only to avoid dirty laundry being aired in public but now are just common practice in higher education. Oxford University has repeatedly used so-called “gagging clauses” in redundancy settlements with former employees, figures obtained by Cherwell reveal.A Freedom of Information (FOI) request found that the University has signed 18 “confidentiality clauses” with former staff members in the last five years.It showed that the University has paid out £735,988 in severance payments to departing employees during the period.Confidentiality clauses typically form part of “compromise” or “settlement” agreements, which tend to struck between an employee and employer when a former staff member accepts a severance payment for waiving the right to sue an organisation.center_img “These gagging orders have a deterrent effect, employers seem to think that employees will just sign away the right to whistleblow,” he said.Oxford University insisted that “whistleblowing is not covered by the clauses, should that need arise”.The figures reveal that Oxford’s use of such clauses is lower than that of other UK universities.Previous FOI requests showed 48 universities have paid out £146 million in severance cash to staff over the past five years and 3,722 people were asked to sign compromise agreements.They revealed Cambridge had used 237 settlement agreements in recent years. London Metropolitan University was shown to have signed the highest number, with 894 signed since 2011/12.A spokesperson for London Metropolitan said it was “common practice in higher education, and other sectors, to include compromise agreements in any voluntary redundancy settlements made”.President of the Oxford branch of the University and College Union (UCU), Garrick Taylor, told Cherwell that the Union was not opposed to the “justified” use of confidentiality clauses in settlement agreements with its members in certain circumstances.He described them as “an appropriate way to register acceptance on both sides that disagreements have formally been laid to rest.”However, Taylor raised concern at the potential misuse of settlement agreements, saying: “We oppose the ‘hushing up’ of malpractice in any circumstances, and the use of ‘gagging clauses’ to achieve that.”last_img read more

Oxford University ranked best university in the world for 5th consecutive year

first_imgOxford University’s ranking comes in a year of headlines for the university, with the Jenner Institute at the forefront of the search for a COVID-19 vaccine. “Under the current decade-old methodology, no university has ever topped the THE World University Rankings for five consecutive annual editions. Professor Louise Richardson, Oxford University’s Vice-Chancellor, said: ‘‘We are delighted to have consolidated our position at the top of the THE World University Rankings this year. The international standing of British Higher Education is a testament to generations of investment in education as well as to our extraordinarily talented staff and students. The COVID-19 pandemic, which has posed such a threat to higher education around the world, has also demonstrated the critical role universities play in addressing global challenges.” He said: “The Times Higher Education World University Rankings deploy a comprehensive and balanced range of 13 separate performance indicators to cover world-class research universities’ core missions, across teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. 29 UK institutions made the top 200, the second highest of any country after the US. China doubled its presence in the top 100 from three to six and became home to the first Asian university to ever enter the top 20. “So this year’s rankings results are a testament not only to Oxford’s enduring reputation among leading scholars globally, but also to its ability to continually innovate, publishing cutting edge research with the highest global impact across a wide range of disciplines and providing a uniquely stimulating teaching environment. Phil Baty, Chief Knowledge Officer at the Times Higher Education, praised Oxford’s unprecedented performance, pointing to the University’s international outlook as a particular area of distinction. Oxford University has been ranked the best university of the world by Times Higher Education (THE) for the fifth year in a row. The university is the first institution to have done so under THE’s current methodology. Stanford University and Harvard University finished 2nd and 3rd respectively. Cambridge University, the only other British university to make the top 10, finished in ­6th place, down from 3rd last year. “Oxford excels across all of our indicators, but its international outlook scores in particular stand out against world top-ten peers in the US. That commitment to international collaboration and partnership, should be cherished and protected.”last_img read more

Letter to Editor: Where Are You Dining on Saturday?

first_imgVeal parmigiana and rigatoni at Nonna’s Trattoria and Pizzeria in Ocean City, NJ.To the Editor:It’s the off-season again, which means it’s time for me to brush up on my dining etiquette and enjoy some of the great food Ocean City has to offer.You may recall last year I did “Dine Out Friday,” when I committed to increasing my support of Ocean City businesses by sitting down and eating a meal at an Ocean City restaurant every other Friday — in addition to my normal level of support of area businesses.  My schedule has changed since then, so it’s going to be the same commitment this off-season, except now it is every other SATURDAY.Since it was the first Saturday, two weeks ago I did TWO meals, a late breakfast at Ready’s and dinner at Nonna’s. This Saturday, as I have a long day planned, I will be doing an early breakfast at Frankie’s by the Bay. I will be posting a picture of my meal on OCNJ Daily’s Facebook page. I hope to see other people dining out in Ocean City and posting pictures tomorrow, too!Ed SheppardOcean Citylast_img read more

Relaxation station

first_imgIt’s a serene space, with the cooling color palette of a luxe spa — or even your pillowy dreamscapes. The Center for Wellness, now settling into its new home in Harvard’s Holyoke Center Arcade, has an updated look and more swoon-worthy offerings.Formerly located on the second floor of Harvard University Health Services (HUHS), the center was in the right environment, but the wrong space. The center’s director, Jeanne Mahon, had a vision for change when the Holyoke Center’s Allston Room became available.“We wanted the space to be calming and relaxing, which was nice after fitting the center into an office suite for many years,” said Mahon. “And with the Holyoke Center location there’s a greater accessibility to students.”Planning began last fall and renovations wrapped up in time for this semester’s start. Though equipped with four large treatment rooms that can accommodate more classes and services, the Center for Wellness still utilizes the space in Monks Library at HUHS, and its classes are so in-demand they often sell out.Popular activities such as yoga offer many physical and mental health benefits, Mahon notes, such as weight loss, improved concentration, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and more.“Our offerings are proactive and preventative. It’s all about quality of life, stress reduction, reducing muscular fatigue, and tension,” said Mahon.The center also boasts special workshops in meditation, self-massage for migraine sufferers and runners, even knitting. The classes are for a fee, and participants in the Harvard University Group Health Plan receive a discount of up to 50 percent on certain services. On-site acupuncture, massage, reiki, and shiatsu appointments can be booked with a licensed professional, with students receiving special pricing for one-hour massage or acupuncture sessions. And on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at the center, $12 will get you a 10-minute chair massage.“The Center for Wellness allows us to better demonstrate the importance of complementary therapies such as acupuncture and massage in improving the overall health and quality of life for the Harvard community,” said David S. Rosenthal, director of HUHS.The center’s website lists all programs and workshops, and registration can be completed online. There’s also an interactive “relaxation room,” which can be activated on the website.The exercise — perfect for those stressful Mondays — flashes calming photographs of nature. Lulling music swirls in the background as the voice asks the viewer to breathe and let go of any tension.The only thing missing is a massage. But not for long.To view a listing of classes, workshops, and other services, visit the Wellness Center at the Holyoke Center Arcade, or its website.last_img read more

Client Solutions’ Role in the Dell EMC Combination

first_imgI don’t know about you, but we’ve been looking forward to this day since last October when the EMC deal was announced. Well, the opportunity to better meet your overall IT needs, offer better solutions to your problems and do more for your organization – it all starts right now.I’ve been fortunate to have a front-row seat for the massive transformation the technology industry has experienced over the past 30 years. It’s transforming even faster now, and with Dell and EMC coming together, I think you’ll see the speed of innovation only increase. Those innovations won’t be one-offs. Together, we can work across the entire infrastructure – from the device to the datacenter to the cloud and everywhere in between – and assemble complete solutions to your business challenges.That’s why I balk when people assume this combination doesn’t really impact Dell’s Client Solutions business. It absolutely does.Think about the way people work today. They’re creating content on primary devices. They’re collaborating and consuming on companion devices. They’re accessing and sharing data in the cloud. Employees expect companies to give them the flexibility to work when, where and how they want on devices as good as what they have at home.That’s what my team wakes up thinking about every day. We are here to help you offer your employees devices they’ll love that have security and management built in so IT can meet business requirements. The PC is the primary productivity device where work gets done, and we’ve invested in the best end-user computing line-up in our history, spanning thin clients, stylish 2-in-1s, laptops, workstations, desktops and (absolutely stunning) monitors. We’re the only Tier 1 vendor offering a rugged line; we apply learnings from those products to make the rest more durable. And because our devices are built for business, IT can maintain the level of control they need to manage the device and protect sensitive data no matter where may sit, on the device or in the cloud.Beyond the device, workforce transformation requires a cloud-based infrastructure to support people’s new behaviors, new devices and new expectations. EMC is a leader in the cloud technologies required to pull this off.I mentioned companion devices. Airwatch, the industry’s strongest EMM solution for managing phones and tablets, is now part of the Dell portfolio. And with cloud client-computing VDI solutions from VMWare, we’re the only true end-to-end VDI provider in the industry, from planning to deployment, datacenter to the endpoint, on- and off-premise.Bottom line: Combining EMC’s cloud capabilities with our award-winning PCs, we’ve just created a very powerful solution.On top of that, our ProSupport services cover the enterprise and the device. We offer the industry’s only proactive and predictive support technology that tells us (and you) something is going to break before it happens.That’s the kind of practical innovation I’m excited to be driving and building on.Ahead, I see only opportunity. Things that once only existed in science fiction are now alive in our labs and customers’ businesses – virtual reality, augmented reality, the Internet of Things. We’ve just given those innovations a huge shot in the arm with a ton of amazing IP from EMC and the entire Dell Technologies family.And by combining the purchasing power, supplier relationships and operational excellence of two leading companies, we’re going to make cutting-edge innovation accessible to more customers at a better value than ever before. I think that’s really powerful.If you’re a Dell client solutions customer today, thank you. More great things are coming. If you’re not, I hope we can talk about your business needs. I think we might surprise you.What a day.last_img read more

Brokerages limit trading in GameStop, sparking outcry

first_imgRobinhood and other online trading platforms are moving to restrict trading in GameStop and other stocks that have soared recently due to rabid buying by smaller investors. GameStop stock has rocketed from below $20 to more than $400 this month as a volunteer army of investors on social media challenged big institutions who has placed market bets that the stock would fall. Among the restrictions announced by Robinhood on Thursday, investors would only be able to sell their positions and not open new ones in some cases, and Robinhood will try to slow the amount of trading using borrowed money.last_img

Barrett Foa Begins Performances in Buyer & Cellar

first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on July 27, 2014 Foa has appeared on Broadway in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Avenue Q and Mamma Mia!. His television credits include NCIS: Los Angeles, Entourage, NCIS, Numb3rs, Six Degrees and The Closer. Who’s an American Beauty rose? It’s Barrett Foa! The Broadway vet steps into the off-Broadway hit Buyer & Cellar beginning May 27, taking over from Christopher J. Hanke. Foa plays Alex More and others (including a certain Funny Girl) in the one-man play. View Comments Related Shows Buyer & Cellar Buyer & Cellar tells the story of Alex Moore, a struggling actor in L.A., who lands an offbeat job working in the basement of Hollywood legend Barbra Streisand. The production, directed by Stephen Brackett, began off-Broadway in June 2013 starring Michael Urie, who is currently performing the show on tour.last_img read more

Fun Home & More Receive 2014 Off-Broadway Alliance Awards

first_img The Off-Broadway Alliance is dedicated to supporting, promoting and encouraging the production of off-Broadway theater. Awards will be presented to the winners in a ceremony on June 17 at Sardi’s Restaurant. As previously announced, Hall of Fame Awards honored the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ruth Maleczech and Nicholas Martin. Terrence McNally, Edmund Gaynes, Andrew Gregory and Wallace Shawn were named this year’s Legend of Off-Broadway Honorees. View Commentscenter_img The Off-Broadway Alliance has announced the winners of the fourth annual Off-Broadway Alliance Awards. Fun Home and Hand to God took home honors for Best New Musical and Best New Play, respectively. Saint Joan received the award for Best Revival. Additionally, the Best Unique Theatrical Experience award went to La Soiree and The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go! won the Best Family Show award.last_img read more

The CUInsight Experience podcast: Debbie Painter – Stay intentional (#98)

first_imgThank you for tuning in to episode 98 of The CUInsight Experience podcast with your host, Randy Smith, co-founder of CUInsight.com. This episode is brought to you by Trellance transforming data into actionable insight for credit unions from coast to coast.My guest on today’s show is Debbie Painter, the President and CEO of the Kentucky Credit Union League. Debbie and I talk about leadership and the communication skills it takes to be a good leader in this digital world that we are all living in. We talk about growing up in credit unions and how that swayed Debbie’s career path, and her view of looking at each position as a longer, bigger career instead of just a job. Debbie also shares some hacks for internal candidates looking for a CEO position plus much more on this episode of The CUInsight Experience.Debbie believes that investing in membership, community, and employees are ways credit unions will stay relevant in the future. She shares some counsel on how her team stays connected during the pandemic and how her leadership has evolved with a ‘family-first approach. This has helped the KYCUL team maintain a healthy and positive atmosphere. She also shares her concerns for credit unions in this tough financial environment.Listen as Debbie shares what inspired her to take the position at the league and how that inspiration has grown over the last two years. Debbie says that her faith enables her to make hard decisions, and seeing your position as a job and nor a career is a mistake most people make today. If she hadn’t started as a teller and worked her way up, she says she wouldn’t be where she is today.During the rapid-fire questions, we learn that Debbie thought she would be a secretary when she grew up and the best album of all time is anything by the Bee Gees. When she hears the word success, she thinks of herself because she loves what she does and believes that if you don’t love it, you should keep looking until you find what makes you happy.Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher Books mentioned on The CUInsight Experience podcast: Book List How to find Debbie:Debbie Painter, President and CEO of the Kentucky Credit Union LeagueLinkedIn | [email protected] Show notes from this episode:A big shout-out to our friends at Trellance, an amazing sponsor of The CUInsight Experience podcast. Thank you!Check out all the outstanding work that Debbie and her team at Kentucky Credit Union League are doing here.Shout out: Wendell W. Lyons (former President and CEO of Kentucky Credit Union League)Shout out: Debbie’s momShout out: John PembrokeShout out: Samantha PaxsonShout out: Jill NowackiShout out: KYCULAlbum mentioned: The Bee Gees Greatest Hits by The Bee GeesBook mentioned: The Case Against Socialism by Paul RandPrevious guests mentioned in this episode: Samantha Paxson, John Pembroke, Jill Nowacki (episodes 4, 18, 37, 64 & 82) In This Episode:[01:51] – Welcome to the show, Debbie![02:31] – Debbie shares some hacks on staying connected to everyone during this pandemic.[04:36] – Over the last year, how have you grown as a leader?[06:14] – Debbie speaks about her concerns for credit unions over the next few years in this tough financial environment.[08:33] – Debbie thinks credit unions need to invest in membership, community, and their employees to stay relevant going forward.[10:13] – Debbie thinks the focus on education needs to be expanded, and engagement needs to be amped up.[11:03] – What will you be proud that your team has accomplished a year from now?[12:31] – Debbie discusses what inspired her to take the position as league president and CEO.[13:50] – Debbie shares that the inspiration hasn’t changed over the last two years, but it has grown.[15:13] – Showing them you are the person for the job is a hack that Debbie believes will help you leap CEO.[17:42] – Is there something your team has heard you say so often they can finish your sentence?[19:20] – Debbie says that her faith has a lot to do with making the hard decisions.[20:00] – Your small so that must be easier is a myth she wants to debunk.[20:41] – Not seeing your job as a career is a mistake she believes people make today.[22:00] – Debbie shares that her mom’s work ethic is something she had taken with throughout the years.[22:57] – How have mentors been important to your career?[24:38] – Be yourself, be a sponge and watch and learn is something Debbie believes you should do if you want to advance into a position you don’t think you are qualified for.[25:29] – Debbie runs to recharge when she has a day off.[26:31] – Debbie says she was so unmemorable in high school, she lived in the shadow of her older brother.[27:22] – Debbie thought she would be a secretary when she grew up.[28:00] – Do you have any routines that, if you don’t do, your day feels off?[28:32] – What is the best album of all time?[29:06] – Do you have a book you think everyone should read?[29:57] – Faith and Family have become more important, and the race to prove herself is less important.[30:40] – When you hear the word success which is the first person who comes to mind?[31:36] – Love what you do, and if you don’t love it, find what you do love are words Debbie would like to leave the listeners with.[32:23] – Thank you so much for being on the show! 22SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Randall Smith Randall Smith is the co-founder of CUInsight.com, the host of The CUInsight Experience podcast, and a bit of a wanderlust.As one of the co-founders of CUInsight.com he … Web: www.CUInsight.com Detailslast_img read more