Posts by Michael Dha

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STRIVE Plays Ball For The Kids

The STRIVE team had an awesome time at Softball city this weekend in an annual softball tournament in support of BC Children’s hospital! We won in the beer garden and definitely had the best team name #WhereMyPitchesAt, but not so much luck on the diamond! Better luck next time, STRIVERs will definitely start practicing early for next year’s tournament!

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STRIVE’s Summer tradition

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It’s that time of year! It was a fantastic sunny day to have a barbecue on the ocean. The STRIVE team spent their afternoon celebrating their annual summer social on Joe’s BBQ Boat once again. Nothing could beat a summer afternoon with good music, amazing kebabs made by our Managing Director Michael and of course – great company! Definitely something to check out before the summer ends. As one of STRIVE’s many traditions, Joe’s BBQ Boat is one that we could never miss!

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Amazon to acquire organic supermarket chain Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion

Amazon has announced something of a curveball acquisition today, as the internet giant revealed plans to snap up healthy supermarket chain Whole Foods Market in an all-cash deal worth nearly $14 billion.

Founded out of Austin, Texas in 1980, Whole Foods Market specializes in natural food that doesn’t have artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, or sweeteners.

“Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy,” said Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, in a press release. “Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting, and nourishing customers for nearly four decades — they’re doing an amazing job and we want that to continue.”

Whole Foods Market has been a public company since 1992, and its shares hit an all-time high of around $65 in 2013. Its stock has been hovering around the $33 mark for the past few years, however, with the shares closing at $33.06 yesterday. Amazon is offering $42 per share for the company, a premium of around 27 percent on yesterday’s closing price, for a total value of $13.7 billion.

“This partnership presents an opportunity to maximize value for Whole Foods Market’s shareholders, while at the same time extending our mission and bringing the highest quality, experience, convenience, and innovation to our customers,” added Whole Foods Market’s cofounder and CEO, John Mackey.

The deal still has to attain shareholder approval, of course, as well as passing the usual regulatory and closing conditions, which the duo expect will happen in the second half of 2017. Assuming the acquisition is seen through to completion, Whole Foods Market will continue as is under its own brand, with Mackey remaining CEO.

Online books to brick-and-mortar groceries

Amazon has long transcended its roots as an online bookstore and today offers everything from video-streaming services to on-demand restaurant deliveries. While its decision to effectively merge with Whole Foods Market may seem like an oddity on the surface, it’s not entirely out of line with Amazon’s recent initiatives in the grocery realm.

In fact, Amazon has offered a grocery delivery service for a decade already. First launched in beta back in 2007 in Mercer Island, Washington, AmazonFresh later expanded across the U.S. into Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, New York, and Philadelphia, among many other U.S. cities. Last year, it also launched in London, which represented its first international market. Whole Foods Market, as it happens, also operates seven stores in the U.K. capital.

AmazonFresh delivers a range of domestic goods and produce — including fruit, vegetables, and meat — on the same day or the next day, depending when they’re ordered. The service is available to $99/year Prime members, who must pay an additional $15 per month to access the grocery delivery service.

Amazon has also been pursuing own-brand brick-and-mortar stores, including bookstores, the most recent of which opened in New York City. And late last year Amazon debuted its own grocery store in Seattle, as the company sought to shine a light on a futuristic new “checkout free” shopping experience.

So Amazon has made no secret of its aspirations in the grocery realm. But why buy Whole Foods Market? Well, the internet behemoth is every bit as much a delivery and logistics company as it is an online marketplace for buying USB memory sticks, books, and cheap mobile phones. And as a result of this acquisition, Amazon is entering the grocery fray in a major way. As things stand, Whole Foods Market offers one-hour deliveries via Instacart, but once this acquisition is complete, you can bet your bootlaces that Amazon will be placing groceries front and center within its online ordering and delivery network.

This acquisition also helps highlight the growing convergence between the offline and online worlds. Last August, Walmart revealed it was buying fledgling online retailer Jet.com for $3 billion in cash in what many viewed as a direct swipe at Amazon. Now, Amazon is hitting back by buying Whole Foods Market outright, grabbing a direct conduit into more than 400 stores across North America and the U.K., which should lead to some interesting offline/online cross-pollination.

Finally, this acquisition shows that to compete effectively in the grocery market, you need a strong, local on-the-ground presence — and that’s what Amazon now has with Whole Foods Market.

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STRIVE Recruitment vs Signature Recruiting in our Inaugural BEER Pong Tournament

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The highly anticipated (and somewhat over-hyped) BEER Pong Tourney with our good friends and neighbours over at Signature Recruiting, finally came to fruition last Friday at the STRIVE offices.

As two very competitive recruiting firms in Vancouver, both teams trained physically and mentally for several months leading up to the event. Rallying behind our team captain, Radko Kunda, STRIVE was eager to get out to an early lead. Unfortunately, Radko’s beer pong expertise lied in the BEER part rather than the PONG component.  Co-Founder of Signature, Rupinder Gill had mastered an assassin-like focus from many hours of meditation between his daily interviews – and it paid dividends in his game. Account Manager, Brittany Lee, was firing on all cylinders and was clearly Signature’s top player. It should be noted that she is currently under investigation by STRIVE for use of PEDs (performance enhancing drugs) leading up to the event. Sinking back to back trick shots, Recruiting Specialist, Leting “Cha Ching” Cheong put forth STRIVE’s most valiant effort and carried the team on her back to the semi finals. Needless to say, STRIVE came up just short against a tough Signature squad.

It was an awesome night of two neighbours getting together in an epic night of laughs and pong – all while celebrating the successes of quarter 1.

We are eagerly looking forward to the rematch!

– Michael Dha

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Canada Goose files for IPO on Toronto and New York exchanges

Luxury winter jacket maker Canada Goose has filed for initial public offerings on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol “GOOS.”

The company said in regulatory filings it had revenue of $291 million in fiscal 2016, up from $152 million in 2014, and gross profit of $146 million.

Canada Goose opened its first retail stores last year in Toronto and New York, with sales also through the company’s online store and authorized retailers in Canada and abroad.

The manufacturer said it plans to further expand its brand internationally including opening more stores in major cities and premium outdoor centres.

It also said it was considering an expansion of its offerings, with more spring and fall jackets as well as knitwear, fleece, footwear, travel gear and bedding.

Its parkas, which retail for up to $1,500, have been worn by celebrities and featured in Hollywood movies and on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition.

The company, founded in Toronto in 1957, touted its “authentic brand” and “uncompromised craftsmanship” as some of its key competitive strengths in its filing.

Canada Goose sold a 70-per-cent equity interest in 2013 to investment firm Bain Capital, which is sponsoring the IPO.

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Cadillac Fairview sells half of its Vancouver properties, including Pacific Centre

One of Canada’s largest commercial real estate management and development companies has sold a 50% interest in its Vancouver portfolio, which includes a major shopping centre and a number of office buildings.

Cadillac Fairview announced today that the Ontario Pension Board (OPB) and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) now each own a 25% stake in the company’s vast portfolio. The Toronto-based company retains ownership of the remaining 50%.

Altogether, this deal spans four million square feet of leasable space, including CF Pacific Centre shopping mall, the Waterfront Station building, and a dozen office towers in downtown Vancouver. Its largest and most valuable asset is Pacific Centre, which consists of not only the mall space but also the spaces occupied by Nordstrom, Holt Renfrew, office spaces for Microsoft and Sony Pictures Imageworks, and several adjoining office towers.

“This deal gives us the rare opportunity to gain direct exposure to the tightly held Vancouver real estate market. As the economic and financial centre for Western Canada and the primary access point to Asian markets, Vancouver is expected to outperform other major Canadian cities going forward,” said Mark Fuller, President and CEO of the OPB, in a statement.

“It is also a great example of how asset pooling and scale help us gain direct access to high-quality assets that will help us generate strong returns over the long term.”

Cadillac Fairview also has a joint-ownership partnership with the OPB four major properties in downtown Toronto, including RBC Centre, Toronto-Dominion Centre, and two development properties at 16 York Street & 160 Front Street West.

Here is Cadillac Fairview’s portfolio in Vancouver:

CF Pacific Centre (701 West Georgia)
Waterfront Centre (200 Burrard Street)
725 Granville Street
Granville Square (600 Granville Street)
PrincewaterhouseCoopers Place (250 Howe Street)
700 West Pender Street
750 West Pender
Cannacord Genuity Place (609 Granville Street)
777 Dunsmuir Street
701 West Georgia Street
TD Tower (700 West Georgia Street)
HSBC Building
The Station (601 Cordova Street)
The value of the deal with OPB and WSIB was not disclosed, but it is likely well over the billion dollar range.

Just before Christmas, TransLink announced that it had closed a $440-million deal to sell its 13.8-acre decommissioned Oakridge bus depot, which will be redeveloped with 1,200 residential units.

Written by
Kenneth Chan
National Features Editor at Daily Hive, the evolution of Vancity Buzz. He covers stories pertaining to local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation, infrastructure, and anything else that makes a difference in the lives of Canadians. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year’s Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]dailyhive.com

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Snapchat has filed for an IPO that could value the company at $25 billion

Alex Heath and Portia Crowe
Nov. 15, 2016, 4:02 PM
Source: Business Insider
http://www.businessinsider.com/snapchat-parent-company-snap-inc-files-for-ipo-2016-11

Snapchat’s parent company, Snap Inc., has quietly filed paperwork for an initial public offering, setting the wheels in motion for what’s expected to be the largest tech debut in years.

Snap, which is based in Venice Beach, California, confidentially filed its paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission before the presidential election, a person familiar with the matter told Business Insider.

Snap’s IPO could come as early as March, but it could also occur in the second quarter of 2017, the person said. The company is seeking a valuation of $20 billion to $25 billion.

Some people think the offering could be even larger. Bloomberg has reported that Snap’s IPO valuation could swell as high as $40 billion.

Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs will lead the deal, while JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, Allen & Co., Barclays, and Credit Suisse will be joint bookrunners.

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A Snapchat selfie “lense” that lets you try on a virtual pair of the company’s Spectacles camera glasses. Melia Robinson/Business Insider
Snapchat has emerged as one of the most popular consumer internet services, challenging Facebook, Twitter, and Google for users and advertising dollars. With the tech IPO market stuck in the doldrums over the past year, investors are hoping Snap’s offering could open the gates to more IPOs, including closely watched tech companies like Uber.

Snap has told investors that it expects to make $250 million to $350 million in advertising revenue this year. A recent eMarketer report predicted the company would near $1 billion in revenue in 2017 — meaning an IPO that valued the company at $25 billion would be 25 times its projected revenue numbers.

It’s not clear whether Snap is profitable, however, and the company is aggressively expanding into new businesses and markets that are likely to eat into margins.

Snap’s main business is advertising in the Snapchat app, which has over 150 million daily users. But Snap recently rebranded itself as a camera company and started selling $130 camera-equipped sunglasses called Spectacles.

The company most recently raised $1.81 billion in private funding in May, which pegged its valuation at $18 billion to $22 billion.

With annual revenue under $1 billion now, Snap was able to file its Form S-1 with the SEC confidentially under the JOBS Act. News of the filing was first reported by Reuters on Tuesday.

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A Day of Wins! STRIVE raises $10k and wins the 2016 Exile Island Competition!

 

 

A day of wins! STRIVE Recruitment Inc. is proud to have participated in The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada Annual Exile Island Challenge. Not only did we raise $10,000 for our awesome wish kid, Crystal; but we also competed against KPMG, BCLC, Teekay Corporation, Gowlings  & others in a  survivor-like challenge.. and we won ! From the Mind-Breaker to the Hidden Treasure, STRIVE was tasked with navigating several gruelling challenges that required strategy and teamwork (right up our alley!).  Fulfilling Crystal’s wish is one of the proudest moments of our company’s history and we are grateful to all of the fantastic people at Children’s Wish Foundation BC for the amazing experience.

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