Posts tagged with "Merger"

Bugatti Rimac Illustration by Reb Czukoski for use by 360 Magazine

Bugatti × Rimac Partnership

Rimac Automobili officially joins forces with Bugatti Automobiles under the recently announced, Bugatti Rimac d.o.o. The new company sees two motor vehicle powerhouses generate an exciting movement in the automotive and technology industries, originally initiated and strongly supported by the sports car manufacturer Porsche AG.

Rimac’s short but rich 10-year history from garage start-up by one man, Mate Rimac, took a big leap forward to begin official operating under Bugatti Rimac as of November 1st.

The Rimac Group is the major shareholder in Bugatti Rimac with a 55% stake. Mate Rimac will retain his shareholding in Rimac Group at 35%, with Porsche at 22%, Hyundai Motor Group doing the same at 11%, and other investors making up 32%. The development, production, and supply of battery systems, drivetrains, and other EV components that Rimac is known for and trusted by, will be separated into a new entity, Rimac Technology, that is 100% owned by the Rimac Group.

Bugatti Rimac has the unique combination of two automotive and technological trailblazers. Rimac’s distinctive agility, technical expertise, and relentless innovation in the EV sphere, along with Bugatti’s 110-year heritage of design and engineering of some of the world’s most iconic hypercars, are now combined in the leading hypercar company. Porsche plays a strong role in the joint company as a strategic partner. Along with two managers, the Stuttgart based sports car manufacturer appointed two Supervisory Board members, Oliver Blume and Lutz Meschke.

Mate Rimac’s leadership and strategic direction that has allowed Rimac to become an industry frontrunner means he is exceptionally skilled to lead the company as Chief Executive Officer. As CEO of Rimac Group, he runs both Bugatti Rimac and the new division, Rimac Technology.

Bugatti Rimac’s global headquarters is situated at Rimac’s current base on the outskirts of Zagreb, Croatia, but in time will transition to the recently announced €200M and 200.000m2 Rimac Campus, also serving as the home of Rimac Technology. With construction having now begun, joint research and development of future Rimac Automobili and Bugatti hypercars will ultimately take place there, with projected opening in 2023.

High-tech innovation forms the basis of the state-of-the-art facility, with the capacity to host 2,500 curiosity-driven people and a hive of groundbreaking developments. Bugatti Rimac operates with 435 employees as part of the new company, 300 of headquartered in Zagreb and 135 in Molsheim, France. In addition,180 people at Bugatti Engineering’s location in Wolfsburg, Germany, are supporting the new company. Rimac Technology consists of over 900 employees whilst the Rimac Group tackles over 1,300 employees across its various locations.

Bugatti Rimac’s new Board of Management has determined Christophe Piochon as Chief Operating Officer. He formerly held the position of Director General at Bugatti Automobiles and guarantees the continuation of the manufactory with its worldwide outstanding quality. Larissa Fleischer became Chief Financial Officer, previously being the head of controlling at Porsche in the areas of digitalization and the development of new business models. Lastly, Emilio Scervo is named Chief Technology Officer, having held the same title before at Rimac Automobili.

Rimac Automobili and Bugatti Automobiles will each continue to operate as separate brands and manufacturers, retaining their individual production facilities respectively, as well as the distribution channels. Rimac Technology will continue to innovate, developing vehicle systems and technologies for many global OEMs.

Commenting on the first day of Bugatti Rimac operations, CEO Mate Rimac says, “I am honored to be leading this new fusion of automotive minds and begin what will no doubt be a successful, revolutionary and exciting new chapter for everyone involved. I am also extremely curious to oversee the profound impact Bugatti Rimac will have on the industry, and I look forward to developing innovative new hypercars and technologies.”

He also claims that “[it’s] difficult to find a better match than Rimac and Bugatti. What each party brings to the table in terms of technical expertise, know-how and automotive history makes for an electrifying recipe. Rimac’s fast-paced operations and electrification skills are the perfect complement to Bugatti’s exceptional heritage and craftsmanship. Stay tuned for some truly extraordinary projects in the future.”

“I am convinced that we have found the right mix of experience and know-how, innovative strength and team spirit for the management,” says Lutz Meschke, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board and member of the board for Finance and IT at Porsche AG. “That’s why I’m very optimistic and because the project is very close to my heart, I will continue to accompany it closely and passionately in the future.”

Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Board of Management at Porsche, named this merger as “the perfect solution” for everyone involved, “Together, we are creating a high-performance automotive company. We have succeeded in positioning the traditional Bugatti brand with its charisma for the future in a way that creates value. Bugatti embodies fascination and passion, and Rimac has great innovative strength and tech expertise.”

Cybersecurity illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Amazon × MGM Studios Merger

Amazon announced that it will be acquiring MGM Studios for $8.45 billion, in an effort to bolster the already growing Amazon studios and making it the second largest acquisition on Amazon’s part, following its $13.7 purchase of Whole Foods in 2017.

According to cybersecurity expert Mark Stamford, CEO of OccamSec, a deal of this scale will require a complete review of its cybersecurity infrastructure, as the process of fully merging these entities are rarely completed in the expected timescale.

Mark continues:

  • The standard “merger” due-diligence template goes into great detail looking at financial & legal status issues, but rarely seems to consider the potential liability associated with linking into an organization with a seriously compromised infrastructure. 
  • Trying to coherently map risks or produce an enterprise security plan for this type of environment is incredibly challenging, when multiple systems are coming together
  • With such notable deals, most attackers reside within the organization’s network for over 100 days before discovery, so there is a very real risk of starting work on merging infrastructure, whilst being observed by an interested resident attacker, who will be keenly looking out for an opportunity to vector into the core organization’s networks

Mark says, “Exercising strategic due-diligence during a merger or acquisition, is the most effective what for any organization, like Amazon, to protect itself from cyber threats.”

We had the opportunity to ask Mark Stamford some questions as far as the merger and his expert opinion(s):

Q: What changes can be expected with a merger like the Amazon/MGM Studio merger?

MS: The merging of two different cultures always prompts a lot of changes. In this case, MGM is going to become more like Amazon than the other way round.

Q: Do the benefits outweigh the risks with this type of merger?

MS: Yes, I assume so, from a cyber perspective, the main risk is joining two networks together that have different structures, and probably issues. So, for example I was called in to help with some M&A work once, the new network was plugged in…and brought a heap of malware with it which quickly spread into the acquirers’ network.  It later transpired that some of the IP, which was the very reason for the merger, had been stolen.

Q: What challenges is Amazon, an online retailer, facing when merging with MGM Studio?

MS: Both operate in different ways. The majority of movie making companies seem to follow the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mantra. So, technology tends to be a hodge podge, along with processes etc.… Amazon meanwhile is a tech company, and while primarily known as a retailer, has considerable presence in the cloud (with AWS) so has a lot of cutting-edge technology at its disposal.

Q: What are some ways to help the process move along with ease?

MS: Again, in a cyber perspective there needs to be due diligence done on the MGM environment. At the same time, since both organizations probably have a range of security tools, seeing who has the best tool for the job can save money in the long term.

Also, not to be discounted is the human element in cyber security – any merger results in layoffs. So, the potential for a “disgruntled insider” increases. The way to help with that is communication – not more monitoring.

Q: How can Amazon prevent cyber-attacks during the process of the merger?

MS: MGM makes a nice target right now, since at some point their technology will be integrated into Amazon, and if I was a bad guy, I would assume they are the softer target of the two. Amazon should work with MGM to ensure their security is at a “good” level, and work on the integration aspects – two distinct cyber security teams need to become one, quickly.

Q: In your opinion, does Amazon face cyber risks from vendors or third parties with the onset of the merger?

MS: I think amazon always faces this risk, as does everyone. Since the organization is increasing in size, the “attack surface increases” so yes, they do face risks.

Q: What are the biggest cybersecurity threats at the moment?

MS: Motivated attackers, be that nation states, criminal groups, hacktavists, or others. Ransomware is getting a lot of press right now. However, I think the biggest threat is the endless cost spiral companies are trapped in trying to deal with this.

Q: What are some ways to ensure that the infrastructure is not compromised?

MS: Defense in depth continues to be the key. Layers of security, which work together, and consider the context of the organization (how it makes money or delivers its service) in order to support that mission.  I assume Amazon will expand their cyber security program across MGM fairly quickly, which checks a number of boxes and provides a good starting point.

One issue may be that a movie studio faces different kinds of attackers than Amazon. Movie studios are primarily about their IP, everything else always seemed to be secondary to that. Stealing a movie is a different attack then ransomware, which we have seen borne out in practice (various insider attacks to steal content for example).

Q: What are your certifications in the cybersecurity field?

MS: I have been involved in cybersecurity since I was 11. Was senior penetration tester for a global consulting company, ran a security program at a global investment bank, and have been running a security company for 10 years.

Q: What does effective cybersecurity look like to you?

MS: Cost effective, business aware, and layered.

Speedway Motors illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Speedway Motors Museum × Darryl Starbird

Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed & Darryl Starbird’s National Rod & Custom Car Hall of Fame Announce Merger

Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed and Darryl Starbird’s National Rod & Custom Car Hall of Fame announced their merger at Darryl Starbird’s National Rod & Custom Show in Tulsa, Olka.

“Darryl Starbird is one of the most prolific custom car builders and an artist who was consistently able to gain national recognition for his creations. His customs have been showcased in all of the popular car magazines for decades. This would have been difficult for any builder, but it was even harder to achieve for someone located in the Midwest. His car creations feature a space age futuristic style that people find exciting and memorable. He is certainly king of the bubble top, and like Toad in American Graffiti explains, any car as good as Starbird’s Superfleck Moonbird has to be amazing!” said Tim Matthews Curator, Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed. “Custom car fans now have two places to see Starbird’s fabulous creations.”

Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed, located in Lincoln, Neb., is home to over 150,000 square feet of display space over three levels. The museum was formed to present a continuous chronology of automotive Racing Engine and Speed Equipment development and to preserve, interpret and display items significant in racing and automotive history. Founded in 1992 by “Speedy” Bill and Joyce Smith, the collection results from their personal involvement in racing and hot rodding, and their lifelong passion for collecting and preserving racing an automotive history over the past 100 years.

“In addition to the collection the Smiths have built over the years the museum has also been the recipient of many generous donations from vehicles to important artifacts in racing and automotive history,” Matthews added. “The relationships continue to lead us to opportunities to acquire important pieces furthering our mission to preserve, interpret and display items significant in our industries history.”

The museum is currently home to four Darryl Starbird vehicles including the Li’l Coffin Car originally built by Dave Stuckey and restored by Starbird. The museum also features many other displays including the largest collection of vintage pedal cars, gas-powered miniature race cars, automobile themed toys, fine art, lunchboxes and more.

“Having my work on display at Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed has allowed it to be appreciated by even more people,” said Darryl Starbird, Founder of Darryl Starbird’s National Rod & Custom Car Hall of Fame. “Our conversations started over 15 years ago and I’m pleased to officially announce the merger giving fans two places to see my collection.”

Located in Afton, Okla. Darryl Starbird’s National Rod & Custom Car Hall of Fame is the home of over 50 one-of-a-kind full size exotic vehicles, including twenty-five of his own creations on display, as well as automotive artwork, photographs and auto memorabilia displayed throughout the 40,000 square foot facility.

The museum is also home to the National Rod & Custom Car Hall of Fame. Every year in June an anniversary celebration is held to recognize and induct two additional custom and rod builders into the National Rod & Custom Car Hall of Fame.

For more information about Darryl Starbird’s National Rod & Custom Hall of Fame please visit their website.

For more information about Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed, museum hours or displays visit their website.

About Speedway Motors Inc

Speedway Motors is a proud supporter of the Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed. Known as America’s Oldest Speed Shop, Speedway Motors was founded in 1952 by “Speedy” Bill and Joyce Smith. Their four sons Carson, Craig, Clay and Jason continue to run the family-owned business.

Speedway Motors is a manufacturer, retailer and distributor of high-quality automotive parts and racing products. Since 1952, Speedway Motors has been committed to providing a broad selection of high-quality, affordable automotive parts—delivered quickly, efficiently and without any hassles. Their products and expert advice are available to customers by calling 1.800.979.0122, online or at retail stores in Lincoln, Neb. and Tolleson, Ariz.

About Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed

The Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed is a federally recognized 501 (c) (3) private foundation located in Lincoln, Neb. Founded in 1992 by “Speedy” Bill and Joyce Smith, the Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed was formed to present a continuous chronology of automotive Racing Engine and Speed Equipment development and to preserve, interpret and display items significant in racing and automotive history.

About Darryl Starbird’s National Rod & Custom Car Hall of Fame

The National Rod & Custom Car Hall of Fame located in Afton, Okla. is set up as a national 501 (c) (3) nonprofit foundation & is a nationally recognized tribute to the leading street rod and custom car builders throughout the country.

Photo Credit:  Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed

Christian Erlandson illustration by Heather Skovlund (Photo Credit: Linden Bray) for 360 Magazine

Autofutura × Gforces Merge

LEADING AUTOMOTIVE SOFTWARE COMPANIES AUTOFUTURA AND GFORCES MERGE
 

  • Merger brings together Autofutura’s real-time data insight with GForces’ leading-edge e-commerce solutions, to create a new auto tech group
     
  • Created at a time of rapid digital acceleration in automotive retail, the new group enables car makers, dealers and finance providers to grow the lifetime value of their customers, by accelerating sales, simplifying the customer journey and improving customer retention

Two of the automotive industry’s leading retail software suppliers, Autofutura and GForces, have merged to form a new group. With the rapid acceleration of the digitization of the automotive sales process, the companies have come together to maximize sales efficiency and improve the way consumers buy cars.

The new group, backed by Inflexion Private Equity, sees the combination of Autofutura, the global, data-driven business intelligence provider, with market leading automotive e-commerce and omnichannel supplier, GForces. It also benefits from the expertise of the recently acquired Chrysalis Loyalty business, now an integral part of Autofutura.

The first of its kind in the industry, the new group aims to connect car maker, finance provider, dealer and consumer to optimize the entire customer journey – through the provision of software and data services.

The new group will be led by two highly experienced executives; data intelligence expert Christian Erlandson as CEO and automotive veteran David Riemenschneider as Chairman. Autofutura and GForces already serve 20 of the world’s leading car manufacturers and over 10,000 locations, across 96 countries. Headquartered out of the UK, its global presence includes offices in Australia, Canada, Germany, Vietnam, UAE and the USA.

Christian Erlandson, CEO, commented: “The digitization of the automotive sales process is accelerating at an unprecedented pace and now is the time to combine the expertise of Autofutura and GForces. By merging Autofutura’s data intelligence insight with GForces’ e-commerce solutions, there is huge potential to support our customers in streamlining the consumer journey, accelerating sales and driving revenue from the first transaction.”

Simon Turner, Managing Partner, Inflexion, said: “The combination of Autofutura with GForces unlocks a unique and highly relevant technology proposition for the automotive retail industry, against a backdrop of accelerating change and disruption for dealers and OEMs. We are delighted to be backing this team to create such an exciting auto tech group, by merging two outstanding private businesses with a long track record of growth.”

The newly merged group was advised by GCA Altium, Headpoint Advisors, Higgs & Sons and Taylor Wessing.