HONG KONG, July 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — OtterBox, world-renowned for its rugged, stylish protective cases for smartphones and other mobile devices, is expanding its penetration into China through a new distribution agreement with Ingram Micro, the world’s largest wholesale technology distributor.

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140106/MM41244LOGO

The agreement will make OtterBox products available throughout Ingram Micro’s vast retail network in China as well as through online retailers. Ingram Micro is a major player in China’s IT distribution industry and serves partners in more than 500 cities across the country. Its supply-chain capabilities and deep market penetration make it an ideal partner for the distribution of OtterBox solutions in China.

As smartphones are continuously gaining popularity in China, according to research firm IDC, total smartphone shipments in China are expected to rise to 420 million by the end of 2014.1 This major surge in smartphone growth is expected to bring increased market demand for protective cases.

China presents significant business opportunities as a result of the rapid growth of smartphones,” said Steve Nisbet, managing director of OtterBox Asia Pacific. “This is an exciting time for us and we are pleased to have Ingram Micro as our strategic partner.  Together, we will build a market development strategy for customers, retail networks and business-to-business partnerships throughout China.”

“OtterBox provides unique products to Chinese customers with pioneering technology and a relentless innovative spirit,” said Frank Zhang, senior vice president & chairman, China Group of Ingram Micro. “Ingram Micro has a wide variety of in-depth distribution channels in China and has made significant strides in both online and offline markets. I believe that our partnership will not only allow customers to enjoy a better lifestyle with OtterBox, but will also allow them to discover OtterBox’s technology commitment.”

OtterBox is a global leader in protective case solutions and its products are world-renowned for their dependability, ingenuity and quality engineering. Key product lines that Ingram Micro will distribute in China include Preserver Series, Defender Series, Symmetry Series and Commuter Series, each with their own distinctive features to meet the needs of China’s diverse marketplace.

Water is everywhere, and unexpected spills can mean serious damage to a smartphone. The waterproof Preserver Series offers the ultimate protection. Preserver Series cases are fully submersible up to 6.6 feet (2 meters) for 30 minutes. The two-piece case comes with snap assembly for easy installation and internal foam cushions to hold the phone in place. Preserver Series cases are also drop proof to 6.6 feet (2 meters) and dust proof when all ports are properly sealed.2

The Defender Series line of protective cases includes robust three-layer protection that helps to withstand drops, bumps and shocks. Its built-in screen protector guards against scratches while its port covers keep out dust and debris. Defender Series cases come with a swiveling belt clip included.3

The Symmetry Series of smartphone cases boasts a sleek, pocket-friendly design with wraparound colors and graphics that make it one of the most stylish protective cases on the market. Its dual-material construction absorbs shock and helps withstand drops, while its raised beveled edge helps keep the touchscreen safe. It adds an instant touch of style and class to smartphones.4

The slim and pocketable two-piece design of the Commuter Series line offers exceptional protective qualities against drops, bump and shock.4 Its self-adhesive screen protector prevents scratches and the port covers keep out dust and debris. Grab the essentials and go – with the Commuter Series Wallet, a sliding drawer that conceals and securely carries your important cards, you’ll have everything you need for a night on the town, a day hike or just running errands without carrying additional bags or satchels.

For more information about OtterBox and their complete product lineup, visit otterbox.asia.

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LONDON, July 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ —

Significant step in expansion of TMF Group’s operations in Asia Pacific

TMF Group, a leading provider of high value Outsourced Business Services to clients operating and investing globally, is pleased to announce it has agreed to purchase KCS Limited – the leading independent pan-Asian corporate services provider specialising in corporate accounting, corporate secretarial and payroll services – from UCL Asia Partners, L.P.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140714/696978)

Originally founded in 1946, KCS Limited was acquired by UCL Asia Partners, L.P. in 2003 following its spin-off from KPMG. Since then, KCS Limited has grown from 43 employees working from a single Hong Kong office to 470 employees, spanning 14 locations in eight countries/regions, through a combination of strategic acquisitions and organic growth.

The acquisition will strengthen TMF Group’s existing platform in Asia Pacific, increasing the breadth and depth of TMF Group’s Outsourced Business Services offering in the region and enabling significant future growth.

TMF Group funded the acquisition from existing resources. The financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Tom Corkhill, Chief Executive of KCS Limited, commented: 

“This deal marks an important stage in the development of our business. Combining our specialist skills, local knowledge and high quality client base with TMF Group’s truly global footprint is hugely exciting for both us and our clients who will now have the ideal partner to help them expand internationally into over 75 countries worldwide.” 

Hugo van Vredenburch, Chief Executive of TMF Group, added:  

Asia Pacific is a key growth area for our business. This acquisition builds on our existing portfolio of services and provides an excellent operational fit, with KCS Limited and TMF Group providing critical and high value-add Outsourced Business Services from many of the same locations. 

“The transaction will bring significant benefits to both our businesses and extend TMF Group’s reach in the Chinese market, giving us unrivalled service capability in the region. I am delighted to welcome Tom and the team to TMF Group and look forward to working with them.” 

UCL Asia Partners, L.P., added: 

“We are very pleased that KCS will become a part of TMF Group. Under the guidance of Chairman Iain Bruce and Chief Executive Tom Corkhill and their senior management team, the business has established a position as one of the key players in the industry. TMF Group provides a perfect fit with KCS and we are particularly pleased that TMF Group is focussed on maintaining the KCS ethos and culture. UCL Asia was advised by Citigroup led by Will McLane and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher led by Graham Winter. We wish everyone at KCS and TMF Group continuing success.”    

About TMF Group: 

TMF Group is a leading global provider of high value business services to clients operating and investing globally. It focuses on providing highly specialised and business-critical financial, legal and human resource administrative services that enable clients to outsource their back office functions and operate their corporate structures, finance vehicles and investment funds in different geographical locations. TMF Group has operations in more than 75 countries across the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. The company is majority owned by Doughty Hanson, one of the largest independent private equity firms in Europe, which acquired it in 2008.


About KCS Limited: 

Founded in 1946, KCS Limited is the leading (since 2003) independent pan-Asian corporate services provider specialising in corporate accounting, corporate secretarial and payroll services. Headquartered in Hong Kong, the company has 470 employees, spanning 14 locations in eight countries/regions.


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ABBOTT PARK, Ill., July 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Abbott (NYSE: ABT) announced today that it will sell its developed markets branded generics pharmaceuticals business to Mylan for equity ownership of a newly formed entity that will combine Mylan’s existing business and Abbott’s developed markets pharmaceuticals business, and will be a publicly traded company. This represents a value of approximately $5.3 billion based on Mylan’s closing stock price on Friday. The developed markets portion of this business generated approximately $2 billion in sales in 2013. Abbott will retain its branded generics pharmaceuticals business and products in emerging markets. Abbott also retains its other businesses and products in developed markets.   

“This transaction provides Abbott with additional strategic flexibility as we continue to actively manage and shape our portfolio, reflecting our commitment to long-term, durable growth,” said Miles D. White, chairman and chief executive officer, Abbott. “Our branded generics pharmaceuticals business will focus on emerging markets, where demographic changes and increasing access to healthcare are expected to drive sustainable growth.”

Abbott’s Branded Generics Pharmaceuticals Business
Following the closing of the transaction, Abbott’s branded generics pharmaceuticals business will focus in emerging geographies where demographics and growing healthcare systems are combining to create an increased rate of patient access to healthcare and where the majority of healthcare products are paid for by the consumer. The branded generics business that will remain with Abbott generated 2013 sales of $2.9 billion and is expected to have a sales growth rate in the upper-single to double digits.    

Transaction Details and Financial Terms
Under the terms of the agreement, Abbott will sell its developed markets branded generics pharmaceuticals business to Mylan for 105 million shares or approximately 21 percent, on a fully diluted basis, of a newly formed entity that will combine Mylan’s existing business and Abbott’s developed markets pharmaceuticals business, and will be a publicly traded company.

The business to be sold operates in Europe, Japan, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and includes approximately 3,800 employees. It includes a broad portfolio of medicines, as well as manufacturing facilities in France and Japan. Abbott will retain its product portfolio and manufacturing facilities in other geographies as well as its manufacturing facilities in the Netherlands, Germany and Canada.

Following the transaction, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015, Abbott expects that its sales growth rate will be 100 basis points higher, and the growth rate of its ongoing net income will be in excess of 200 basis points higher. The ongoing net income associated with Abbott’s developed markets pharmaceuticals business is expected to be approximately $0.22 per share in 2015. Accordingly, Abbott’s ongoing earnings per share from continuing operations is expected to be lower following the close of this transaction by this amount. 

Abbott does not expect to be a long-term shareholder in Mylan and plans ultimately to redeploy the net proceeds from this transaction to opportunities that would be accretive to earnings over time.

In May, Abbott announced the acquisition of the Latin American pharmaceutical company CFR Pharmaceuticals, which is expected to be approximately $0.07 accretive to Abbott’s ongoing earnings per share in 2015. 

Abbott expects to report its developed markets branded generics pharmaceuticals business as Discontinued Operations beginning in the third quarter 2014.

Morgan Stanley advised Abbott on the transaction.

Abbott Conference Call

Abbott will conduct a special conference call today at 8:30 a.m. Central time (9:30 a.m. Eastern time) to provide an overview of the transaction. A live webcast will be accessible through Abbott’s Investor Relations web site at www.abbott.com/investors.html.

About Abbott 
Abbott is a global healthcare company devoted to improving life through the development of products and technologies that span the breadth of healthcare. With a portfolio of leading, science-based offerings in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic pharmaceuticals, Abbott serves people in more than 150 countries and employs approximately 69,000 people.

Visit Abbott at www.abbott.com, and connect with us on Twitter at @AbbottNews.

Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This communication contains forward-looking statements that are based on management’s current expectations, estimates and projections. Words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates,” “forecasts,” variations of these words and similar expressions are intended to identify these forward-looking statements. Certain factors, including but not limited to those identified under “Item 1A. Risk Factors” in the Annual Report of Abbott Laboratories (“Abbott“) on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on February 21, 2014, as subsequently amended, may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations, estimates, projections, forecasts and from past results. These forward-looking statements may also include statements regarding the proposed transaction (the “Transaction”) between Abbott and Mylan Inc. (“Mylan”), including the expected timing of completion of the Transaction and anticipated future financial and operating performance and results. These statements are based on the current expectations of management of Abbott. There are a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements included in this communication. These risks and uncertainties include (i) the risk that the companies may be unable to obtain regulatory approvals required for the Transaction, or that required regulatory approvals may delay the Transaction or result in the imposition of conditions that could cause the companies to abandon the Transaction, (ii) the risk that the stockholders of Mylan may not approve the Transaction, (iii) the risk that the conditions to the closing of the Transaction may not be satisfied, (iv) the risk that a material adverse change, event or occurrence may affect Abbott and Mylan prior to the closing of the Transaction and may delay the Transaction or cause the companies to abandon the Transaction, (v) the possibility that the Transaction may involve unexpected costs, liabilities or delays, (vi) the risk that the businesses of the companies may suffer as a result of uncertainty surrounding the Transaction, and (vii) the risk that disruptions from the Transaction will harm relationships with customers, employees and suppliers. No assurance can be made that any expectation, estimate or projection contained in a forward-looking statement will be achieved or will not be affected by the factors cited above or other future events.

Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this communication. Abbott does not undertake, and expressly disclaims, any duty to update any forward-looking statement whether as a result of new information, future events or changes in expectations, except as required by law.

Additional Information and Where to Find it
In connection with the proposed Transaction, a newly-formed Netherlands public limited liability company (“New Mylan”) will file with the SEC a registration statement that includes a preliminary prospectus regarding the Transaction and Mylan will file with the SEC a proxy statement with respect to a special meeting of its shareholders to be convened to approve the Transaction. The definitive proxy statement/prospectus will be mailed to the shareholders of Mylan.  INVESTORS ARE URGED TO READ THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT, THE PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS AND ANY OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE, BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT ABBOTT’S DEVELOPED MARKETS PHARMACEUTICALS BUSINESS, MYLAN AND THE TRANSACTION.

Investors will be able to obtain these materials, when they are available, and other documents filed with the SEC free of charge at the SEC’s website, www.sec.gov. In addition, copies of the registration statement and proxy statement, when they become available, may be obtained free of charge by accessing Mylan’s website at www.mylan.com/investors or by writing Mylan at 1000 Mylan Boulevard, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania 15317, Attention: Investor Relations. Investors may also read and copy any reports, statements and other information filed by Abbott and Mylan with the SEC, at the SEC public reference room at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549. Please call the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330 or visit the SEC’s website for further information on its public reference room.

Participants in the Merger Solicitation
Mylan and certain of its directors, executive officers and other members of management and employees may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies in respect of the Transaction. Information regarding Mylan’s directors and executive officers is available in its proxy statement filed with the SEC by Mylan on March 10, 2014, in connection with its 2014 annual meeting of shareholders. Other information regarding the participants in the proxy solicitation and a description of their direct and indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, will be contained in the registration statement and proxy statement/prospectus and other relevant materials to be filed with the SEC when they become available.

This communication does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. 

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CHENGDU, China, July 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The arrival of some elites raised the temperature in the summer of Chengdu. Mr. Robert Wennekes, founder and chairman of the world’s finest private service training institute, The International Butler Academy, together with 10 of his best royal butlers were in Chengdu for the official opening of The International Butler Academy China. This is the academy’s first ever overseas institute in the world. During the opening ceremony, The International Butler Academy shared a piece of good news with their guests the high-end service industry in China, even Asia, will experience a revolutionary change, due to its presence. In the near future, there will be more butlers of royal standard graduating from The International Butler Academy, permeating and infecting Asia with unparalleled service philosophy and quality. The International Butler Academy founder and chairman, Mr. Robert Wennekes, The International Butler Academy China CEO, Mr. Thomas Kaufmann, Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mr. Guido Tielmann, The International Butler Academy China partner, Langji Real Estate CEO, Ms. Cai Lingyu, together with over 200 guests (consulate generals, CEOs, local and overseas media) witnessed this historic opening ceremony at InterContinental Hotel, Chengdu Global Center.

Butlers of The International Butler Academy
Butlers of The International Butler Academy

During the ceremony, butlers of royal appointment demonstrated the use of Laurastar, a high-tech ironing system, how to decant a bottle of wine, letting it breathe and develop its real flavors. They also ironed creases out of newspaper for a smudge-free read. And made packing suitcase an art a very thin anti-crease paper was used to protect the clothes, once the employer reached his destination, he could wear it straightaway. The climax was the opening of a champagne bottle. They didn’t do it the usual way, but with a sabre, and a technique called Sabrage. Elegant and full of showmanship, it was introduced by officers of the Napoleon army in the 19th century.

In recent years, due to the huge increase of the rich, the demand of such high caliber butler service went up as well. The International Butler Academy specialized in producing butlers of royal standard. Therefore, The International

Butler Academy’s branding influence and curriculum could totally satisfy the increasing demands of Asian enterprises and private employers. Their students came from various countries US, England, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Hungary, Australia, China, Russia, Israel, Iceland, etc. World’s wealthiest families, international enterprises, and five-star hotels sent their staff there for training, or employed their students. The academy founder, Mr. Wennekes, served 5 US presidents (Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton), and various members of the royal families in Asia and Europe. Whilst he was the head butler at the US embassy in Germany, he received the “Exemplary Service” award from the White House. Mr. Wennekes introduced in the opening ceremony, in 1999 he established the International Butler Academy in The Netherlands. Since then he has trained and placed hundreds of butlers with wealthy and many times famous clients from around the world. Today, graduates from their school serve in private and royal households around the world. They also serve in super deluxe five-star hotels and resorts, on mega yachts and world-class cruise ships. They also run a number of property management companies where tenants rely on them for the safety and wellbeing of their family.  When China is mentioned, Mr. Wennekes excitedly expressed, “To me, China cuisine is second to none in the world. Unfortunately, the level of service is not on par with it. So it is my desire to introduce high-end service standard to China, and teach the students the fine art of service.” Mr. Wennekes also said, “I am honored and privileged to be able to bring world-class butler service into China. Our training is very strict and intensive. Our students need to have ability, passion and determination to succeed. With our rigorous training, I wish to provide the service industry with professionals of excellent service skills and stature. Hopefully, this will pave the way for a high level of exquisite etiquette and protocol in China, thus promoting mutual respect which our Chinese customers most value.”

The International Butler Academy China’s inaugural cohort this July was already full with 24 students. It had the same curriculum as the one in Holland. They would learn from teachers of various nationalities, with years of experience as professional butlers, who would assess their skills and knowledge. During the course, besides learning basic service skills like how to serve tea, coffee or soup without spilling, open door for guests, ensure cutlery retain its luster, students would also learn important skills such as how to manage a wardrobe, wash, iron, draw up an inventory list; how to store wine, open wine bottle and serve guests.

When asked “Why Chengdu?” The International Butler Academy China CEO, Mr. Thomas Kaufmann, replied at the opening ceremony, “Chengdu’s rapid development in the past 10 years caught the attention of many countries. I heard there’s even a direct flight from Chengdu to San Francisco. Compared to Beijing and Shanghai, Chengdu is developing very fast, and that makes the people here very open to foreign ideas. And to be a world-class professional butler, you need to break rules and give up old habits. We come to China and begin a journey interacting with this great country, rich in history and mystery. It is my desire that through our service and training, we can integrate the finest western service with the most exquisite oriental cuisine. And let China and Asia truly experience the royal butler service.

If you want to know more about The International Butler Academy, please visit: http://www.butlerschool.com

Photo – http://photos.prnasia.com/prnh/20140711/0861404896-a

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SINGAPORE, July 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — In a world of rising customer expectations, greater customer choice and increased transparency, businesses are facing fiercer competition.

According to a recent study, 95% of business managers in Asia said customer experience management will be important to their organisation in 2014. 59% of organisations already have a comprehensive CEM programmes in place. Being able to differentiate your company and gain business advantage through CEM has become a truly urgent priority for many businesses.

IQPC is proud to announce the return of the region’s most anticipated event on CEM – 2nd annual Customer Experience Management Asia Summit (www.customerexperienceasia.com).

Returning from an incredibly successful launch last year, the summit has been carefully designed to help senior CEM professionals navigate the rapidly evolving Asian customer landscape to build a customer-centric culture, unlock customer insights and new revenue streams with social media and big data, and enhance customer advocacy via integrated omni-channel.

This year, in order to ensure a fruitful discussion, we have included an unprecedented C-level conversation panel, designated B2B/B2C streams, five different themed workshops and interactive roundtable discussions. In addition, you will hear first-hand insights from New York Times bestselling author, Ron Kaufman, and more than 30 global and regional CEM pioneers, such as Donna Peeples, Chief Customer Officer at AIG, Amy Shi-Nash, Chief of Data Scientist

R&D Lab at Singtel, Rimzie Ismail, Head of Customer Affairs & Service Initiatives at Dubai Airport, Anna-Karin Birnik, Head Brand Experience, Standard Chartered Bank and many more.

The technology underpinning the CEM space is another huge area for learning. At the summit, you can update yourself on the latest innovations and benchmark your practices with you regional counterparts.

Do not miss this opportunity to network with international and regional experts, forge new relationships and equip yourself with knowledge and skills to drive CEM and foster long-term success for your organisation.

Registration for Customer Experience Management Asia Summit is now open at www.customerexperienceasia.com. The full programme is also available for download. In addition, visitors can access the full speaker list. For further information, contact enquiry@iqpc.com.sg.

Event: 2nd annual Customer Experience Management Asia Summit
Dates: 13-16 October 2014
Venue: Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa, Singapore
Website: www.customerexperienceasia.com

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