Report: Enterprise Software Firm Epicor Valued at $3.5 Billion in Sale by Apax Partners

May 29, 14 Report: Enterprise Software Firm Epicor Valued at $3.5 Billion in Sale by Apax Partners

Posted by in Featured, Technology

Private equity firm Apax Partners is continuing its long running search for a buyer for Epicor, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software vendor. The firm first bought Epicor for $2 billion in 2011, an investment that seems to have paid off somewhat after the ERP company generated over $1 billion in revenue in 2013. Despite the company’s winning year, Apax is apparently looking to divest itself of the business that is less profitable than hoped, asking for $2.5 to $3.5 billion from potential buyers. Why Buying Epicor Could Be an Extremely Savvy Investment Epicor recently finished optimizing its most popular ERP software suite for Microsoft technologies and also completely revamped its user interface. It’s relationship with users of Microsoft’s business technology and its continued look to improve product usability has made Epicor a favorite among many business owners. And that could be the reason someone, whether a rival ERP vendor or another company looking to diversify, will end up buying the company. The fact that Epicor comes equipped with a legion of loyal customers coupled with ERP sales expected to reach $32.6 billion by 2018 could make such an acquisition a very lucrative choice, indeed. ERP software has increasingly been seen as an effective way of shortening the cash cycle from invoice to payment; increasing employee productivity in all departments; and giving employees company information as it pertains to their jobs. It’s because of these benefits that 70% of businesses using ERP software say that using the technology has improved their financial reporting abilities, leading directly to better businesses. Although Epicor doubtlessly needs some tweaks — something a competitor could bring in an acquisition — there is no doubt that a benefactor willing to put in the work and capital could find the purchase of Epicor a very savvy move, with customers practically lining themselves up at the...

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Is The U.S. Already On Its Way To Another Financial Crisis? Former Assistant Treasury Secretary Michael Barr Weighs In

May 27, 14 Is The U.S. Already On Its Way To Another Financial Crisis? Former Assistant Treasury Secretary Michael Barr Weighs In

Posted by in Featured, Lifestyle

Financial experts agree; it is safe to say that the financial crisis of 2008 is over. Law professor and former assistant Treasury secretary Michael S. Barr, however, believes that it is only a matter of time until Americans experience another financial crash — and the next financial crisis will be wholly our fault. The first of Five Ways the Financial System Will Fail Next Time (the working title of Barr’s book) has already reared is ugly head. According to Barr, Americans will prompt another financial crisis due to amnesia. Too few Americans will remember what started the recent fiscal turmoil. In other words, they will have “amnesia, willing or otherwise,” Barr continues. Texas Republican, Representative Jeb Hensarling, exhibited amnesia during a House Financial Services Committee this week. Hensarling told a roomful of committee members that he “saw no danger to the system from insurance companies, which are ‘heavily regulated at the state level,'” according to The New York Times. The New Your Times adds that The American International Group, an insurance company, suffered incredible losses in 2008 — and may very well have contributed to the nation’s financial downfall. Timothy Geithner, also a former Treasury secretary, adds that there is a definite pattern to large-scale and personal crises. “People lose confidence that their money is safe — whether they’re stockholders or bondholders, institutional investors of elderly widows — so they rush to pull it out of the system, which makes the money remaining in the system even less safe, which makes everyone even less confident,” Geithner tells USA Today. A recent survey, moreover, suggests that Americans are extremely confident in their financial advisers. Forty-seven percent admitted that they would rather pay commissions than a flat fee, suggesting that they have high hopes that — with a little added incentive — financial advisers will help them earn more money. This confidence is not misplaced, but it does imply that Americans will retract their funds in large groups — if that’s what professionals...

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George Harrison Memorabilia Auction

May 16, 14 George Harrison Memorabilia Auction

Posted by in Entertainment, Featured

One of George Harrison’s guitars, amongst other Beatles and rock memorabilia, is going to be sold at Julien’s Auctions sale on May 17 at Manhattan’s Hard Rock Cafe. The 1962 Rickenbacker 425 is estimated to go for a staggering price upwards of $600,000.  The auction is also set to feature Jimi Hendrix’s Sears Silvertone electric guitar, which is estimated to go for upwards of $100,00, and a “Beatles ’65” album signed by each member of the band that could bring in $300,000, since any album signed after the Beatlemania phenomenon ended is ridiculously rare. Harrison first bought the Rickenbacker in 1963 in Mount Vernon, Illinois, when he visited Fenton’s Music store with his sister. He then had the guitar refinished from its original Fireglo red to black so that it’d match John Lennon’s own Rickenbacker. What’s interesting to think about is that this sale isn’t the first of its kind, so it will be neat to see how it stacks up to its predecessors.  For example, Eric Clapton’s 1964 Gibson ES0335 TDC sold for $847,500 and his well known “Blackie” Stratocaster sold for a jaw dropping $959,000. Blackie is of particular historical note. The living legend switched from Gibson guitars to Fender ones in 1970, buying six vintage Stratocasters for just $100 a pop. He gave three of them to George Harrison, Pete Townshend, and Steve Winwood, and disassembled the three remaining ones to build Blackie. Though Eric Clapton’s instruments haven’t been able to break the million dollar price tag, one of the remaining seven of Bob Marley’s guitars, which the Jamaican government classified as a national asset, has an estimated price of at least $1.2 million. Even more expensive is the 1968 Stratocaster that Jimi Hendrix played at the 1969 Woodstock, which was bought by Microsoft’s Paul Allen in 1998 for a cool $2 million.  As Harrison’s guitar hasn’t just been sold yet, it’s possible that, with the right crowd in attendance, his Rickenbacker may very well become the most expensive guitar ever...

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Morning Joe Co-Host Makes Sweeping Generalizations About “Women’s Rights Ladies”

May 16, 14 Morning Joe Co-Host Makes Sweeping Generalizations About “Women’s Rights Ladies”

Posted by in Featured, Lifestyle

MSNBC’s Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough got a bit too impassioned about Andrea Peyser’s opinion piece on Monica Lewinsky. What started as a fair defense of the infamous intern segued into caustic over-generalizations. Scarborough ultimately described “you women’s rights ladies” as “sick” and “pathetic,” according to MSNBC. Scarborough begins with a more or less true statement about women judging other women, especially Lewinsky, too harshly. “This is not about Bill Clinton. This is about the women who were eviscerating Monica Lewinsky, who for 18 years was quiet and, by the way, lived a life of shame and her entire existence reduced to a punchline,” Scarborough said. No matter what Lewinsky’s, 40, exact motivations are for finally opening up in an tell-all interview with Vanity Fair, she does not deserve to be blamed for the affair. Unfortunately, Scarborough did not stop while he was ahead. “You women’s rights ladies, you were sick in the ’90s. You’re pathetic. If you have young daughters, you should be ashamed of yourselves. I am so angry right now. I am shaking,” the co-host raved. “I still can’t believe the way he was treated in the 1990s. And it was always the women.” Scarborough’s words — and exact line of thinking — remain unclear. Two admittedly biting columns (Peyer’s and Maureen Dowd’s in The New York Times) do not justify an attack on all women or women’s rights activists. Although there were several legal statutes in the 19th and 20th centuries to defend women’s reputations, the laws did nothing to stop the general public from bashing Lewinsky, then 21, for the affair. In Vanity Fair, Lewinsky adds that she may have been one of the first women to face scrutiny on such a large scale, thanks to the...

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Why Energy Prices in the U.S. Could Keep Rising Permanently

May 16, 14 Why Energy Prices in the U.S. Could Keep Rising Permanently

Posted by in Featured, Home Living

This winter’s brutally cold “polar vortex” caused energy prices to go up for many Americans — but a growing fragility in the U.S. energy system could make the cost of energy continue to increase indefinitely, an April 25 article in the Los Angeles Times reported. A recent study predicted that the cost of electricity in California, the country’s leader in sustainable energy initiatives, could rise by more than 47% over the next 16 years, partly as a result of the state’s move toward renewable energy, which is more expensive. Similarly, other states are closing their existing energy-production facilities in favor of renewable energy sources, which is contributing to the price hike. While the shift is good for the environment — shutting down coal and nuclear energy plants means less environmental concerns and reduced carbon emissions, airborne pollution and risk of disaster, according to “We are now in an era of rising electricity prices,” said Philip Moeller, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, who also remarked that the continued reduction in generating capacity across the country means that prices are going to continue going up. “If you take enough supply out of the system, the price is going to increase.” Moeller also warned that these rapid changes in the way America gets its energy are eroding the energy grid’s capacity to handle unexpected events like the polar vortex. According to the Los Angeles Times, Moeller doesn’t argue against the changes — he just thinks they are being implemented too quickly. Alex Leupp of the Northern California Power Agency said he believes that the general public will revolt against the price hikes regardless of how necessary they are to protect the environment, according to the article. “If power gets too expensive, there will be a revolt,” Leupp said. “If the state pushes too fast on renewables before the technology is viable, it could set back the environmental goals we all believe in at the end of the day.” The energy sources America...

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