NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Elliott Management Corporation (“Elliott”), which manages funds that collectively own €1.2 billion in common stock and economic equivalents of SAP SE (the “Company” or “SAP”), today released a statement supporting SAP’s initiation of a comprehensive review, formation of a Special Executive Board Committee and implementation of new, multi-year operational targets. In the statement, Elliott Partner Jesse Cohn and Portfolio Manager Jason Genrich also praised CEO Bill McDermott and CFO Luka Mucic on the Company’s commitment to these initiatives:
“Elliott is highly supportive of the initiatives announced today, and we commend CEO Bill McDermott, CFO Luka Mucic and the entire SAP team for taking these steps. SAP is one of the great technology franchises in the world and one of the only scale software businesses with growing on-premise revenue alongside 30%+ growth in cloud revenue. The Company’s stock has been consistently undervalued relative to its revenue growth, and today’s announcement lays the groundwork for substantial value realization.
“With SAP’s key strategic acquisitions in place and a multi-year S4/HANA product cycle ahead, now is the time for focused execution on these operational opportunities. SAP has set the right targets with a 75% cloud gross margin and 500 basis points of operating margin improvement. These targets balance continued revenue growth and accelerating profitability. The operational review and Special Executive Board Committee should ensure that these targets are achieved, and we look forward to hearing further details and a specific timeline at the Special Capital Markets Day later this year. We believe SAP’s management team can drive toward a highly successful result.
“The combination of SAP’s growth profile, operational targets and forthcoming share repurchase analysis can generate tremendous earnings growth over the next several years. Elliott sees the potential for the Company to achieve earnings per share of €8.50 in 2023. This level of earnings growth can yield substantial returns to shareholders and realize a value-creation opportunity that is rarely available at SAP’s scale.”
Elliott Management Corporation manages two multi-strategy funds which combined have approximately $34 billion of assets under management. Its flagship fund, Elliott Associates, L.P., was founded in 1977, making it one of the oldest funds of its kind under continuous management. The Elliott funds’ investors include pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, endowments, foundations, funds-of-funds, high net worth individuals and families, and employees of the firm.
Elliott intends to review its investments in the Company on a continuing basis and depending upon various factors, including without limitation, the Company’s financial position and strategic direction, the outcome of any discussions with the Company, overall market conditions, other investment opportunities available to Elliott, and the availability of Company securities at prices that would make the purchase or sale of Company securities desirable, Elliott may at any point in time (in the open market or in private transactions, including in the short term and since the inception of Elliott’s position) buy, sell, cover, hedge or otherwise change the form or substance of any of its investments (including any or all Company securities or related financial instruments) to any degree in any manner permitted by law and expressly disclaims any obligation to notify others of any such changes. Elliott also reserves its right to take any actions with respect to its investments in the Company as it may deem appropriate.
EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients.
Richie Etwaru, cofounder and CEO of Hu-manity.co (Princeton), and Michael DePalma, cofounder, president and COO, have accomplished a lot in the year since the startup began its operations.
The company has raised $5.5 million from angels, been covered by The Washington Post, Forbes and Fox Business; appeared on NPR; and was recently covered by the Financial Times. The cofounders have also been invited to speak at the United Nations, are on the radar of the Aspen Institute and have been invited to the World Economic Forum in Davos next year. They’ve influenced state laws across the country, influenced a federal law and have forged a global agreement with IBM.
Yet, as his company grows, Etwaru struggles with a harsh reality: The state of New Jersey is looking less and less like an innovative place where he can not only grow his company, but create a market, as he says Hu-manity.co is doing.
“What’s interesting here is that you have two guys from New Jersey who have built one of the most valuable data company value propositions right now. Yes, we are a year old, but look at the attention we are getting. Both Michael and I love New Jersey. Believe me, it’s not easy for me to have to convince my wife that we have to leave the state,” he said.
“This idea that we have to make human data our own isn’t a brand-new pattern. It played out twice before in human history. It played out in the 1600s around our creativity, and that gave us our intellectual property laws. Prior to 1623, there were starving artists. If you wrote a book, it wasn’t yours, if you drew a piece of art, it wasn’t yours. This also played out in the 1800s around our productivity, which gave us labor laws. We are simply playing out the pattern for the third time, which would give us ownership and control around our data.” This idea came from two guys from New Jersey, and germinated in New Jersey.
“I think it’s fair to say that there are no particular benefits to being in New Jersey that would keep us here. ”Richie Etwaru
“I think it’s fair to say that there are no particular benefits to being in New Jersey that would keep us here. We are starting up an entirely new category, and there is going to be an ecosystem in this category. This is a market that is going to be made, not necessarily one company. I wholeheartedly anticipate that we will have a dozen companies like ours in the next year or so that will pop up.”
The problem with New Jersey is three-fold, he continued. “One is that there isn’t a really good center of gravity for tech activity in this state. Is it Princeton? Is it Newark? Is it Morristown? Is it Hoboken? And that is difficult because when you have to hire teams, and bring them together into a centralized location, people often have a two-hour commute, as there aren’t local folks that you can hire.”
Number two has to do with the idea that the state government doesn’t understand true innovation, especially the fact that innovation is a long-run play. “As you look at the teams that are being built around particular tech by the state administration, for example, the teams that are figuring out cryptocurrency and blockchain, these are not people who understand these matters. These are political appointees. And as a result, you don’t have the movement you are looking for,” said Etwaru.
“Some of the comments I’m seeing from state politicians on their twitter feeds are laughable,” he added. “When they are celebrating innovation in New Jersey, it’s a story about a cookie store in Princeton, or it’s a story about someone who is selling neon laser signs in a town somewhere. This is not innovation, this is not an innovation economy. An innovation economy goes back to the roots of AT&T and Bell Labs. It’s a long-run play.” So, New Jersey doesn’t feel like the place where you’d want to build your innovative company, he said.
“The New Jersey regulatory framework is very difficult to navigate, and to the extent that there is a regulatory adjustment needed to create an industry, it’s hard to do.” Richie Etwaru
And the third reason is the most important, he noted. “The New Jersey regulatory framework is very difficult to navigate, and to the extent that there is a regulatory adjustment needed to create an industry, it’s hard to do.”
New Jersey doesn’t have a track record of enacting progressive policies for inviting commerce, and it doesn’t have a track record of supporting efforts to correct human wrongs, he said. “There are other states that have more progressive track records, and are easier to navigate. It is easier to get a meeting with the legislative body in other states in the country than in New Jersey. It’s just a very difficult landscape.”
Branding is also an issue. “To be honest, I think that New Jersey should become the Silicon Valley of data. I shared with someone close to the administration the notion of calling New Jersey the ‘Silicon Garden,’ as we are the Garden State. I said, ‘Why don’t we start branding ourselves, even if we can’t get people trained in time, or a central location or a regulatory framework? Could we at least start to do some destination branding around the state?’ The person I spoke to didn’t understand marketing or branding, and thought it was a terrible idea.”
Etwaru also thinks it’s important that the legislative bodies and governor’s office work with people who have expertise, and that they “take out these people in the middle that don’t understand this stuff. If you work with the smaller states, the legislative bodies work directly with the experts, and there isn’t a layer of appointees in between. We are a market-making business. A couple million dollars of destination branding with some ads to brand the state as ‘Silicon Garden’ would make people feel good about being here, and make talented people have a sense of belonging here.”
Also, he noted, passing regulations is not the way to brand a state. “That just gets you in the conversation. I’m talking about really, really making an effort to become an innovation economy in a digital world, and I just don’t see that here. For us to be able to attract the best talent, and for us to be able to invest in real estate and localized assets, we have to be in a geography where the branding will attract the talent.”
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Update 4/30: Hu-manity.co Acquires Betterpath Health Empowering Patients with Access to Healthcare’s Dark Data | Business Wire https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190430005283/en/Hu-manity.co-Acquires-Betterpath-Health-Empowering-Patients-Access#.XMk9vANN7Wg.twitter
Esther is the Founder and Editor in Chief of NJ Tech Weekly
Mark Annett says:April 1, 2019 at 8:08 amI always start with the fact that NJ is the most densely populated state in the nation, As such, there are more potential customers here per square mile than anyplace else. This makes the New Jersey market one of the most sought after markets in the country.If you want a place to grow a market and dominate the world from, New Jersey is actually it. And our diversity makes us the worlds market!Yes, because our diversity and how busy we are, it can be hard to compete for our attention but that is a pathway problem.I get that there are other locations and even countries that are more progressive when it comes to blockchain. For myself, I will admit that I was seriously considering going to Switzerland for my blockchain startup because of how willing the government was to support startup companies. So they might find an easier governmental win someplace else but that win won’t ensure that they can concur the world.If they can convince the New Jersey legislators to support them they will have little difficulty with almost any other state. New Jersey isn’t typically one of the first five states to jump into the fray but it is almost always in the group of the second five. As such, I would argue that we are in fact consistently one of the most innovative states across the board. We just don’t, because of our diversity, tilt with the winds of change. So, winning New Jersey is the long run play!The difficulty that I see is that the have focused on making owning your data a human and by extension a legal right. This is a really complicated issue to unpack and we will eventually get there but being honest, I believe that time is at least 10 years away, at least here in the US. But it will eventually happen!I totally agree that they will have dozens of companies pop up in their space because the idea of owning your own data and being able to monetize it is a part of the blockchain ethos now. There is nothing proprietary to that idea so they are right to expect competition.However, my suggestion is that rather than worrying about it. What they need to do is welcome it and foster it and even fund it! There are a lot of different pathways that they can take but what I would recommend is that they position themselves as the quasi governing body for the companies that want to foster controlling your data as a human right and that is the business they should be in rather than focusing on building the tech.If they want to assume this role then NJ is a great place to be!It is also a good place to be if you want to build the tech too, but I will save that for another time.Reply
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See how our partnerships with leading open-source data management & analytics companies will make it easier for our enterprise customers to build on open-source technologies ↓ #GoogleNext19https://t.co/eV8WIsTEsz— Google Cloud (@googlecloud) April 9, 2019
Though now that I think of it these DNA shifts can take what seems like eons to actually take root. @Microsoft made Its first enterprise software acquisition in 2000 (Great Plains) and then spend YEARS getting to where it was actually ready to be a player.— Josh Greenbaum (@josheac) April 17, 2019
In my first job out of B school, one of our founders passed around a red herring (prelim to an S-1) for Epsilon and said, “thats what we ought to be”. But we failed to develop any thing like that. Should have just bought it. Would have been just a small acquisition for my company at the time