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Bidvest buys Retroviral

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Bidvest Media has purchased a majority stake in Retroviral Digital Communications (Retroviral). The acquisition results in Retroviral becoming a subsidiary of Bidvest Media, launching the company’s foray into the digital marketing sector.

The acquisition results in Retroviral becoming a subsidiary of Bidvest Media, launching the company’s foray into the digital marketing sector. Bidvest Media currently has a 100% stake in MSCSPORTS, an integrated sports marketing and sponsorship agency, Create, and an airport’s media company, with Retroviral its second media and marketing acquisition.

Retroviral co-founder Mike Sharman retains an interest in the company, and is committed to remain at its helm. His entire team moves under the Bidvest Media umbrella with him, ensuring strategic and servicing continuity for clients and job security for employees. Retroviral’s other co-founder, Murray Legg, has exited his stake and operational role in the business.

Reflecting on the number of international agency groups that have recently acquired many local agencies, Sharman was determined to facilitate Retroviral’s growth by collaborating with a South African partner, one with an international network.

“Retroviral is a proudly South African company. The acquisition opportunity from Bidvest Media offered us the best of both worlds as we remain a world class, African entity, with added capacity to expand internationally where the Bidvest Group has a presence,” says Sharman.

Bidvest Media is determined to take advantage of the global trend towards the seamless integration of the physical world and digital worlds, via organic expansion and strategic acquisitions.

“The Bidvest Media division is a rapidly expanding entity within the Bidvest Group, and we’re targeting further growth in the coming months and years. The acquisition of the majority stake in Retroviral is a strategic investment as Retroviral has the capabilities to offer digital marketing services to the entire Bidvest Group,” says Neil Jankelowitz, CEO, Bidvest Media.

“Bidvest is an entrepreneur-centric organisation, and we strive to invest in diverse companies that offer unique value propositions,” he says. “Retroviral will continue to provide its creative digital marketing services to brands across the local market, as well as to other brands within the international Bidvest group of companies.”

“We’ve adopted a disruptive approach to digital in the five years since we launched Retroviral. We will continue to create tomorrow what doesn’t exist today by challenging our clients and our competitors” says Sharman. “Through this deal, we will package and export our strategic and tactical solutions – in the uniquely Retroviral way; #WhyWeDoDigital,”

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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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