This is my 30,000 foot look at events in the ICT industry for July 2018. What you see here is a précis of the monthly report I produce, which will be available in more detail at the News section of the Eagle website, where you will also find back issues.
A Little History of July in previous years …
Five years ago, July 2013 was quiet for M&A activity, but there were some interesting deals, with the big deal involving perennial acquirer Cisco shelling out $2.7 billion for security vendor Sourcefire. There were some other big names out shopping with EMC buying identity management company Aveska, Intel making an acquisition in Israel (a trend) of Omek a company specialised in the perceptual computing arena. Apple bought Locationary, a Toronto company that is expected to be involved in improving Apple’s maps for iOS (remember when Apple dropped Google Maps!) Finally, Ottawa’s Shopify bought Toronto-based design agency Jet Cooper.
July 2014 had a lot of M&A activity but no real blockbuster deals. BlackBerry bought encryption company Secusmart GmbH; Oracle bought cloud services company TOA Technologies; Twitter bought a startup Madbits, a company that focuses on the media space; Yahoo also bought a startup Flurry in the mobile apps space; Teradata bought a couple of smaller “big data” companies, Hadapt and Revelytix; Apple bought a couple of smaller “books & podcast” companies Booklamp and Concept.io; Qualcomm bought education company EmpoweredU; and finally Nokia continue to rebuild after selling its devices and handsets business to Microsoft, this time buying Panasonic’s 3G and LTE base station operations division.
July 2015 saw no billion-dollar deals, but there was some activity with some big names out shopping. Microsoft made two acquisitions, paying $320 million for cloud security company Adallom and also picked up customer servicing software company FieldOne Systems. IBM picked up database as a service company Compose; Cisco paid $139 million for sales automation company MaintenanceNet; HP bought a cloud development platform Stackato; Blackberry bought AtHoc which is a crisis communication tool; and DropBox bought messaging company Clementine. Other acquisitions saw Cisco as a seller, with Technicolor paying $600 million for Cisco’s set top box division; Level 3 bought security firm Black Lotus; Amadeus bought travel software company Navitaire (a subsidiary of Accenture) for $830 million; eBay sold its enterprise unit for $925 million, having paid $2.4 billion for it four years ago. In the continued blurring of the lines between technology companies and other industries, Capital One bank acquired design, development and marketing firm Monsoon.
July 2016 saw some large deals, with Verizon making two multi-billion-dollar acquisitions. The big name was Yahoo who they bought for $4.83 billion, but they also paid $2.4 billion for Fleetmatics who provide fleet and mobile workforce management services. Oracle were also out spending big dollars, paying $9.3 billion for cloud based ERP company, Netsuite. Now if those deals were not big enough, Softbank (like Verizon they have a large telco presence – formerly Vodafone) paid a whopping $32.2 billion for chip designer ARM Holdings. Also joining the July billion dollar club was security vendor Avast, who bought AVG for $1.3 billion. Other deals this month saw Salesforce pay $582 million for cloud based startup Quip; Google bought video company Anvato; Terradata bought training company Big Data Partnership; and Opentext bought analytics company Recommind.
July 2017 saw Cincinnati Bell buy Hawaiian Telcom Holdco for $650 million and OnX for $201 million. Mitel paid $430 million for ShoreTel and bought Toshiba’s unified communications business. In Toronto, digital signage solution provider, Dot2Dot, acquired Pixel Point Digital. PNI Canada Acuireco Corp. purchased Sandvine Corp. for $562 million and plans to merge Sandvine with Procera Networks.
Which brings us back to the present …
July 2018 was busy in the M&A world, with the biggest deal of the month, a somewhat unlikely $19 billion acquisition of CA Technologies by Broadcom, who are clearly planning to expand beyond the semiconductor world. Solution provider, Atos is paying $3.45 billion for Syntel, creating a large North American presence. Fortive is paying $2 billion for physical resource management software company Accruent, and the last billion dollar deal of the month sees SS&C pay $1.45billion for investment technology company Eze Software. Other deals saw AT&T buy cybersecurity company Alienvault; Hitachi bought AWS integrator Rean; Intel bought specialty chip maker eAsic Corp; Accenture continued its acquisition spree with the purchase of AI company Kogentix; and Getronics re-entered the North American market with the purchase of Pomeroy.
Other companies in the news included Google, who were fined $5 billion by European antitrust regulators and Dell who announced plans to go public again.
The US economy continues to have strong indicators in almost every category, with a growing concern about skills shortages in the tech space. The Canadian market added jobs, but most of them were public sector jobs and one report shows Canada’s ICT sector as performing poorly versus the other G7 countries. Employment indicators from most countries around the world were generally positive.
Other topics of interest include, news that the Facebook group of companies have 2.5 billion people using their services at least once a month; the cost of data breaches to Canadian companies is on the rise; and people with Blockchain expertise are among the most in demand resources.
That’s what caught my eye over the last month, the full edition will be available soon on the Eagle website. Hope this was useful and I’ll be back with the August 2018 industry news in just about a month’s time.
Walk Fast and Smile.
Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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