This is my 30,000-foot look at events in the ICT industry for July 2019. 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, in July 2014, there was plenty 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 focusing 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, 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.
In July 2016 Verizon made 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 2016 billion dollar club was security vendor Avast, who bought AVG for $1.3 billion. Other deals 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, with plans to merge Sandvine with Procera Networks.
Last year July 2018 was a busy M&A month with the biggest deal of the month, a somewhat unlikely $19 billion acquisition of CA Technologies by Broadcom. Solution provider, Atos paid $3.45 billion for Syntel, creating a large North American presence. Fortive paid $2 billion for physical resource management software company Accruent, and the last billion dollar deal of the month saw SS&C pay $1.45 billion 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.
Which brings us back to the present …
July is quite often a slower news month, and July 2019 was a little like that. Having said that, there were some big deals announced. Cisco’s $2.6 billion acquisition of Acacia Communications was the biggest deal. Apple splashed $1 billion to buy Intel’s smartphone modem business, and KKR bought Corel for $1 billion too. There were a few more deals hit my radar with Google buying storage company Elastifile; 8X8 cloud communications company paying $100 million for Platform as a service company Wavecell; and finally Epam Systems bought educational content company Competentum.
There was another big cyber breach announced with Capital One sharing data on more than 100 million customers. There was also a malware called “Agent Smith” that infected 25 million Android devices. A report on how AI will impact on jobs seemed significant, but most of the respondents believe new roles will replace the lost jobs.
On the economic front the current US economic expansion is the longest on record, and there are still lots of positive indicators. Canada lost jobs in June and continues to have struggles. Around the world most indicators were positive, with a few notable exceptions … South Africa caught the eye with the highest jobless rate since 2003.
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 2019 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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