The economy, while slowing down some, is still quite robust in the US and employment figures around the world are generally positive. Reports continue to suggest things will weaken in 2020 but the threat of a recession seems reduced, always bearing in mind that the ongoing trade wars are not helping. On the M&A side, activity was brisk with the largest deal happening in the robust data center space, Digital Realty paying $8.4 billion for Interxion. There was also a smaller data centre deal that saw Equinix pay for 3 data centres from Axtel; and another data center deal involving ServerFarm buying SNINES. Another big dollar deal saw Thoma Bravo offer $3.4 billion for Sophos. Big name companies out shopping included Intel, Accenture, Microsoft and Telus. Companies making headlines included Microsoft, who are grappling with an activist employee base contesting their government work; HP Inc. who announced significant layoffs; and Oracle who are going to be on a hiring binge.
IT Industry News – September 2019
September 2019 was relatively busy in M&A with Qualcomm’s $3.1 billion acquisition of TDK’s share in a RF joint venture, the largest deal of the month. There were some big names out shopping in September, with Microsoft buying cloud migration company Movere; Facebook bought Wearables company Ctrl-labs (reputedly for big dollars); HP bought endpoint security company Bromium; Western Digital bought Kazan Networks; and Github bought developer tool Semmie. Commvault paid $225 million for cloud software company Hevig and there were a few more smaller deals. Other companies in the news included YouTube who reached a $170 million settlement related to protection and privacy for children; Kik interactive shut down its messaging service; and DoorDash became the latest cyber breach casualty. The jobs numbers were optimistic in Canada, and the US also had good jobs news although the ongoing trade war and potential impeachment have put a negative spin on some of the reports coming out.
IT Industry News – August 2019
August 2019 was a busy month in M&A. The big deal saw Broadcom pay $10.7 billion for Symantec’s security unit. VMWare had a busy month paying $4.8 billion to acquire Carbon Black and Pivotal, and then announcing the acquisition of Intrinsic. BC Partners is paying $2.1 billion to take Presidio private, and Salesforce paid $1.35 billion for ClickSoftware to improve its service capability. Splunk also paid $1.05 billion for SignalFx plus there were a few other “smaller” deals. Other companies in the news included Apple, Google, and Cisco announced layoffs in California. There were also several interesting stories this month related to cyber security and various scams. Major economic indicators in the US were generally positive, although economists have started wondering when the next recession will hit, 2020 or 2021. Canada had mixed job numbers depending upon who you believe and job indicators across the world were generally positive.
IT Industry News – July 2019
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 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.
IT Industry News – June 2019
June 2019 saw some significant M&A deals with the Salesforce acquisition of Tableau for $15.7 billion, the largest deal of the month. Infinion Technologies paid $10 billion for Cypress Semiconductor; Google paid $2.6 billion for data analytics company Looker; Capgemini shelled out $3.6 billion for engineering company Altran and in the robotics world, Blue Prism paid $100 million for Thoughtonomy. Other companies with smaller buys included Apple picking up the assets of Drive.ai and Twitter buying machine learning startup Fabula AI. The Canadian Federal Government invested $5 million into an innovation centre in Markham and there was more news about CyberSecurity breaches. In Canada, the job numbers are interesting, with Statistics Canada suggesting May was a bumper month, and ADP suggesting we actually lost jobs. The US had some mixed reports regarding the economy but overall the story is still positive. Likewise, indicators on jobs and employment around the world are also positive.
IT Industry News – May 2019
The big deal in May 2019 saw HPE pay $1.3 billion for supercomputer manufacturer Cray. Palo Alto Networks continued growing its cybersecurity capability with the purchase of two companies, Twistlock and PureSec. Plus, there was some M&A activity among a number of other well-known companies. Cybersecurity continues to be topical, with an Accenture report highlighting the increasing cost to companies for cybercrime; a Proofpoint report also highlighted the sheer volume of attacks on Canadian businesses. Other news saw some Canadian cities receiving Federal taxpayer money to improve their SmartCity initiative and there has been a lot of news on 5G. A look around the world at employment numbers and economic indicators suggests that generally employment numbers are improving, with a few exceptions.
IT Industry News – April 2019
Intel bought Omnitek, a company that produces programmable chips for the video space. This comes as Intel announced it was exiting the 5G modem space for smartphones, suggesting it was not a profitable business for them. The other deal saw the merger of two large US-based MSPs, as Corsica bought EDTS to compete at the next level. Another company in the press this month was Microsoft, who reached that magic valuation point of $1 trillion, becoming the third company to hit that milestone after Apple and Amazon. The general economic news was positive with the US continuing to soar with very low unemployment, rising wage rates, an annualised GDP growth rate of 3.2% in the first quarter, all suggesting the US boom will continue for a while yet. Canada continues its anemic growth rate, projected at 1.2% this year. Around the world unemployment is generally down except for pockets like the UK where the Brexit situation continues to be a mill stone around their necks.
IT Industry News – March 2019
In March 2019, the big deal of the month saw Nvidia shell out $6.9 billion for data centre solutions vendor, Mellanox. F5 Networks paid $670 million for up and coming competitor NGINX; and Juniper Networks paid $40 million for AI startup Mist Systems. Some other deals this month were Apple’s acquisition of machine learning startup LaserLike; Veritas’ acquisition of analytics company Aptare; Mastercard bought security company Ethoca; and Spotify added to its podcast capability with the purchase of Parcast. Other companies in the news included Lyft, SAP and SAS. The University of Toronto received a $100 million donation (largest ever) from Heather Reisman and Gerry Schwartz. Economic news around the world was generally relatively positive, although things are slowing down and forecast GDP growth in the US and Canada has been downgraded for 2019.
IT Industry News – February 2019
In February 2019, The biggest deal we saw was Carbonite’s $618 million acquisition of internet security company Webroot. Palo Alto Networks seems to be on a buying spree, closing two deals this monthThe money guys were out shopping too, with Thoma Bravo paying for Connectwise and Trive Capital paid $330 million for Windstream’s Earthlink telephone service provider assets. Spotify announced its podcast intentions with a couple of acquisitions and Witricity strengthened its hand in the wireless charging space with the acquisition of Qualcomm’s Halo business unit. There were some big names out shopping too, including Microsoft, Amazon, DXC, and Semantec. Other companies in the news include Canadian engineering company SNC-Lavalin, Cognizant, Monster and, of course, Amazon who rescinded its choice of New York as a location for a huge investment & additional “headquarters”. Around the world the jobs situation is generally positive, if not “as positive” as in previous months.
IT Industry News – January 2019
In January 2019, the biggest deal saw DXC pay $2 billion for Luxoft, DXC also bought EG A/S. Amazon Web Services made a couple of acquisitions: CloudEndure and TSO Logic. Accenture was another high-profile company making multiple acquisitions in January: Enaxis Consulting and Orbium. Dropbox splashed $230 million to buy HelloSign; Google bought DORA; Microsoft bought database startup Citus; AT Kearney bought consulting company Cervello; and Zix paid $275 million for email security company AppRiver. There were a number of companies announcing layoffs, including Tesla (7% of workforce); AT&T; Verizon Media (7% of workforce); McAfee (200 people) and SAP (4,000) although SAP suggest they will have net job growth in 2019. Canada added jobs in December and there is concern about Europe entering a recession. Generally, around-the-world job numbers look not too bad, with the US continuing to show strong job growth. The message of skills shortages is also being heard around the world.