A Little History of April in previous years Five years ago, in April 2013 Rogers paid $200 million for Primus’ BlackIron subsidiary, including datacenter capability; Toronto based Softchoice also chose to go private in a $412 million private equity deal; Shaw paid $225 million for an Enmax fibre network subsidiary in Calgary; Best Buy sold … Continue reading IT Industry News – April 2018
IT Industry News – March 2018
In March 2018, there was a significant amount of M&A activity. The deal of the month saw Salesforce pay $6.5 billion for cloud integration company Mulesoft. Plantronics is paying $2 billion for unified communications company Polycom; and Amazon is paying $1 billion for smart home company Ring. Other deals saw eBay shell out $700 million for the commerce platform Qoo10; Cognizant is buying Bolder Healthcare Solutions; HPE Aruba is buying Cape Networks; VMWare is buying security company E8; and Deloitte is buying API Talent in New Zealand. It’s also nice to see Avaya buying Spoken Communications after leaving Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Facebook received a lot of attention around the world this month with questions about improper use of client data and their potential role in major political situations like the US election and Brexit vote.
The Canadian economy has enjoyed a reasonably decent run in 2017, but 2018 is starting to look less than rosy. Indications are that GDP and employment growth will slow down as the year progresses. Obviously, NAFTA negotiations and interprovincial spats will have some influence, in addition to new labor laws and the carbon taxes beginning to take effect. The US economy is benefiting from the recent tax decreases and the general tone around the world is focused more on positive employment numbers and skills shortages rather than high unemployment.
IT Industry News – February 2018
February 2018 was a very active month in M&A, with lots of deals. The biggest saw more consolidation in the telco space with US based GTT paying $2.3 billion for London headquartered Interroute, thus expending its global footprint. Security companies were a theme in this month’s acquisitions and you will spot several in the following list. Cybersecurity firm Phishme was bought with $400 million of private equity money; Splunk paid $350 million for Phantom Cyber Corp; and Proofpoint paid $225 million for Wombat Security Technologies. Other deals saw LogMeIn pay $342 million for Jive Communications; Carbonite pay $146 million for Mozy; and Red Hat paid $250 million for Core OS. Some of the household names that were also out making deals included Oracle, Google, Opentext, Avaya and Citrix. All in all the busiest M&A month I have seen in a while.
Samsung was in the news for passing Intel in size within the chip manufacturing market for the first time, which is much more positive press than the scandal from a year ago. The fourth quarter of 2017 saw the first decrease in smartphone sales since 2004. It is suggested that cybercrime is now costing $600 billion annually which is up about a third in the last three years.
The Canadian market took a hit in January, losing 80,000 jobs (50,000 in Ontario). The stark difference in tax treatment between the Canadian budget and the US tax reform moves, together with NAFTA negotiations are causing some concern in Canada. The US however continues to enjoy continuing job growth and almost every indicator is positive. Around the world most countries are enjoying job growth and positive indicators. One exception to all that positivity is in the UK where the uncertainly around Brexit seems to be having an impact.
IT Industry News – January 2018
January 2018 saw the continuing saga of cities bidding to win Amazon’s second headquarters, now down to 20 finalists. The Meltdown and Spectre hardware bugs are causing major headaches for tech companies and their clients, with the potential for hackers to take advantage. On the M&A front, the big deal saw investment management software company SS&C pay $5.4 billion for financial services software company DST Systems. Amazon Web Services increased its cybersecurity protection capabilities through the purchase of Sqrrl. ADP bought gig economy tool WorkMarket and TD Bank bought a Canadian AI company Layer 6. After some good indicators in 2017 Canada lost 88,000 jobs in January. The U.S. numbers are still looking good, adding another 234,000 jobs in January. Global CEO confidence is up and indicators around the world still seem positive. A stock market correction in mid-January is, however, causing some concern.
IT Industry News – December 2017
December 2017 saw Atos enhance the footprint of their IT Services firm by paying $5 billion for Gemalto. Apple were busy, paying $400 million for music recognition app Shazam plus they invested $390 million into optical communications components company Finisar. Finally, in a relatively quiet M&A month Ingram Micro increased its data protection capability through the purchase of Cloud Harmonics. The Canadian economy had some positive indicators, adding jobs and reducing the unemployment rate to 5.9%. The US also continued its growth rate, albeit at a slightly reduced pace although the announced tax changes for business are going to provide a significant stimulus. Generally, reports from around the globe were fairly positive, with job growth and reduced unemployment in most countries. There was a cautionary report about ransomware in Canada that might suggest up to 44% of SMBs were hit with ransomware in a 12 month period.
IT Industry News – November 2017
November 2017 saw some interesting information from countries round the world. China’s growth slowed a little, India is struggling in the IT jobs space and there are some negative effects from the upcoming Brexit that are affecting the UK and EU. The US is looking strong again following a hurricane affected dip and Canada added 35,000 jobs in October. The Big M&A activity for the month sees investment firm Thoma Bravo pay $1.6 billion for Barracuda networks. McAfee also made an acquisition of Skyhigh Networks now that they are no longer a part of the Intel group of companies. Smaller deals saw Talend buy Restlet and Qualys buy Netwatcher. Other companies in the news include Lenovo, a struggling hardware company in a declining PC market and laying off 2% of their workforce. The other company of interest was Uber who revealed a massive security breach which they had neglected to mention when it happened a year ago!
IT Industry News – October 2017
October 2017 continues a recent trend of reduced big ticket M&A activity, although there was certainly some action. Not yet a done deal, but Broadcom is chasing Qualcomm pretty hard and if it goes through it will be the biggest tech deal yet. The latest rejected offer was north of $100 billion (some reports said $130 billion), but watch that space. In the meantime, Cisco is shelling out $1.9 billion for Broadsoft which improves Cisco’s software capabilities. The final significant deal saw Telus beef up its service provider capability with a $250 million purchase of Xavient. The other company in the news was Amazon (a) because of its much publicized search for a site for its second headquarters which has 239 cities around the world excited at their prospects; (b) because they also announced a second presence in Vancouver, bringing another 1,000 jobs and (c) for its growing influence in the AI world, announcing a research center in Germany.
IT Industry News – September 2017
September 2017 saw Google splash out $1.1 billion to acquire HTC’s pixel team, IKEA bought gig economy company TaskRabbit, HPE bought Cloud Technology Partners, and Edmonton company F12.net bought Vancouver’s ONDeck Systems. HPE was also in the news, announcing yet another round of layoffs and Equifax hit the news retroactively announcing a huge cyber breach affecting 143 million customers. CareerBuilder also announced 120 layoffs and IBM continues to take heat for the Canadian Federal Government’s Phoenix Project. The Canadian economy has been performing well; however, some are concerned that storm clouds are gathering with observers suggesting that we might face a Government induced recession in 2018. Elsewhere, the US economy continues to perform well and generally worldwide economies and job prospects are improving.
IT Industry News – August 2017
August 2017, as has been the case for most of this year, was relatively slow on the M&A front. Symantec is selling its website security business to DigiCert for $1 billion, plus a stake in the larger entity. Cisco paid $320 million for hyperconvergence company Springpath, CGI bought consulting company in Pittsburgh, Summa Technologies and Accenture bought a Toronto consulting company VERAX. While not a pure tech play, the biotech world saw Aclaris pay $100 million for Confluence. There was some drama at Samsung, as Jay Y Lee was jailed for 5 years for bribery. There was also some internal drama at Infosys that saw their CEO Vishal Sikka resign. The Canadian economic indicators were mixed, but new proposed tax reforms, NAFTA negotiations, new labour laws in Ontario and an impending carbon tax that will hurt clearly have a negative impact on the Canadian economy. Meanwhile, the US economy seems to keep adding jobs and have fairly positive indicators.
IT Industry News – July 2017
Cincinnati Bell Inc. is buying Hawaiian Telcom Holdco Inc. for $650 million and OnX for $201 million. Mitel announced its acquisition of ShoreTel as well as Toshiba’s unified communications business. In Toronto, digital signage solution provider, Dot2Dot, acquired Pixel Point Digital. PNI Canada Acuireco Corp. has purchased Sandvine Corp. and plans to merge Sandvine with Procera Networks. Reports indicate Microsoft plans to cut up to 3,000 jobs while streaming platform, SoundCloud has laid of 40% of its employees, and data storage provider, Seagate, plans more staff cuts due to weak financial performance. According to threat intelligence provider, Risk Based Security, the number of publicly-reported data breaches in Canada this year is up to 59. In a study conducted by Forrester Data, it is projected there will be 5.5 billion smartphone users around the world by 2020. In other news, there has been a recent increase in investments in European startups according to Invest Europe.