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.