This is my 30,000 foot look at events in the tech industry for November 2015. 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 previous year’s Novembers …
Five years ago in November Twenty-Ten perennial acquirer EMC paid $2.25 billion for Isilion; Attachmate bought Novell for $2.2 Billion; Oracle paid $1 Billion for Art Technology Group; NTT paid $1 Billion for Keane; Amazon paid $500 million for Quidsi; and Juniper Networks bought Trapeze Networks for $152 million. In November 2011 Mosaid was sold to Sterling partners for $590 million, ending a WiLan hostile takeover attempt. Japanese company Rakuten paid $315 million for e-book company Kobo; Huawei technologies bought Symantec out of a storage and security joint venture to the tune of $530 million; Yahoo paid $270 million for online advertising company Interclick; and Best Buy paid $167 million for internet technology company Mindshift. In November 2012 Cisco made two significant “buys”, cloud infrastructure company Meraki ($1.2B) and cloud datacentre and software company Cloupia ($125M); Dell bought software tools company Gale Technologies; NCR bought retail software company Retalix ($650M); Cray bought software company Appro ($25M); Sprint Nextel bought a chunk of US Cellular ($480M); and Toronto based NexJ (headed by another ex-Andersen Consulting alumni)
bought Broadstreet for $8.2 million. Two years ago in November 2013 Opentext paid $1.1 Billion for cloud based integration services company GXS Group and another Canadian deal saw Mitel buy Aastra for close to $400 million. Other deals this month included ebay’s $800 million purchase of global payments company Braintree; Apple’s $370 million purchase of 3D sensor company PrimeSense; and Akamai’s purchase of Velocius Networks. Last year, November 2014 was an exceptionally quiet month on the M&A front with the largest deal being the merger of two semiconductor companies, Cypress Semiconductor and Spansion to form a $4 billion company; private equity company Carlyle Group paid $700 million for investment bank technology company Dealogic and Yahoo shelled out $640 million for video advertising company BrightRoll.
Which brings us back to the present …
November 2015 saw a number of smaller M&A deals, but not much in the way of mega-deals. The one billion dollar deal saw expedia pay $3.9 billion for HomeAway as a vehicle to better compete with Airbnb. Zayo Holding Group became the first foreign company to own a Canadian telco after paying $465 million for fAllstream. Other, smaller deals saw Apple buy Faceshift, a motion capture company whose technology was used in the latest Star Wars movie; and Lightspeed POS bought SEOshop, increasing its size as a competitor to Shopify. Other deals saw Ingram Micro grow its Brazilian presence with the purchase of ACAO; PCM bought Edmonton based services firm Acrodex; Data centre company CentriLogic bought infrastructure company Advanced Knowledge Networks; solution provider Scalar Systems bought another Toronto company, professional services firm Eosensa; and Washington based New Signature bought Toronto based Microsoft Partner, Imason.
In other news this month, if you do not understand the impact of “blockchain” then you should read up on it, a disruptive technology that will impact the financial sector for sure. It was also interesting to see that 2016 is predicted to bring a 30% increase in the number of “things” on the “Internet of Things”, making it a $235 Billion market next year. November also saw Blackberry take one on the chin in Pakistan and will need to exit that market before year end, otherwise they would need to share user data with the government.
The economy continues to boom in the US, which once again added 200,000+ jobs and saw many positive indicators. Canada meanwhile, added 44,400 jobs but many of them were temporary and related to the election, and so expected to disappear again in December. The oil sector is desperate with continuing layoffs and while some markets are in decent shape the mood is not great. It remains to be seen what impact our new Federal Government will have, but hopefully it will put sufficient emphasis on the economy.
That’s what I saw affecting the tech industry for November 2015. Until next month Walk Fast and Smile!
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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