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Column

Discovery, Scripps take TV to another level

Discovery Communications acquired Scripps Network Interactive for $14.6 billion, consolidating the major pay-TV players.

Various disposals by Symantec and a major consolidation in the TV industry dominated the international ICT market last week.

At home, there were some acquisitions and the formal entry of Sapiens International into the local market via the opening of a local office.

Key local news

* Mixed interim numbers from MTN Group, with revenue down 18.6% but back in the black.
* Satisfactory Q1 numbers from MiX Telematics, with revenue up 7% and profit up 6.3%.
* Altech Netstar acquired Fleet Logistics, an Australian fleet management business that trades as EZY2C.
* Crossfin Technology Holdings, a local digital commerce firm, bought Edenred SA, a subsidiary of French-based corporate services company Edenred. The acquisition was done through Crossfin's portfolio company, Innervation.
* Seacom purchased Cape Town-based Internet service provider, MacroLan.
* The proposed acquisition by Jasco of Cross Fire has been called off.
* Sapiens International, a global provider of software solutions for the insurance industry, has significantly increased its investment in the South African market by establishing a new head office in Sandton.
* The appointments of Peter Bensch as EVP of Sage's MEA region; Dudu Mkhwanazi as CEO of Project Isizwe, the large-scale free WiFi initiative; and Tracy Surkont as MD of TotalSend, a growing provider of digital messaging services and solutions, specialising in transactional e-mail and SMS in enterprise and e-payments technology.
* The resignations of Peter Bensch, MD of HPE South Africa; and Anton van Heerden, EVP of Sage's MEA region.

Key African news

* MTN Business Namibia has acquired a 30% shareholding in Profile Technologies, a company with local expertise in the Namibian ICT sector.
* Millicom has exercised its right to terminate its agreement to sell its Tigo operations in Senegal to Wari Group. Separately, the company also announced it has signed an agreement to sell its Senegal operations to a consortium consisting of NJJ, Sofima (telecom investment vehicle managed by the Axian Group) and Teyliom Group.
* The appointment of David Meads as Cisco's VP for its MEA operations.

Key international news

* Accenture acquired Search Technologies, a big data analytics firm.
* The Cirtek Group bought Quintel, an antenna solutions firm, for $77 million.
* Cray bought Seagate's enterprise storage array business.
* DigiCert purchased Symantec's Website Security and related PKI solutions for $950 million.
* Discovery Communications acquired Scripps Network Interactive for $14.6 billion, in a move that consolidates two of the major pay-TV players.
* Facebook bought Ozlo, a US-based artificial intelligence start-up.
* Fiserv purchased the assets of PCLender, a provider of next-generation enterprise Internet-based mortgage software and mortgage lending technology solutions.
* Genpact acquired US-based OnSource, an inspection as a service provider for insurance firms.
* Global Payments bought the communities and sports divisions of Active Network from Vista Equity Partners.
* Grubhub purchased Yelp's Eat24 business for $287.5 million.
* I Squared Capital acquired Hutchison Telecommunications' fixed-line unit for $1.9 billion.

Look out for Tencent spinning off China Music.

* Infosys bought London-based product design and customer experience Brilliant Basics for $7.5 million.
* KDDI (Japan) purchased Soracom, a virtual network operator, for $181 million.
* Methode Electronics acquired Pacific Insight Electronics, a global lighting, electronics and full-service solutions provider to the transportation industry.
* Qualys bought certain assets of Nevis Networks that are expected to provide significant domain expertise in passive scanning technologies and allow the former to accelerate its move into the adjacent market of mitigation and response at endpoints.
* Red Hat purchased the technology assets of Permabit, a small company that specialises in cleaning up corporate data to make storage more efficient and data access faster.
* Sierra Wireless acquired Numerex in a move that accelerates the former's IOT device-to-cloud strategy by adding an established customer base, significant sales capacity, proven solutions and recurring revenue scale.
* Sony bought Funimation Productions, the US distributor of "Dragon Ball Z" and other Japanese cartoons, in a move designed to expand its offering of anime around the world. The deal was worth $143 million.
* Tomas Bravo, a buyout firm, purchased Symantec's Web certificates business.
* Tyler Technologies acquired Digital Health Department, a company that provides environmental health software, offering a software-as-a-service solution for public health compliance and inspections processes.
* Verizon Communications bought WideOpenWest's fibre-optic network assets serving the Chicago market, in a deal worth $225 million.
* Softbank made a $250 million investment in Kabbage, a billion-dollar start-up that has become a key lender for small businesses in the US.
* A strategic partnership was formed between Chinese ride-sharing firm Didi Chuxing and European ride-sharing firm Taxify, in which the former would invest as well as collaborate.
* Rudolph Technologies has reached a comprehensive patent settlement with Camtek in the ongoing patent infringement lawsuits between the two companies.
* Apple has failed in its bid to dismiss a lawsuit claiming it disabled the popular FaceTime video conferencing feature on older iPhones to force users to upgrade.
* VIA Technologies has settled its lawsuits with Asustek Computer in Taiwan and the US, with the latter agreeing to pay VIA $15 million.
* BlueteamGlobal, a new firm founded by executives with ties to Morgan Stanley, has raised more than $125 million and plans to offer managed security services and cyber threat intelligence. The firm's co-founders are former Morgan Stanley COO Jim Rosenthal, who is its chief executive; and Tom Glocer, former CEO of Thomson Reuters and a member of Morgan Stanley's board, who is BlueteamGlobal's executive chairman.
* India's Snapdeal said it has decided to remain independent and is ending all talks regarding a sale to the e-commerce firm and bigger rival Flipkart.
* Excellent quarterly results from Applied Optoelectronics, Axcelis Technologies, Coherent and OLED.
* Very good quarterly figures from Changyou.com, ESI, GTT Communications, IPG Photonics, OpenText, Paycom Software, Rogers, Stamps.com, Super Micro Computer, Take Two Interactive Software (back in the black) and Teledyne Technologies.
* Good quarterly numbers from Activision Blizzard, Arista Networks, Brooks Automation, Cirrus Logic, Cognex, EPAM Systems, ePlus, Esker, Infineon, Insight Enterprises, Mercury Systems, Microchip Technology (back in the black), Oclaro, Qualys, Quanta Services, Roper Technologies, Sierra Wireless, Sony, TowerJazz, Ultimate Software and Yelp.
* Satisfactory quarterly results from AMC Networks, Amdocs, Amkor, Ansys, Apple, CDK Global, CDW, CGI, Citrix Systems, Cogent Communications, Cotivity, Cognizant Software Technology, CSG Systems International, Deutsche Telekom, Equinix, FIS, Garmin, Genpact, Global Payments, Harris, Investment Technologies (back in the black), IXYS, Motorola Solutions, Orbotech, Panasonic, Quality Systems (back in the black), Realtek Semiconductor, Rudolph Technologies, Siemens, Silicon Motion Technology, Sprint (back in the black), Systemax (back in the black), TetraTech, Trimble, TTM Technologies, Ubiquiti Networks, Viacom, Vishay Intertechnology, Vonage, Winbond, WPG, Yageo, Zix and Zynga.
* Mediocre quarterly results from Acacia Communications, Allied Motion Technologies, Arris International, CenturyLink, CommScope, CPSI, Dish Network, FICO, Inovalon, Key Tronic, MediaTek, NTT, Perficient, Pitney Bowes, TDS and US Cellular.
* Mixed quarterly figures from Arc Document Solutions, with revenue down but back in the black; Arrow Electronics, with revenue up but profit down; BCE, with revenue up but profit down; Belden, with revenue up but profit down; CA Technologies, with revenue up but profit down; Cardtronics, with revenue up but profit down; Engility, with revenue down but profit up; Cellcom Israel, with revenue down but profit up; Entravision Communications, with revenue up but profit down; FormFactor, with revenue up but profit down; IDT, with revenue up but profit down; j2 Global, with revenue up but profit down; Kulicke & Soffa, with revenue up but profit down; Level 3 Communications, with revenue up but profit down; Nice Systems, with revenue up but profit down; NXP Semiconductor, with revenue down but back in the black; SBA Communications, with revenue up but profit down; Synaptics, with revenue up but profit down; Verisk Analytics, with revenue up but profit down; Web.com, with revenue down but back in the black; Xerox, with revenue down but profit up; and XO Group, with revenue up but profit down.
* Very poor quarterly figures from Cincinnati Bell.
* Quarterly losses from 3D Systems, Acxiom, Adesto Technologies, Aerohive Networks, Alaska Communications, Allot Communications, Alteryx, Appian, Apptio, Avid, Blackline, Callidus Software, Camtek, Cavium, Consolidated Communications, Echelon, Everbridge, Faro Technologies, FireEye, Fitbit, Frontier Communications, GCI, GCP, Glu Mobile, GoPro, Groupon, Guidance Software, Himax Technologies, Hortonworks, IGT, Impinj, Infinera, Internap Networks, Intersect ENT, Macom Technology Solutions, MagnaChip Semiconductor, Microvision, NeoPhotonics, O2Micro, Orbcomm, Pandora Media, Qorvo, Quotient Technology, RadiSys, Radware, Sabre, Sequans Communications, Shenandoah Telecommunications, Shopify, Sohu.com, Sonus Networks, Square, Symantec, Tableau Software, Talend, TiVo, Unisys, Varonis, Veon, Windstream and Zendesk.
* The appointments of John Donovan as CEO of AT&T Communications; David Henshall as CEO of Citrix Systems; and Lori Lee as CEO of AT&T International.
* The resignation of Kirill Tatarinov, CEO of Citrix Systems.
* A planned IPO in the US from Chinese Internet and gaming company Sogou, China's second-largest mobile search engine. Sogou is controlled by Sohu.com and 45% owned by Tencent Holdings.

Research results and predictions

Worldwide:
* Global smartphone shipments totalled 340 million units in Q217, increasing 4% from a year earlier, according to Canalys.
* Worldwide semiconductor capital spending is projected to increase 10.2% in 2017, to $77.7 billion, according to Gartner.
* Smartphone OEMs shipped a total of 341.6 million smartphones worldwide in 2Q17, according to IDC. Coming off a higher than expected first quarter, smartphone shipments declined 1.3% from the same quarter a year ago and were down 0.8% from 1Q17.
* Worldwide shipments for tablets declined 3.4% year-on-year in 2Q17, reaching 37.9 million units, according to IDC.
* Worldwide revenue for the augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) market is forecast to increase by 100% or more over each of the next four years, according to IDC. Total spending on AR/VR products and services is expected to soar from $11.4 billion in 2017 to nearly $215 billion 2021, achieving a CAGR of 113.2% along the way.
* The total RFID market will be worth $11.2 billion this year, up from $10.52 billion in 2016 and $9.95 billion in 2015, according to a new report: "RFID Forecasts, Players and Opportunities 2017-2027" from IDTechEx Research.

Stock market changes

* JSE All share index: Up 1.9% (highest weekend close)
* FTSE100: Up 1.9%
* DAX: Up 1.1%
* NYSE (Dow): Up 1.2% (highest level achieved during the week)
* S&P 500: Up 0.2%
* Nasdaq: Down 0.4%
* Nikkei225: Down 0.4%
* Hang Seng: Up 2.2% (highest weekend close since May 2015)
* Shanghai: Up 0.3%

Look out for

International:
* Softbank acquiring Charter Communications.
* Tencent spinning off China Music, the world's third biggest music subscription business.
* Systems integration giant CompuCom and managed services superpower Pomeroy merging to create a $3.1 billion solution provider behemoth.
* Payments processing company Paysafe Group being acquired by a consortium of funds managed by Blackstone and CVC Capital Partners.

South Africa:
* The new country manager at HPE.
* The future of Dimension Data African operations, which NTT may wish to sell off.

Final word

Fortune magazine has published its 2017 "Global 500 list". The world's 500 largest companies generated $27.7 trillion in revenue and $1.5 trillion in profit in 2016. Together, this year's Fortune Global 500 companies employ 67 million people worldwide and are represented by 34 countries.

Included in the top 200 are:

* 9: Apple (was 9 last year)
* 15: Samsung Electronics (was 13)
* 19: AT&T (was 23)
* 26: Amazon (was 44)
* 27: Hon Hai Precision Industry (was 25)
* 32: Verizon Communications (was 30)
* 47: China Mobile (was 45)
* 50: NTT (was 60)
* 65: Alphabet (was 94)
* 69: Microsoft (was 63)* 72: (was 92)
* 77: Deutsche Telekom (was 90)
* 79: Comcast (was 96)
* 81: IBM (was 82)
* 83: Huawei (was 129)
* 105: Sony (was 113)
* 110: Panasonic (was 128)
* 124: Dell Technologies (a new entrant following its acquisition of EMC)
* 133: China Telecommunications (was 132)
* 144: Intel (was 158)
* 149: Vodafone (was 133)
* 153: Telefonica (was 137)
* 176: America Movil (was 154)
* 181: HPE (new entrant following split with HP)
* 187: Cisco (was 183)
* 194: HP (was 48 before split)

Further analysis of the list will follow next week.


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