Diebold Nixdorf files for bankruptcy

The company says it has reached an agreement to reduce its overall debt by $2.1 billion.
Paul Booth
By Paul Booth
Johannesburg, 03 Jul 2023
Paul Booth
Paul Booth

Diebold Nixdorf filing for bankruptcy and several multibillion-dollar deals and imminent deals, including ones by IBM, Intel and Nasdaq, dominated the headlines last month.

Key local news

  • iOCO Solutions, digital transformation solutions provider, acquired Hoverfly Cloud from SpectoLabs, the developer of Hoverfly, the open source API simulation tool.
  • Convergence Partners Investments, the deep tech investor started by Andile Ngcaba in 2003, has rebranded as Solcon Capital.
  • DNSSense, provider of DNS security and visibility technologies, has entered a strategic partnership with Maxtec, a distributor of data security technologies across Africa.
  • Dutch-listed technology investor Prosus is to end a cross-holding structure with its South African parent Naspers.
  • Telkom confirmed it received an unsolicited non-binding indicative letter from Afrifund Investments for the acquisition of a controlling stake.
  • Vertiv, a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions, has opened its African head office and customer experience centre in Johannesburg.
  • Wipro has opened an office in Cape Town.
  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has invested $4.46 million in the CSIR, in order to drive skills and health innovation.
  • Old Mutual’s NEXT176 and Tofino Capitals have invested R41 million in Kana Health, a health-tech start-up.
  • The appointments of new CEOs/MDs at Cell C, Software AG and WASPA.

Key African news

  • Ansys, innovator of engineering simulation software, is establishing its first physical presence in Africa, with an office in Kigali, Rwanda.
  • Ethiopia has launched a tender for a second telecommunications licence.
  • Medius, a Swedish business expense management firm, plans to acquire Expensya, a Tunisian-founded expense management software company.
  • The appointments of new CEOs at the inq. Group and Safaricom’s Ethiopian business.

Key international news

  • Accenture acquired Bourne Digital, an Australian digital design agency focused on the SAP ecosystem. It also intends to acquire Green Domus Desenvolvimento Sustentável, a Brazil-based sustainability consultancy with experience helping clients design and implement a range of sustainability services with a focus on measurable decarbonisation strategies. It also intends to purchase Anser Advisory, an advisory and management company for infrastructure projects. In addition, it has invested in Praxis Labs, a software as a service (SaaS) virtual reality company with an end-to-end immersive learning platform that helps users develop soft skills to drive equity, inclusion and value in the workplace and beyond; and Parfin, a provider of responsible, compliant Web3 infrastructure services to financial institutions in Latin America.
  • Apple bought Mira Labs, an AR headset start-up.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has invested $4.46 million in the CSIR.

  • Ahead, a provider of infrastructure, automation, data analytics, software development and security and managed services, purchased MBX Systems, a systems integrator of hardware systems, supplier of global logistics and supply chain orchestration, and the owner of Hatch, which enables customers and OEM partners to manage the full life cycle of their IT assets.
  • Dizzion, provider of desktop as a service and composable digital workspaces, acquired Nutanix’s Frame business unit.
  • General Informatics, an IT MSP and solution provider, bought Eministration, an IT management and consulting firm.
  • HashiCorp purchased BluBracket, an innovator in code security for developers and security engineers.
  • Intragen, a UK cyber security company, acquired Telia’s identity and access management division.
  • Modern Networks, a Horizon Capital-backed UK IT services provider, bought sector peer, the Bluegrass Group.
  • MyComplianceOffice, provider of conduct risk and compliance technology, purchased Fairwords, pioneer in AI-powered electronic communications software that simultaneously captures digital communications, while proactively enforcing policy and can train employees as they type.
  • OfficeSpace Software, a workplace management platform used by HR departments, acquired Greetly, which functions as a digital receptionist.
  • Blackstone-run R Systems bought India-based Velotio, a product engineering and digital solutions company.
  • Rivian purchased Itermio, a Swedish EV route planning app maker.
  • Scaler, an edutech start-up, acquired India-based Pepcoding, provider of an education platform.
  • Allied Properties Real Estate Investment Trust has entered into an agreement to sell its urban data centre portfolio to Japanese-based KDDI Corporation ($1.02 billion).
  • Alphabet's Google may have to sell part of its lucrative adtech business to address concerns about anti-competitive practices, according to EU regulators who are threatening the company with its harshest regulatory penalty to date.
  • Bain Capital has offered to privatise the Chindata Group, a data centre operator, in a deal valuing the company at $2.93 billion. It has made an offer for Switzerland-based SoftwareOne, a software management company ($3.21 billion); and it has announced its intention to buy one-fifth of Intel’s stake in IMS Nanofabrication, a deal valuing the Austrian producer of chipmaking tools at about $4.3 billion.
  • Brookfield Asset Management has agreed to acquire UK-listed payments processor Network International (£2.2 billion).
  • Canal+, the French broadcaster owned by billionaire Vincent Bollore’s Vivendi SE, has agreed to buy a significant minority stake in Hong Kong-listed PCCW’s Viu unit as part of a partnership agreement between the two media groups.
  • Capgemini has signed a share purchase agreement to acquire BTC Corporation, a cloud and digital services provider in Japan.
  • The Carlyle has agreed to acquire Czech-based Meopta Optika, a maker of optical and optoelectronic systems.
  • Cisco will acquire Accedian, a network performance monitoring and analysis firm, and UK-based privately held broadband network monitoring company, SamKnows.
  • Databricks has agreed to buy AI start-up MosaicML ($1.3 billion).
  • Diebold Nixdorf has filed for bankruptcy, saying it had reached an agreement to reduce the company's overall debt by $2.1 billion.
  • DigiTech Holding will acquire Singapore-based Challenger Technologies, a technology services provider ($170 million).
  • G42, Abu Dhabi's AI firm, and Israeli technology investment company Viola Group, which manages $5 billion in assets, have established Global Valley, a joint venture to set up a new platform to meet demand for high-skilled tech talent.
  • IBM will buy Apptio, a technology spend-management platform, from Vista Equity Partners ($4.6 billion).
  • Informatica intends to purchase Privitar, thus bringing advanced access controls and remediation for data privacy and security to Informatica's AI powered Intelligent Data Management Cloud platform.
  • Infratil, New Zealand's infrastructure investor, will acquire Canada's Brookfield Asset Management's stake in One New Zealand to strengthen its digital and renewable portfolio ($1.1 billion).
  • Intelsat has ended merger talks with SES.
  • Japan-based JSR, a semiconductor materials maker, has agreed to be bought by a government-backed fund for about $6.35 billion.
  • Keysight Technologies will acquire a controlling stake in French software firm ESI Group (€913 million).
  • Kunlun Tech’s holding subsidiary Star Group Interactive has agreed to buy the entire equity in Singularity AI Technology, which is working with Kunlun on a large language model ($160 million).
  • Nasdaq will buy financial software firm Adenza, which provides end-to-end trading, treasury, risk management and regulatory compliance solutions ($10.5 billion).
  • Nordic Capital has agreed to purchase Foxway, a Swedish IT services company.
  • Palo Alto Networks will replace Dish Network in the S&P 500 index.
  • Edutech firm Physics Wallah has entered into a strategic partnership with Kerala-based edutech firm Xylem Learning.
  • Quotient Technology, a digital promotions and media technology company, and Neptune Retail Solutions, an omnichannel retail marketing company with a network of in-store and digital solutions, have signed a definitive agreement to combine through Neptune’s acquisition of Quotient.
  • Rocket Software is giving up its counteroffer for Software AG and selling its stake in the company to Silver Lake instead.
  • Sequoia, a global venture capital firm, is breaking itself up. Known for early investments in tech companies such as Airbnb, WhatsApp and Zoom in the US, as well as international heavyweights such as ByteDance and GoTo via its China and India funds, is splitting into three fully distinct firms.
  • SGT Capital will acquire German management solutions company Elatec, which provides components for its customers' physical and digital security infrastructure.
  • Silver Lake now has 63% of the shares of Software AG.
  • Snyk has reached an agreement to purchase Enso Security, a start-up that specialises in providing enhanced visibility into application security posture.
  • India-based Sonata Software, a global IT services company, plans to acquire Quant Systems, an IT services company.
  • Stellantis and iPhone assembler Foxconn have created a 50-50 joint venture called SiliconAuto to design and sell semiconductors for the automotive industry from 2026.
  • Stratasys has received an unsolicited buyout proposal from rival 3D Systems, valuing the industrial 3D printer at about $1.21 billion.
  • Surgalign Holding, a medical technology company, has filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
  • Tanla Platforms, an Indian homegrown communications platform as a service (CPaaS) provider, is buying ValueFirst from Twilio to strengthen its leadership in India’s cloud communications space.
  • Tata Communications has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire communication platform service provider Kaleyra ($475 million).
  • Thomson Reuters will buy Imagen, a digital content asset management company.
  • Timetoact Group, a provider of IT services for medium-sized businesses, large corporations and public institutions and a portfolio company of Equistone Partners Europe, has bought Brainbits, a company focused on web applications and an Atlassian Platinum Solutions partner.
  • A US Patent Office tribunal ruled for Intel’s bid to invalidate a patent that represented $1.5 billion of a $2.18 billion verdict it lost to VLSI Technology in 2021. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board invalidated the computer chip-related patent after cancelling another VLSI patent that accounted for the remainder of the Texas federal court verdict last month.
  • Vector Technology has agreed to purchase Riverbed Technology, an IT company that provides networking and observability tools.
  • Veon will invest $600 million in the infrastructure of its Ukrainian subsidiary Kyivstar, the country's largest mobile network.
  • Veritone has agreed to acquire Broadbean, a global leader of SaaS technology that makes talent acquisition and engagement easier, faster and more efficient.
  • Online publisher Vice Media will be sold to a consortium led by Fortress Investment Group, after the bankruptcy court approved its $350 million bid.
  • Visa has agreed to acquire Brazilian fintech platform Pismo ($1 billion).
  • Vodafone and CK Hutchinson’s-owned Three have joined their UK mobile operations in a merger deal (51% and 49% respectively) aimed at creating one of Europe’s largest 5G networks (£15 billion).
  • Wondrlab, a marketing tech start-up, is buying a 51% stake in Cymetrix, a Salesforce specialist.
  • Booz Allen Hamilton’s corporate venture capital arm, Booz Allen Ventures, has made a strategic investment in Shift5, the onboard data company.
  • The $96 million investment by investors including Highland Europe, GV and EQT Ventures in Nothing, a phone maker.
  • Inflection AI, an artificial intelligence start-up, raised $1.3 billion from investors including Microsoft, Bill Gates and Nvidia.
  • JPMorgan invested in, a financial technology firm focused on trade finance.
  • Maven Capital invested in iAM Compliant, a UK e-learning provider, which provides a cloud-based platform suited for the education market.
  • The $270 million investment by Nvidia, Oracle and Salesforce Ventures, among others, in Cohere, an AI foundation model company that competes with Microsoft-backed OpenAI.
  • The $562.3 million investment by several investors in China-based YASC, a chip maker.
  • The $250 million investment by several investors, including a Tencent-linked entity in Minimax, in a Chinese start-up developing a generative AI chatbot similar to OpenAI's ChatGPT.
  • The $100 million investment by several investors, including Google, in Runway, a generative AI text-to-video start-up.
  • The $421 million investment co-led by two Chinese state-owned investment platforms in ESWIN Computer Technology, a provider of AIOT chips and services.
  • The $90 million investment led by Accel and Nvidia-owned NVentures in Synthesia, a UK-based AI start-up.
  • The $190 million investment led by Bain Capital in Blackpoint Cyber, a cyber security company providing its security suite via managed service providers.
  • The $100 million investment led by Accel in Cyera, a data security start-up.
  • Investments led by Lightspeed in Mistral AI, a generative AI start-up that could compete with OpenAI (€105 million), and Redpanda, which offers a streaming data platform for developers ($100 million).
  • The $21 billion investment led by Apollo Global Management in Wolfspeed, a chipmaker.
  • The $100 million investment led by Salesforce’s investment arm in Typeface, a generative AI platform for enterprise content creation.
  • The appointments of new CEOs at 8x8, Alibaba Group, Aviatrix, CBORD/Horizon Software, Dassault Systèmes, Ecom Express, Entravision, FARO Technologies, GoTo Group (Indonesia), Omnicom Commerce Group, SatixFy (acting), Semtech and Vantage Towers.
  • The death of Bill Bishop, CEO of Alaska Communications.
  • IPO filings from CAB Payments (London), ideaForge Technology (India) and Tata Technologies (India).

Research results and predictions

According to IDC:

  • Global shipments of smartphones will decline 3.2% in 2023, totalling 1.17 billion units for the year.
  • Africa's smartphone market declined 3.4% quarter-on-quarter in Q1 2023 to total 17 million units, the lowest level of shipments since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Q1 2020.
  • Worldwide spending on the internet of things (IOT) is forecast to be $805.7 billion in 2023, an increase of 10.6% over 2022. Investments in the IOT ecosystem are expected to surpass $1 trillion in 2026, with a CAGR of 10.4% over the 2023-2027 forecast period.
  • The Middle East, Turkey and Africa smart home device market saw shipments increase 1.4% quarter-on-quarter in Q1 2023 to total 8.56 million units.

Stock market changes

  • JSE All share index: Down 0.7%
  • FTSE100: Down 1.3%
  • DAX: Up 1% (all-time high reached during this period)
  • NYSE (Dow): Up 4%
  • S&P 500: Up 5.8% (one-year high reached during this period)
  • Nasdaq: Up 6.3% (one-year high reached during this period)
  • Nikkei225: Up 7.4% (one-year high reached during this period)
  • Hang Seng: Up 0.9%
  • Shanghai: Down 0.3%

Final word

Fortune magazine recently published its 2023 Fortune 500, the ranking of America’s largest companies. The following is of note from a technology perspective:

  • New additions include

Coupang at number 195;

Kyndryl at 225;

ServiceNow at 499; and

VMware at 313.

  • Removals include:

Frontier Communications (was 499);

Roper Technologies (was 497);

Veritiv (was 477); and

Xerox (was 471).

  • Largest upward movers include:

Analog Devices at 344 (was 463);

Global Partners at 220 (was 280);

KLA at 46 (was 474);

TD Synnex at 64 (was 109);

Uber at 127 (was 210); and

Warner Bros Discovery at 118 (was 310).

  • Largest downward movers include:

Activision Blizzard at 484 (was 396);

DXC at 255 (was 207);

eBay at 393 (was 301); and

Lumen at 237 (was 179).

  • At the top:

Alphabet remained at number eight;

Apple slipped to four from three;

AT&T slipped to 30 from 13;

Meta slipped to 31 from 27;

Microsoft moved from 14 to 13; and

Verizon slipped to 26 from 23.