Zendesk inks $10.2bn deal

The company enters into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an investor group led by Permira and Hellman & Friedman.
Paul Booth
By Paul Booth
Johannesburg, 04 Jul 2022

Permira and Hellman & Friedman agreed to a $10.2 billion buyout of Zendesk, and Atos’s plans to split into two publicly-listed entities dominated the ICT industry last month. 

Key local news

  • Bridgepoint Development Capital intends to acquire Datatec’s Analysis Mason (£210 million).
  • Canadian-based tech start-up CostCertified, which provides cost estimating software for the residential construction industry, has selected Cape Town as its first overseas headquarters.
  • Crossfin Holdings has acquired a meaningful stake in Vantage Africa, a payments and technology company.
  • Etion has agreed to sell its subsidiary Etion Connect to Etion Telecommunications (R71.5 million).
  • The Huge Group has acquired a stake in Glovent Solutions, which offers a multi-tenant property management solution.
  • MTN South Africa has completed the sale of its passive tower portfolio to IHS Towers.
  • Prosus has sold almost $4 billion worth of stock in that it got as dividends from investee Tencent.
  • Vox, formerly known as Vox Telecom (and before that the DataPro Group), is changing its name to Vivica Holdings.
  • The R40 million investment by Naspers, through its Naspers Foundry investment arm, in South African fintech start-up LifeCheq.
  • The investment by PAPE Fund 3, a South African private equity fund, in Entersekt, a provider of identity and customer authentication software.
  • The appointments of new CEOs/MDs at IoT.nxt, Mustek and Nexio.

Key African news

  • First Distribution will distribute Nozomi Networks’ solutions as its preferred provider for OT and IOT cyber security and anomaly detection in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • MFS Africa, a digital payments company, has agreed to acquire US-based Global Technology Partners, Africa’s number one prepaid card processor.
  • Nigeria announced it will require social media platforms to open local offices.
  • The $400 000 investment by Cape Town-based HAVAÍC ShopEx, a Nigerian omni-channel direct-to-consumer retailer.
  • The appointments of new CEOs/MDs, etc, at Dimension Data MEA, Gigamon, Infinidat, Infor, Kyndryl and MTN Cameroon.

Key international news

  • A1 Bulgaria, a unit of A1 Telekom Austria, acquired Stemo, a Bulgarian ICT company.
  • Accenture acquired Advocate Networks, a leading technology consultancy and managed services provider of technology business management solutions that help organisations create business value, achieve cost savings and modernise their technology platforms. It has also agreed to acquire Allgemeines Rechenzentrum, a technology service provider focused on the banking sector in Austria, and XtremeEDA, a Canada-based silicone design services leader.
  • Activision Blizzard’s ATVI subsidiary and Candy Crush developer King bought Pelatrion, an artificial intelligence software company.

Qualcomm has won its fight against a $1.05 billion fine imposed by EU antitrust regulators.

  • Alpha 3 Cloud, a high-performance cloud service provider, purchased the US cloud operations and infrastructure assets of CloudSigma, a Switzerland-based premier cloud services provider.
  • Animoca Brands acquired Israel-based TinyTap, an educational games library.
  • CGI’s GIB subsidiary, CGI France SAS, bought Harwell Management, a management consulting firm.
  • The Channel Company, parent company of CRN, purchased the technology division of UK-based Incisive Media, including its Computing, CRN UK and Channel Partner Insight properties.
  • Corsair Capital acquired a majority stake in HungerRush, a cloud-based software provider serving the restaurant industry.
  • Descartes Systems Group bought XPS Technologies, a leading provider of e-commerce multi-carrier parcel shipping solutions.
  • eBay purchased KnownOrigin, one of the most innovative non-fungible token (NFT) marketplaces.
  • Enghouse Systems acquired Sweden-based Competella, a provider of a SaaS and on-premises contact centre and attendant console solutions.
  • Foundation Software bought Harness Software, a construction safety software provider.
  • Frazier Healthcare Partners purchased Apollo Intelligence, a provider of real-time data and insights to the healthcare and life science industries.
  • Gupshup acquired OneDirect, an artificial intelligence-enabled customer service platform.
  • Infinite Computer Solutions, a global technology company, bought the Small Business Essentials portfolio of Verizon, formerly known as Yahoo Small Business.
  • Insight Enterprises purchased Hanu Software Solutions, a privately held Microsoft Azure expert managed services provider.
  • Johnson Controls acquired Tempered Networks, a zero trust cyber security provider.
  • Jungle Disk bought ElephantDrive, which is focused on the direct-to-consumer data backup market.
  • The Lumine Group, a division of the Volaris Group, purchased TOMIA, an innovator and leader in global connectivity monetisation solutions.
  • Made4net acquired Zethcon, which offers warehouse management system software.
  • Microsoft bought Miburo Solutions, a small cyber threat analysis and research firm specialising in detecting and responding to foreign information operations.
  • Mission Cloud Services purchased Dozen Software, a software specialist.
  • Nasuni acquired Storage Made Easy, a provider of remote access and compliance technologies.
  • Nitel, a provider of network as a service technology to solution providers, bought fellow technology developer Hypercore Networks.
  • Pine Labs, a digital payments service provider, purchased Setu, an application programming interface-based infrastructure company.
  • Qualcomm Technologies acquired Cellwize Wireless Technologies, a provider of network automation and management solutions.
  • Ricoh Europe bought UK-based Pure AV, a specialist AV integrator, and Denmark-based AV specialist AVC.
  • Samsung Display purchased German-based Cynora, a display company ($300 million).
  • SAS acquired Kamakura, a provider of advanced financial risk analysis and management software.
  • Siemens bought Brightly Software, a software as a service provider of cloud-based enterprise asset management and facility operations management ($1.6 billion).
  • Space Matrix purchased Pursuite, an e-commerce platform in the hospitality sector.
  • Starburst, a data analytics software provider, acquired Varada, an Israeli developer of data lake analytics acceleration technology.
  • Tyler Technologies bought Quatred, a systems integrator and solution provider that assists clients with implementing advanced touchless technologies, including bar coding.
  • Veritone purchased VocaliD, a company that pioneered the creation of personalised synthetic voices.
  • WNS acquired India-based Vuram, an enterprise automation services company.
  • Activision Blizzard’s subsidiary Blizzard Entertainment plans to acquire the studio Proletariat.
  • Allsec Technologies, a business process outsourcing firm, will merge with Quess, a technology-enabled staffing and outsourcing services firm.
  • Apax Partners has offered to buy EcoOnline, a publicly traded Norwegian provider of environmental, health and safety software ($400 million).
  • Atos plans to split into two publicly listed entities and has appointed two deputy CEOs, Nourdine Bihmane and Philippe Oliva, to lead each of these.
  • Baird Capital is selling UK-based Crisp Thinking Group to Kroll, formerly Duff & Phelps. Crisp is a real-time risk intelligence company.
  • Bain Capital and Nextalia have agreed to acquire Deltatre, a sports-oriented streaming tech provider ($700 million-$800 million).
  • By the Northern Hemisphere autumn 2024, USB Type-C will become the common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets and cameras in the EU.
  • Cass Information Systems has entered into an agreement to acquire the assets of mobile church management software developer TouchPoint, whose solutions help faith-based and non-profit organisations engage members and efficiently manage activities.
  • Clayton, Dubilier & Rice has agreed to acquire a majority stake in the industrial businesses of Roper Technologies, a publicly traded software provider ($2.6 billion).
  • Cornerstone OnDemand has agreed to acquire SumTotal, a developer of learning and human capital management software.
  • Cyient has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Celfinet, a Portugal-based wireless engineering services firm.
  • UK-based Digital 9 Infrastructure has agreed to buy a 48.02% stake in transmission company Aqriva, which operates the Freeview platform (£459.3 million).
  • DigitalBridge Group will sell a 27% stake in its data centre platform, DataBank, to affiliates of Swiss Life Asset Management and EDF Invest ($1.2 billion).
  • Echobot and Leadfeeder, two European sales intelligence companies, are to merge.
  • Forescout Technologies has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cysiv, a cyber security innovator that uses its cloud platform to improve detection and response of true threats.
  • Global-e has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Pitney Bowes' global shipping and mailing company’s Borderfree cross-border e-commerce solutions business.
  • GoDaddy has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire, a Dutch domain trading platform.
  • Helios Towers will purchase a 70% stake in the Omantel-owned holding company of Omantel’s passive tower infrastructure, while Rakiza Telecommunication Infrastructure, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oman Infrastructure Fund, will hold the remaining 30% ($575 million).
  • Hubei Xingji Shidai Technology has agreed to purchase a 79% stake in Meizu, a Chinese smartphone maker.
  • IBM plans to acquire Randori, an attack surface management and offensive cyber security provider.
  • Intel has filed a claim for €593 million in interest from the European Commission, five months after it convinced Europe's second-top court to scrap a €1.06 billion EU antitrust fine.
  • KKR has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a majority interest in apexanalytix, a leading provider of supply chain risk management software and services.
  • Lenovo will buy an 80% stake in Digital Era Enterprises and a 20% stake in PCCW Network Services, a holding company for a unit that provides technology solutions to government entities in Hong Kong ($614 million).
  • Level Access and eSSENTIAL Accessibility, two leading digital accessibility organisations, have signed a definitive agreement to merge and create an end-to-end digital accessibility solution for businesses and organisations.
  • Logility has signed a definitive agreement to buy Starboard Solutions, an innovator of supply chain network design software.
  • Pinterest has signed a definitive agreement to acquire THE YES, an AI-powered shopping platform for fashion that enables users to shop a personalised feed based on the user's active input on brand, style and size.
  • PwC India will acquire India-based Venerate Solutions, a salesforce consulting firm.
  • Qualcomm has won its fight against a $1.05 billion fine imposed by EU antitrust regulators four years ago for paying Apple to use only its chips and blocking out rivals such as Intel.
  • Canada-based Quebecor has agreed to buy Canada-based Freedom Mobile (C$2.85 billion).
  • Redcentric plans to acquire assets from Sungard Availability Services after the UK arm of the business reportedly went into administration earlier this year.
  • Reddit is buying machine learning platform Spell.
  • Renesas Electronics has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Reality Analytics, a leading provider of embedded AI solutions.
  • Sensata Technologies has sold its Qinex semiconductor thermal test and control business to Boyd Corporation ($219 million).
  • ServiceNow has signed an agreement to acquire Hitch Works, a skills mapping and intelligence company.
  • Netherlands-based Sitel Group, an IT services company, has reached a preliminary agreement to buy Luxembourg's Majorel, which operates call centres and related services.
  • SMART Global Holdings has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Stratus Technologies, a global leader in simplified, protected and autonomous computing solutions in the data centre and at the edge.
  • Telus will buy digital health provider LifeWorks for about C$2.9 billion, thus branching further into health services as it pursues a diversification strategy.
  • French defence company Thales has created a new firm, dubbed S3NS, in partnership with Google, to offer state-vetted cloud computing services for the storage of some of the country's most sensitive data.
  • Thoma Bravo has entered into a transaction agreement to acquire Norway-based Mercell Holding ASA, which has built an outstanding SaaS network of buyers and suppliers in the Nordic region for public tendering ($330 million).
  • Thoughtworks intends to buy privately held Brazilian-based Handmade Design, an innovation through design consultancy.
  • Triller has ended its $5 billion merger agreement with SeaChange International.
  • Zendesk has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an investor group led by leading global investment firms Permira and Hellman & Friedman ($10.2 billion).
  • The $150 million investment by Bain Capital Tech Opportunities in Canada-based Ataccama, a data management company whose platform helps enterprises democratise their data while maintaining accuracy, control and governance.
  • The $300 million investment by Google, media giant Times Group and Singapore's Temasek Holdings in India’s ShareChat's parent company, Mohalla Tech.
  • The €180 million investment by Great Hill Partners in Echobot and Leadfeeder, European sales intelligence specialists that have merged.
  • The investment by HPE in TruEra, which provides the first suite of AI Quality management solutions.
  • The $2 billion investment by Joffre Capital in Playtika, an Israeli gaming firm.
  • The investment (15%) by Kaspersky in Motive Neuromorphic Technologies, a company specialising in neuromorphic computing technologies.
  • The $225 million investment by Lupa Systems, Educational Testing Service and others in UpGrad, an Indian edtech company that partners with universities to offer an online higher education platform for working professionals and others.
  • The investment by SoftBank in German-based 1NCE, a provider of internet of things/machine-to-machine connectivity solutions.
  • The investment by Thoma Bravo in Grayshift, a provider of digital forensics solutions.
  • The investment by Vista Equity Partners in BetterCloud, a SaaS management platform provider.
  • The $153 million investment by WestBridge Capital in LeadSquared, a provider of a sales automation SaaS platform.
  • The $142 million investment co-led by Advent International and Brighton Park Capital in Coralogix, whose platform is used to monitor, visualise and analyse data in real-time.
  • The $100 million investment led by B Capital in Perimeter 81, which offers secure network solutions for the hybrid workforce on its cloud-based platform.
  • The €590 million investment led by Bain Capital Tech Opportunities in SumUp, a UK-based payments firm.
  • The $130 million investment led by Blackstone's growth unit in PayCargo, a logistics payments and data infrastructure specialist.
  • The $100 million investment led by Eurazeo in Devo, the developer of a logging and security analytics platform designed to manage threats in cloud environments.
  • The $115 million investment led by Goldman Sachs in DataStax, a database and real-time data technology developer.
  • The $100 million investment led by JP Morgan Growth Equity Partners in Codat, whose API enables software providers and financial institutions to build integrated products for small and medium businesses.
  • The $108 million investment led by Koch Disruptive Technologies in Vayyar Imaging, a developer of 4D imaging radar technology designed for use in security, smart homes, robotics and other industries.
  • The $100 million investment led by Mubadala in Juni, a Swedish fintech firm.
  • The $100 million investment led by NightDragon and Snowflake Ventures in Immuta, a provider of data security and access control.
  • The $210 million investment led by Sequoia China in Singapore-based Envision Digital, a provider of AI and internet technologies software.
  • The $106 million investment led by TriplePoint Capital in Juni, a Swedish fintech firm.
  • The appointments of new CEOs at Catheon Gaming, DocuSign (interim), G.Network, GrafTech International, Kinley, Lazada, Pinterest, SatixFy Communications, Smarsh, SoftBank Group International, Topcoder, Verizon Business and Xerox.
  • The deaths of Nobuyuki Idei, the urbane former chief executive of Sony Group; Loretta Rogers, a former director of Rogers Communications; and John Visentin, CEO of Xerox.
  • An IPO filing from Bharat FIH (India), IBS Software (USA) and Triller (USA).
  • IPOs/listings from GoGoX (Hong Kong), Hwatsing Technology (China) and Lytus Technologies (Nasdaq).

Research results and predictions

  • According to Gartner, worldwide government IT spending is forecast to total $565 billion in 2022, an increase of 5% from 2021.
  • According to IDC, the Middle East and Africa personal computing devices market experienced a slight year-on-year decline of 1.5% in Q122, with shipments totalling 6 million units.
  • According to IDC, smartphone vendors shipped a total of 19.7 million smartphones across Africa in Q122, down 15.7% year-on-year.
  • According to IDC, the MEA personal computing device market, which is made up of desktops, notebooks, workstations and tablets, is expected to decline 6% year-on-year in shipment terms for Q222, with an estimated 5.6 million units shipped.

Stock market changes

  • JSE All share index: Down 6.8%
  • FTSE100: Down 5.5%
  • DAX: Down 11.4%
  • NYSE (Dow): Down 6.4%
  • S&P 500: Down 8%
  • Nasdaq: Down 8.3%
  • Nikkei225: Down 3.2%
  • Hang Seng: Up 5.6%
  • Shanghai: Up 8.2%

Final word

Fortune magazine recently published its 2022 Fortune 500 listing. The following were of particular interest from a technology perspective:

  • ON Semiconductor was a new entrant at number 483.
  • AMD rose 83 places to 226.
  • LAM Research moved up 54 places to 250.
  • Nvidia jumped 50 places to 134.
  • DXC Technology dropped 55 places to 207.
  • Frontier Communications dropped 97 places to 499.
  • Sanmina dropped 64 spots to 482.
  • Xerox dropped 56 places to 471.

In addition, CACI International, Cerner, Crown Castle International, Electronic Arts and NetApp dropped out of the top 500.