VMware hits the gas

The company spent billions of dollars on three businesses this week: Carbon Black, Intrinsic and Pivotal Software.
Read time 6min 10sec

Three acquisitions by VMware dominated the international ICT market last week.

At home, concern about the viability of Cell C as an ongoing business was high on the agenda.

Key local news

  • A negative trading update from Blue Label Telecoms.
  • The Carlyle Africa (Buyout) Fund acquired SA-headquartered IsoMetrix, a supplier of integrated software for governance, risk and compliance.
  • Independent management consulting firm IQbusiness bought Genex Insights, the South African-based insights and market research company.
  • Eight high-potential fintech start-ups have been awarded R2 million each in entrepreneurial packages by the AlphaCode Incubate initiative.

Key African news

  • Jumia, Africa’s largest e-commerce operator, is struggling with internal fraud and legal threats.
  • The appointments of Isa Ali Pantami as Nigeria’s minister of communication; Fadi Pharaon as SVP and head of market area Middle East and Africa at Ericsson; and Mercy Wanjau as interim DG of the Communication Authority of Kenya.
  • The departures of Rafiah Ibrahim, SVP and head of market area Middle East and Africa at Ericsson (moves elsewhere within Ericsson); and Francis Wangusi, DG of the Communication Authority of Kenya.

Key international news

  • Accenture acquired Parker Fitzgerald, a strategic advisor and consulting partner to global financial institutions, thus further enhancing the business and technology capabilities within its finance and risk practice.
  • Com & Tel Media bought Cellcast’s operating subsidiary, Cellcast UK, which provides interactive television programming, for £375 million.
  • Descartes Systems Group purchased, a cloud-based transportation management system provider focused on flatbed-intensive manufacturers and distributors.
  • Elastic acquired Perched, a training and consulting company focused on security analytics, threat hunting and security operations.
  • Goodix Technology bought the assets of NXP Semiconductors’ voice and audio solutions business.
  • Lightview Capital purchased Buchanan Technologies, a solution provider.
  • Microsoft acquired jClarity, a UK-based start-up aimed at optimising Java workloads on Azure.
  • Nazara Technologies, an India-based mobile gaming start-up, bought 67% of Sportskeeda, a sports content Web site.
  • ScanSource purchased intY, a UK-based distributor of cloud services.
  • Siris, a private equity firm, acquired TPx Communications, a service provider.
  • Sony Interactive Entertainment bought privately held Insomniac Games.
  • Splunk purchased SignalFx, a data analytics software maker, for $1.05 billion.
  • United Business Mail acquired LSC’s Commingle business for $11.25 million.
  • Upland Software bought Cimpl, a cloud-based telecom expense management platform.

Look out for Naspers-owned PayU acquiring India-based online consumer lending platform PaySense.

  • VMware acquired Carbon Black ($2.1 billion), a cyber security provider; Intrinsic, a security start-up; and Pivotal Software ($2.7 billion), a provider of tools for software developers working on cloud services.
  • BlackRock, a private equity company, invested in Cofense, a cyber security company.
  • Amazon made a 49% investment in Future Coupons, in a deal that gives Amazon the option to buy all or part of Future Coupons’ shareholding in Future Retail, an Indian supermarket chain operator.
  • Apple has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Corellium, a software company that allegedly has copied its operating system, graphical user interface and other aspects of its devices without permission; it wants a federal judge to stop the violations.
  • DXC Technology has won a $666 million award in its dispute with Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
  • Qualcomm has won a partial stay against the enforcement of a sweeping anti-trust ruling in a lawsuit brought by the US Federal Trade Commission.
  • BT will delist from the New York Stock Exchange.
  • Facebook's proposed digital currency Libra faces an anti-trust probe by the European Union regulator.
  • Maxcom Telecomunicaciones, a Mexican telecommunications company, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, to enable it to restructure its debt.
  • The US Department of Justice is working with state attorneys general to investigate the market power of technology companies.
  • Qualcomm has reached a new patent licensing deal with LG Electronics, helping land its technology in a suite of wireless devices.
  • Excellent quarterly results from Viomi Technology.
  • Good quarterly numbers from Fabrinet, Formula Systems, Synopsys and VMware.
  • Good half-year figures from MTI Wireless Edge and Soft-World International.
  • Satisfactory quarterly results from HP, Keysight Technologies and OSE (back in the black).
  • Satisfactory half-year numbers from Computacenter and Millicom International.
  • Satisfactory year-end figures from Arcontech Group.
  • Mediocre quarterly results from Analog Devices and Cheetah Mobile.
  • Mediocre half-year figures from Gamania Group and Sopheon.
  • Mixed quarterly figures from Baidu, Mobile TeleSystems, Opera, Photronics,, Weibo and Xiaomi, with revenue up but net income down; and from ScanSource, Sina and Zayo Group, with revenue down but net income up.
  • Mixed half-year figures from BATM Advanced Communications (back in the black), Giantplus Technology and Tribal Group, with revenue down but net income up.
  • Quarterly losses from CooTek, Cree, Flexion Mobile, Intuit, iQiyi, Jumia Technologies, MediaValet, Pinduoduo, Pure Storage, QAD, SEA, Splunk and Yunji.
  • Half-year losses from cloudBuy, Finablr, Powerchip Technology and Razer.
  • The appointments of Timothy Duitsman as CEO of Westell Technologies; Enrique Lores as CEO of HP; Sandip Mukerjee as CEO of Tessco Technologies; Pratik Pal as CEO of Tata Digital; Amr Refaat as CEO of Gulf Business Machines’ regional operations; and Ravinder Takkar as CEO of Vodafone Idea.
  • The resignation of Balesh Sharma, CEO of Vodafone Idea.
  • The retirement of Murray Wright, CEO of Tessco Technologies.
  • The departures of Alfred John, CEO of Westell Technologies; and Dion Weisler, CEO of HP.
  • A planned IPO from Uhuru, a Japanese IOT technology company backed by SoftBank, on London’s AIM market. It is set for October.

Research results and predictions



  • In 2020, worldwide 5G wireless network infrastructure revenue will reach $4.2 billion, an 89% increase from 2019 revenue of $2.2 billion, according to Gartner.
  • The market for 3D printed medical devices and pharmaceuticals will be worth $6.1 billion by 2029, which expects a CAGR of up to 18% in certain sub-segments, according to IDTechEx.

Stock market changes

  • JSE All share index: Up 0.2%
  • FTSE100: Down 0.3%
  • DAX: Up 0.4%
  • NYSE (Dow): Down 1%
  • S&P 500: Down 1.4%
  • Nasdaq: Down 1.8%
  • Nikkei225: Up 1.4%
  • Hang Seng: Up 1.7%
  • Shanghai: Up 2.6%

Look out for


  • Mitel Networks acquiring Avaya.
  • BT selling off over £100 million of telecoms infrastructure assets in the Netherlands, as well as its Irish assets.
  • Buyout firm KKR selling off Epicor Software.
  • South Africa:
  • Naspers-owned PayU acquiring India-based online consumer lending platform PaySense.

Final word

Fast Company magazine recently published its 2019 Best Workplaces for Innovators list. Included from a technology perspective are:

  • Activision Blizzard, the video games publisher;
  • Amazon;
  • AMD;
  • Ansys;
  • Attivo Networks, a cyber security firm;
  • Blue Prism, the robotic process automation company;
  • Cloudflare, a company that creates products that improve Web site security and performance;
  • Influxdata, a database firm;
  • Mozilla;
  • Pivotal Software;
  • Rubikloud Technologies, a company that combines retail data with machine learning and artificial intelligence to help businesses market and manage customer experiences;
  • SAS; and
  • Workiva, a provider of cloud-based data management tools.
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