Google gets fit

The Internet giant has completed its $2.1 billion acquisition of wearable device maker Fitbit.
Read time 10min 10sec

A host of acquisitions and deals in the pipeline dominated the international technology market last month. At home, Huge’s move on Adapt IT stole the headlines.

Key local news

  • Huge plans to list on London’s AIM market and has made an irrevocable offer for the shares of Adapt IT (R795 million).
  • Singapore-based Karoooo has made a R4 billion offer to acquire Cartrack Holdings, which it intends to de-list from the JSE. Subsequently, Karoooo plans to list on Nasdaq and on the JSE.
  • Naspers led a R253 million investment in Aerobotics, a provider of intelligent tools to feed the world.
  • The appointment of Sylvester Taku as MD of Mara Phones South Africa.

Key African news

  • Liquid Telecom has bought the MEA operations of Quattro Business Solutions, an official indirect cloud solution provider for Microsoft Dynamics.
  • The subsidiaries belonging to Maroc Telecom have been rebranded as Moov Africa. Onatel-SA, Gabon Telecom, Mauritel, Moov Bénin, Moov Centrafrique, Moov Côte d'Ivoire, Moov Niger, Moov Togo, Sotelma-Mali and Tigo-Tchad will now operate under the new commercial brand, Moov Africa, to benefit from the group's synergy.

Key international news

  • Accenture has acquired Real Protect, a privately held Brazil-based provider of managed security and cyber defence services; and Wolox, a leading Argentinean cloud native and agile development company that provides digital solutions to help clients achieve successful business outcomes.
  • Airgain bought privately held NimbeLink, a leader in cellular industrial Internet of things solutions and services.
  • Blue Hat Interactive Entertainment Technology purchased Fuzhou Csfctech, a developer and distributor of mobile games in China.
  • The Carlyle Group acquired Jagex, a UK-based publisher of video games for computers and mobile phones.
  • CGI bought the professional services business of Harris, Mackessy & Brennan (HMB).
  • Cognizant purchased Servian, an Australia-based enterprise transformation consultancy firm specialising in data analytics, AI and cloud; and has agreed to buy Linium, a cloud transformation consultancy group specialising in the ServiceNow platform and solutions for smart digital enterprise workflows; as well as Magenic Technologies, a privately held custom software development services company.
  • Computer Design & Integration bought fellow solution provider High Availability that has significant managed services and professional services practices.

AT&T has been sued for at least $1.35 billion by Network Apps.

  • Converge Technology Solutions purchased Workgroup Connections, a technology solution provider focused on leading-edge cloud, software development and licensing services and solutions; CarpeDatum, a solution provider with a focus on analytics across every industry and around financial planning in particular; Vivo Application Studios, a Canada-based developer of a proven identity management as a service platform; and Vicom Computer Services, which brings to Converge a full-service, multi-cloud infrastructure provider with a big focus on the financial services market.
  • DataCore Software acquired Caringo, a software-defined object storage technology developer.
  • ePlus bought the business of System Management and Planning, an established provider of technology solutions and services.
  • Epic Games, the Fortnite developer, purchased RAD Game Tools, a video game software development company.
  • Eaton bought Tripp Lite, which supplies power quality products and connectivity solutions ($1.65 billion).
  • Francisco Partners purchased Forcepoint, a cyber security company; and has agreed to acquire Native Instruments, a provider of digital music hardware and software, as well as part of a $145 million investment in Iboss, a cyber security company.
  • Frontline Education acquired Forecast5 Analytics, which offers a suite of decision support software that provides financial forecasting, benchmarking, student performance dashboards and geovisual analytics to empower school administrators to make more informed financial, academic and strategic decisions.
  • Garmin bought most of the assets of GEOS Worldwide and its subsidiaries, a privately held, industry leading provider of emergency monitoring and incident response services.
  • Genpact purchased Enquero, a firm that offers data engineering and data-led digital transformation services.
  • HelpSystems acquired FileCatalyst, a leader in enterprise file transfer acceleration.
  • IBM bought 7Summits, a leading Salesforce consultancy with more than a decade of delivering transformative digital experiences across industries; and Taos, a cloud professional and managed services provider.
  • Khoros purchased Topbox, an enterprise customer experience (CX) analytics software maker.
  • Martin Wolf Associates, a leading provider of full services including advisory and negotiation services to businesses looking to execute a merger or acquisition, acquired IT ExchangeNet, a specialist in small business channel M&A.
  • NCR bought Freshop, a grocery e-commerce solution provider; and made a definitive agreement to acquire Cardtronics, the ATM operator ($2.5 billion).
  • Niantic, the Pokemon Go creator, purchased Mayhem, developer of a social gaming platform.
  • Opera acquired YoYo Games, creator of the world's leading 2D game engine, GameMaker Studio 2.
  • Orange bought Anytime, a French digital banking service provider.
  • Quest Software purchased onetime CA Technologies spinoff Erwin, a long-time developer of data modelling and metadata management software that in recent years has expanded into data governance and business process modelling.
  • SilverTree Equity acquired Orbus Software, a developer of enterprise architecture software.
  • Snap bought UK-based artificial intelligence firm Ariel AI, whose augmented reality technology can insert a 3D model of a human into a camera's view in real-time.
  • Tencent Music Entertainment Group purchased Lazy Audio, an audiobook platform ($417 million).
  • Twitter acquired Revue, a platform that allows people to make editorial newsletters; and Breaker, a social broadcasting app.
  • Upland Software bought Second Street Media, an audience engagement cloud software platform.
  • Video-streaming device maker Roku said on Friday it has acquired the global distribution rights to Quibi’s content library.
  • TechTarget bought The Enterprise Strategy Group, a provider of decision-support content based on user research and market analysis for global enterprise technology companies.
  • Veritas purchased HubStor, a provider of backup as a service technology.
  • Xerox acquired CareAR, an augmented reality support platform company that provides real-time access to expertise for customers, employees and field workers.
  • Applied Materials plans to buy KKR & Co-owned Kokusai Electric, a Japanese equipment manufacturer and a former Hitachi unit ($3.5 billion).
  • AT&T has been sued for at least $1.35 billion by Network Apps, a company that has accused the telecommunications giant of stealing its patented ‘twinning’ technology, which lets smart devices such as watches and tablets respond to calls placed to a single phone number.
  • Atos has signed an agreement to acquire In Fidem, a Canada-based specialised cyber security consulting firm; and it has made a $10 billion bid approach for US rival DXC Technology, in what would be the deal-hungry IT consulting group's biggest ever acquisition.
  • ATN International has agreed to acquire Alaska Communications Systems Group ($332 million).
  • Cisco has agreed to a new deal to buy Acacia Communications for about $4.5 billion, about $1.9 billion more than the previous arrangement that was terminated earlier in January.
  • Citrix Systems has agreed to buy Wrike, a provider of collaborative work management software (R2.25 billion).
  • Deutsche Telekom and Spanish cellphone mast operator Cellnex will combine their tower business in the Netherlands and set up a joint fund to invest in digital infrastructure.
  • DZS has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Canada-based Optelian, an optical networking solution provider and its portfolio of optical transport solutions.
  • EQT’s FocusVision and Verdane’s Confirmit are to be merged, with the combined company led by Confirmit CEO Kyle Ferguson. FocusVision offers a comprehensive suite of experience insights software solutions, while Confirmit offers market research, customer experience and employee engagement software solutions.
  • F5 Networks plans to acquire Volterra, a four-year-old start-up with an edge as a service platform ($500 million).
  • Google has completed its $2.1 billion acquisition of wearable device maker Fitbit.
  • IHS Markit has acquired Cappitech, a compliance technology provider.
  • Inflexion, a private equity company, has agreed to buy a minority stake in the cloud computing unit of the Daisy Group.
  • Lumentum has agreed to buy Coherent, a laser maker ($5.7 billion).
  • Martin Schroeter, a senior IBM VP, will lead the IBM 'NewCo' infrastructure business that will be spun off later this year.
  • Ivanti has agreed to buy Cherwell Software, an IT management services provider.
  • Nintendo has reached an agreement to acquire Canada-based Next Level Games, a developer of software for home video game machines.
  • Qualcomm will purchase Nuvia, a chip start-up founded by Apple veterans ($1.4 billion).
  • Red Hat has struck a deal to buy StackRox, a developer of container and Kubernetes-native security.
  • SAP has entered into an agreement to acquire Signavio, a leader in the enterprise business process intelligence and process management space.
  • T-Mobile US has reached a definitive agreement to acquire the Sprint-branded wireless operating assets of Brookings Municipal Utilities (BMU), which operates a network of cell sites and provides wireless and data services.
  • Teledyne Technologies has agreed to buy FLIR Systems, a thermal image provider ($8 billion).
  • Telefonica has agreed to sell its mobile phone masts owned by its Telxius division in Europe and Latin America to American Towers ($9.41 billion).
  • TPG Capital has agreed to buy Thoma Bravo-owned Centrify, a provider of modern privileged access management solutions.
  • Veritas Capital has agreed to purchase Perspecta, a provider of government IT services ($7.1 billion).
  • Huami has made a $147.1 million (29.99%) investment in Jiangsu Yitong High-Tech, a developer, manufacturer and seller of television broadcast equipment and the provider of system software services and intelligent control systems technology engineering services for cable TV networks.
  • Booz Allen Hamilton has invested in Tracepoint, a rapidly growing digital forensics and incident response company.
  • GIC, Siemens, Fidelity Management and Research and Mubadala have made a $720 million investment in ThoughtWorks, a provider of software consultancy services.
  • Kaspersky Lab recently acquired a stake in Nexway, a leading e-commerce and payment platform.
  • Quick Heal, an IT security solutions firm, made a $2 million investment in L7 Defense, an Israel-based cyber security start-up.
  • SoftBank made a $350 million investment and Hughes made a $50 million investment in OneWeb, the satellite maker.
  • New CEO appointments at Axtel, Centrify, Forcepoint, Infinidat, Intel, Limelight Networks, Qualcomm, Sky Group, UTStarcom and VMware (interim).
  • An IPO filing for Mumbai from Nazara Technologies, an Indian gaming technology company.
  • An IPO filing for Warsaw from Huuuge, a mobile games developer.
  • An IPO filing for China’s Nasdaq-like STAR market from Megvii, one of China’s largest facial recognition start-ups.
  • An IPO filing for Hong Kong from Chinese online short video company Kuaishou.
  • An IPO filing for the NYSE from ON24, a company that enables interactive webinar experiences and virtual event experiences; and Telus International.
  • An IPO filing for the USA by Squarespace, which provides a Web site building and brand marketing platform.
  • IPOs on Nasdaq by Affirm and Playtika.
  • IPOs on the NYSE by Qualtrics and Thoma Bravo Advantage.

Research results and predictions

  • Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.9 trillion in 2021, an increase of 6.2% from 2020, according to Gartner.
  • IT spending across the META region will make a welcome return to growth this year, increasing 2.8% to $77.5 billion, according to IDC.

Stock market changes

  • JSE All share index: Up 5.2% (all-time high reached during this period)
  • FTSE100: Down 0.8%
  • DAX: Down 2.1% (all-time high reached during this period)
  • NYSE (Dow): Down 2% (all-time high reached during this period)
  • S&P 500: Down 1.1% (all-time high reached during this period)
  • Nasdaq: Up 1.4% (all-time high reached during this period)
  • Nikkei225: Up 0.8%
  • Hang Seng: Up 3.9%
  • Shanghai: Up 0.3%

Final word

Look out for Vodafone selling its majority stake in Vodafone Ghana to Vodacom Group, in which it also owns a majority stake, in a further effort to consolidate its African interests.

See also