HP formally rejects Xerox's latest offer

Xerox takes its $35 billion bid for HP to the company’s shareholders, with a formal tender offer and a rebuttal to HP’s account of why they couldn’t negotiate a deal.
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BMC’s acquisition of Compuware and HP’s formal rejection of Xerox’s latest offer dominated the international ICT market last week.

At home, another deal by Naspers’s Prosus was the main local story.

Key local news of the past week

  • Mediocre interim numbers from Alviva Holdings, with revenue down 4.4% and profit down 43.9%.
  • A negative trading update from Cognition Holdings.
  • Snappify, an edtech firm, acquired Onnie Media/Teacha, an educator media hub for South African teachers.
  • South Africa-based Web hosting company Host Africa has acquired two more pure Web hosting companies, Gweb Hosting and Hob Host.
  • Naspers (Prosus)-controlled OLX Brazil, an online marketplace, has agreed to buy fellow competitor Grupo ZAP for $642 million.
  • New JSE cautionaries by Cartrack Holdings and Datatec.
  • A renewed JSE cautionary by Metrofile.
  • The appointment of Mark Harris as MD of Altron Nexus.

Key African news

  • Good year-end figures from MTN Nigeria, with revenue up 12.6% and EBITDA up 45.2%.
  • Africell is the only bidder for the fourth Angolan licence.
  • The Ethiopian government has announced it will postpone the awarding of two telecoms licences to operators that are interested in entering the country’s market.
  • Actis, a leading investor of private capital into global emerging markets, has acquired a majority stake in Rack Centre, Nigeria’s leading provider of data centre co-location and cloud services.

Key international news

  • Accenture acquired Context Information Security, a UK-based leading cyber defence consultancy previously owned by parent company Babcock International Group.
  • The Access Group, a UK-based provider of business software, bought CoreHR, which offers HR and payroll software for medium-sized businesses.
  • CML Microsystems purchased Plextek RFI, a boutique microwave chip design business.
  • CTG acquired France-based StarDust, a leader in testing and quality assurance for digital services.
  • Eden, provider of an office management platform, bought WeWork’s Managed by Q.
  • HelpSystems purchased Cobalt Strike, a penetration testing solution that enables companies to emulate the tactics and techniques of a cyber thief in an IT network to highlight weaknesses.
  • Insight Enterprises acquired vNext, a market leader in digital consulting services and managed services.

Look out for a new CEO at Twitter.

  • Xerox bought Digitex Canada, one of Western Canada’s largest independent solutions providers.
  • ANSYS has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Lumerical, a developer of photonic design and simulation tools.
  • Apple will pay nearly $25 to affected iPhone users, mainly owners of iPhone 6, 7 and SE devices, as part of the $500 million class-action settlement in a case that involved slowing down older iPhones with a battery software update in 2017.
  • Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech has agreed to sell Grindr, a popular gay dating app it acquired in 2016, for about $608.5 million.
  • BMC Software has reached a deal to acquire Compuware, less than two years after reports surfaced about the possibility of a similar deal. BMC is owned by global investment firm KKR & Co, while Compuware is owned by private equity firm Thoma Bravo.
  • Cincinnati Bell has received a binding proposal from Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, which Cincinnati Bell's board of directors, in consultation with its legal and financial advisors, has determined constitutes a “superior company proposal” as defined in Cincinnati Bell's previously announced merger agreement with Brookfield Infrastructure.
  • US regional TV station operator Gray Television has made an offer to acquire larger peer Tegna for about $8.5 billion.
  • Luxoft, a DXC Technology Company, has reached an agreement to acquire CMORE Automotive, an independent services provider dedicated to the development and validation of AI-driven mobility systems.
  • Masmovil will purchase the world’s largest MVNO, Lycamobile Spain, for €372 million.
  • Mellanox Technologies has reached a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Titan IC, a developer of network intelligence and security technology.
  • STMicroelectronics has signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake in French Gallium Nitride (GaN) innovator Exagan.
  • Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners has agreed to acquire a controlling stake in Xplornet Communications, a Canadian provider of broadband services for rural customers.
  • Validity, a trusted name in customer data quality, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire e-mail analytics and deliverability provider 250ok.
  • Xerox has taken its $35 billion bid for HP to the US personal computer maker’s shareholders, with a formal tender offer and a rebuttal to HP’s account of why they could not negotiate a deal. In addition, HP has now formally rejected this increased deal.
  • Excellent quarterly results from Smith Micro and Zoom Video Communications.
  • Excellent year-end figures from Freshworks Technologies India.
  • Very good quarterly figures from Cardlytics (back in the black), Enghouse Systems, (back in the black) and StoneCo.
  • Very good half-year figures from CLPS (back in the black).
  • Very good year-end numbers from Shennan Circuits.
  • Good quarterly numbers from Descartes, Methode Electronics, Ping Identity Holding and TTEC.
  • Good year-end numbers from Beeks Financial Cloud and MTI Wireless Edge.
  • Satisfactory quarterly results from Chicony Power, Ciena, Ebix, PC-Tel (back in the black) and Photronics.
  • Satisfactory year-end figures from Spirent Communications and TT Electronics.
  • Mediocre quarterly results from Comtech Telecommunications and HPE.
  • Mediocre year-end numbers from Croma Security Solutions.
  • Mixed quarterly figures from Veeva Systems, with revenue up but net income down; and from Entravision Communications, IDT (back in the black), Marvell Technology Group (back in the black), Maxar Technologies (back in the black) and Tech Data, with revenue down but net income up.
  • Quarterly losses from Ambarella, Aurora Mobile, Boingo Wireless, BSNL, DAZAN Zhone Solutions, GTT Communications, Guidewire Software, Impinj, International Game Technology, LSC Communications, Okta, SEA, Splunk, Synacor, Veritone and Yext.
  • A half-year loss from PCI-PAL.
  • Full-year losses from Attraqt, Capita, Improbable Worlds and Starcom.
  • The appointments of Robert Finnegan as CEO of Three UK; David Goeckeler as CEO of Western Digital; Scott Grimes as executive chairman of Cardlytics (was CEO); Lynne Laube as CEO of Cardlytics; Pekka Lundmark as CEO of Nokia (as from September); Amrish Rau as CEO of Pine Labs; Kevin Rendino as interim chairman of Synacor; Kurt Sievers as CEO of NXP Semiconductors; and Heath Thompson as CEO of AudioEye.
  • The resignations of Vicky Bindra, CEO of Pine Labs; Dave Dyson, CEO of Three UK; and Jordan Levy, chairman of Synacor.
  • The retirement of Steve Milligan, CEO of Western Digital.
  • The departures of Rick Clemmer, CEO of NXP Semiconductors; and Rajeev Suri, CEO of Nokia (as from September).
  • The death of Jack Welch, a former CEO of GE.

Research results and predictions


  • The overall African mobile phone market grew 3.8% year-over-year in Q4 2019, with smartphone shipments to Africa rising 5.4% to total 24.4 million units, according to IDC.
  • The Middle East and Africa personal computing devices market, which is made up of desktops, notebooks, workstations and tablets, suffered a slight year-on-year decline in shipments during the final quarter of 2019, with a total of 5.5 million units shipped across the region in Q419, down 0.9% on Q418, according to IDC.


  • Global sales of smartphones to end-users contracted in Q419 declined by 0.4% year-over-year, according to Gartner. For the full year 2019, smartphone sales declined by 1%.
  • The total security appliance market experienced positive unit shipment and revenue growth in 4Q19, according to IDC. Worldwide revenue increased 9.4% year-over-year in 4Q19 to $4.8 billion. Unit shipments experienced similar growth, increasing 21.1% year-over-year to nearly 1.3 million units.

Stock market changes

  • JSE All share index: Up 2%
  • FTSE100: Down 1.8%
  • DAX: Down 2.9%
  • NYSE (Dow): Up 1.8%
  • S&P 500: Up 0.6
  • Nasdaq: Up 0.1%
  • Nikkei225: Down 1.9%
  • Hang Seng: Up 0.1%
  • Shanghai: Up 5.4%

Look out for


  • A new CEO at Twitter.

South Africa:

  • Datatec listing Logicalis’s Latin American business in Brazil.

Final word

To compete and succeed in a world where digital is everywhere, companies need a new focus of balancing “value” with “values”, aligning their drive to create business value with their customers’ and employees’ values and expectations, according to Accenture Technology Vision 2020. Even though people are embedding technology into their lives more than ever before, organisations’ attempts to meet their needs and expectations can fall short. As companies enter the decade of delivering on their digital promises, and in a world where digital technology is everywhere, a new mindset and approach is required.

According to the report, continuing with existing models doesn’t just risk irritating customers or disengaging employees, but could permanently limit the potential for future innovation and growth. But tech-clash is a challenge that can be solved. The Technology Vision identifies five key trends companies must address over the next three years to defuse tech-clash and realise new forms of business value that will be driven in part by stronger, more trusting relationships with stakeholders:

  • The I in experience. Organisations will need to design personalised experiences that amplify an individual’s agency and choice. This turns passive audiences into active participants by transforming one-way experiences – which can leave people feeling out of control and out of the loop – into true collaborations.
  • AI and me. AI should be an additive contributor to how people perform their work, rather than a backstop for automation. As AI capabilities grow, enterprises must rethink the work they do to make AI a generative part of the process with trust and transparency at its core.
  • The dilemma of smart things. Assumptions about who owns a product are being challenged in a world entering a state of “forever beta”. As enterprises seek to introduce a new generation of products driven by digital experiences, addressing this new reality will be critical to success.
  • Robots in the wild. Robotics is no longer contained to the warehouse or factory floor. With 5G poised to rapidly accelerate this fast-growing trend, every enterprise must rethink its future through the lens of robotics.
  • Innovation DNA. Enterprises have access to an unprecedented amount of disruptive technology, such as distributed ledgers, AI, extended reality and quantum computing. To manage it all and evolve at the speed demanded by the market today, organisations will need to establish their own unique innovation DNA.
See also