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Capgemini buys Altran Technologies

The French engineering and digital services company cost Capgemini €3.6 billion.
Read time 6min 30sec

The imminent departure of Apple’s chief design officer and Capgemini’s major acquisition were the main stories of the international ICT market last week.

At home it was a quiet week.

Key local news of the past week

  • Satisfactory year-end numbers from PBT Group, with revenue up 5.8% and back in the black.
  • Mediocre year-end figures from Sebata Holdings, with revenue down 5.8% and profit down 16.7%.
  • A full-year loss from Etion, although revenue up 4.1%.
  • A negative trading update from Silverbridge Holdings.
  • SureStart, an online insurance distribution leader, acquired CompareGuru, an independent insurance comparison platform.
  • Crossfin has concluded a BEE deal with Andisa Partners, a black empowerment consortium led by Isaac Mophatlane, co-founder and ex-CEO of BCX.
  • Metrofile has decided to exit three non-core businesses: CSX Customer Services, Metrofile Nigeria and its minority stake of 40% in Lexie Legal Services.
  • The resignation of Sandile Shabalala, CEO of TymeBank, one of SA's new digital banks.

Key African news

  • The Egyptian Financial Regulatory Authority has approved global telecom group VEON's tender offer to purchase the 42.3% stake it did not previously own in that country's Global Telecom Holdings, after settlement of its tax liabilities and putting it on course to delist the company from the Egyptian Stock Exchange.

Key international news

  • Accenture bought Australia-based BCT Solutions, a privately held technology consultancy that specialises in command and control, cyber security, cyber defence services and expertise.
  • Apple purchased self-driving shuttle firm Drive.ai.
  • Capgemini acquired Altran Technologies SA, a French engineering and digital services company, for €3.6 billion.
  • Descartes Systems Group bought STEPcom, a leading business-to-business supply chain integration network based in Switzerland.
  • EQT Partners purchased Acumatica, one of the world’s fastest-growing cloud ERP vendors.
  • Extreme Networks acquired Aerohive Networks, one of its largest rivals, for $272 million.

IBM has won unconditional EU antitrust approval for its $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat.

  • Insight Enterprises bought PCM, a provider of IT products and services, for $581 million.
  • Visa purchased the token services and ticketing businesses, formerly Bell ID and Ecebs, from Rambus, a premier silicon IP and chip provider dedicated to delivering data faster and safer.
  • Apple made a $100 million investment in Japan Display.
  • Grab invested in London-based start-up Splyt Technologies and extended a partnership between the two companies that will expand the reach of Grab’s services beyond Southeast Asia. While Splyt does not operate its own ride-hailing service, its platform gives its partners access to ride-hailing inventory in more than 1 000 cities.
  • Tata Consultancy Services made an additional investment of $32.6 million in a joint venture with Mitsubishi, thus raising its stake to 66%.
  • A strategic partnership was formed between Nuance Communications and Mila, an academic research institution dedicated to advancing machine learning with an intensive focus on deep learning related to language and image processing.

The following patent and lawsuit activity:

  • The EU antitrust regulators want Broadcom to scrap its exclusivity clauses with TV and modem makers to avoid irreparable harm to the market, while they investigate whether this tactic and others are designed to block rivals.
  • A US jury has cleared California semiconductor designer CNEX Labs of stealing trade secrets from Huawei Technologies, while awarding CNEX no damages on its own trade theft claims.
  • Alphabet’s cyber security company, Chronicle, will be absorbed by its Google Cloud division because customers have been seeking an integrated offering.
  • Alphabet’s Google announced a new subsea cable dubbed “Equiano”, which will connect Africa with Europe as it boosts its cloud computing infrastructure.
  • IBM has won unconditional EU antitrust approval for its $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat.
  • Payment Data Systems, a tech-enabled payment solutions provider, has changed its name to Usio.
  • US president Donald Trump agreed to allow sales of US products to Huawei after he and his Chinese counterpart have decided to resume trade talks. The US also consented to halt additional tariffs on Chinese goods for now.
  • Very good quarterly figures from Sonim Technologies.
  • Good quarterly numbers from IHS Markit and Synnex.
  • Good year-end numbers from D4t4 Solutions.
  • Satisfactory quarterly results from Accenture, FactSet Research, Paychex and Shaw Communications (back in the black).
  • Mediocre quarterly results from Micron Technology and Smart Global Holdings.
  • Mixed quarterly figures from Progress Software, with revenue up but net income down.
  • Mixed year-end figures from IMImobile, with revenue up but net income down.
  • Quarterly losses from BlackBerry, CalAmp and Gridsum.
  • Full-year losses from Accsys Technologies, Adept4, CalAmp, IDE Group Holdings, SysGroup Plc and Zoo Digital Group.
  • The appointment of Pierre Chen as chairman of Tong Hsing Electronic Industries.
  • The retirement of Keith Kolerus, vice-chairman of Agilysys.
  • The departures of Maximo Ibarra, CEO of KPN; Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer; and Ken Lerer, chairman of BuzzFeed.
  • A disappointing IPO on Nasdaq by Cambium Networks, a wireless broadband solutions provider.
  • A disappointing IPO on the NYSE by Linx SA, a leading cloud-based technology company in Latin America.
  • A poor IPO on the London Stock Exchange by Airtel Africa.

Research results and predictions

Worldwide:

  • Robotic process automation (RPA) software revenue grew 63.1% in 2018 to $846 million, making it the fastest-growing segment of the global enterprise software market, according to Gartner. It expects RPA software revenue to reach $1.3 billion in 2019.
  • Worldwide shipments of gaming desktops and notebooks reached 7.5 million units during 1Q19, down 6.2% from last year, as the market was plagued with inventory issues, according to IDC. Meanwhile, gaming monitors grew 48.6% during the same period, thanks to growing demand for second or external displays.
  • Worldwide converged systems market revenue increased 19.3% year on year to $3.75 billion during 1Q19, according to IDC.
  • Global spending on smart cities initiatives will reach $189.5 billion in 2023, according to IDC. The top priorities for these initiatives will be resilient energy and infrastructure projects, followed by data-driven public safety and intelligent transportation. Together, these priority areas will account for more than half of all smart cities spending throughout the 2019-2023 forecast.
  • Global shipments for smart home devices reached 168.6 million in 1Q19, up 37.3% from the previous year, according to IDC.
  • The worldwide augmented reality and virtual reality headset market returned to growth after a year of decline, as global shipments during 1Q19 reached 1.3 million, up 27.2% from the same quarter last year, according to IDC.

Stock market changes

  • JSE All share index: Down 1.3%
  • FTSE100: Up 0.2%
  • DAX: Up 0.5%
  • NYSE (Dow): Down 0.4%
  • S&P 500: Down 0.3%
  • Nasdaq: Down 0.3%
  • Nikkei225: Up 0.1%
  • Hang Seng: Up 0.2%
  • Shanghai: Down 0.8%

Look out for

International:

  • The BT Group selling off its Spanish arm.
  • Orange selling off its remaining stake in BT Group.

Africa:

  • Further developments regarding the opening up of the telecoms market in Ethiopia.

South Africa:

  • Further announcements from government regarding spectrum licences.

Final word

Each year, Forbes magazine publishes its Global 2000 list of the world’s largest public companies. The list, using data from FactSet Research Systems, is an aggregate ranking across the metrics of sales, profit, assets and market value.

Included in the top 100 from a technology perspective are:

  • 6: Apple (was 8)
  • 12: AT&T (was 15)
  • 13: Samsung Electronics (was 14)
  • 16: Microsoft (was 20)
  • 17: Alphabet (was 23)
  • 20: Verizon Communications (was 18)
  • 27: China Mobile (was 25)
  • 28: Amazon (was 53)
  • 33: Comcast (was 34)
  • 36: Softbank (was 39)
  • 44: Intel (was 49)
  • 51: NTT (was 46)
  • 59: Alibaba (was 81)
  • 60: IBM (was 67)
  • 63: Facebook (was 77)
  • 73: Sony (was 86)
  • 74: Cisco (was 444)
  • 74: Tencent Holdings (was 105)
  • 92: Oracle (was 107)

Further analysis will follow next week.

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