Business

CBS, Viacom reach $11.7bn deal

The companies agree to reunite Sumner Redstone's US entertainment empire under the name ViacomCBS.
Read time 5min 30sec

The CBS/Viacom merger dominated the international ICT market last week. At home, EOH was in the news again.

Key local news

  • Naspers led a $125 million investment in Indian “social commerce” marketplace Meesho, in a bid to “kick-start e-commerce for the next 500 million online shoppers”.
  • Qlik, a US-based software company, cancelled its contract with EOH.
  • The appointment of Premie Naicker as FuseForward’s MD of its South African operations.

Key African news

  • PayPal has entered the African market with Xoom.
  • The Wall Street Journal reported that Huawei employees have, in at least two cases, personally helped African governments to spy on their political opponents, including intercepting their encrypted communications and social media and using cell data to track their whereabouts. Huawei has since issued a legal letter to the publication, saying it rejects these unfounded and inaccurate allegations, claiming the Journal published these false statements in reckless disregard of their veracity.
  • The appointments of Nickolai Beckers as CEO of Ooredor’s Algerian operations; and Jason Timm as MD of the Africa region for CloudSmiths.

Key international news

Qlik, a US-based software company, has cancelled its contract with EOH.

  • Accenture acquired Analytics8, a privately held Australian big data and analytics consultancy that specialises in data management, reporting and visualisation, data science and analytics services; and INSITUM, a service design and strategic research firm.
  • Alibaba Group acquired Chinese e-commerce firm Kaola for $2 billion.
  • Automattic, the owner of WordPress.com, bought Tumblr, Verizon’s blogging Web site, for $3 million.
  • BC Partners, a leading international investment firm, purchased Presidio, a leading North American IT solutions provider delivering digital infrastructure, cloud and security solutions to create agile, secure infrastructure platforms for commercial and public sector customers. The deal was worth $2.1 billion.
  • CallCabinet, the leading global provider of affordable cloud-native call recording solutions, acquired the assets and customers of SIP Print, a pioneer in the SIP and VOIP call recording industry.
  • Ola bought Pikup.ai, an Indian artificial intelligence start-up.
  • The Project Management Institute, the world’s leading not-for-profit membership association for the project management profession, purchased Disciplined Agile, whose toolkit is the world’s only comprehensive agile body of knowledge that provides straightforward and practical guidance to help individuals, teams and enterprises choose their “way of working” in a context-specific way.
  • Qisda made a $57.8 million (35%) investment in value-added ICT distributor Sysage Technology, and another $5.5 million for about 20% of IP camera ODM Topview Optronics.
  • Facebook's lead regulator in the European Union is seeking information about how it handled data during the manual transcription of users' audio recording.
  • Singapore’s Temasek has sold some of its stake in Thai telecom firm Intouch for $506 million.
  • CBS and Viacom have reached a deal to reunite media mogul Sumner Redstone's US entertainment empire in an $11.7 billion transaction, betting that a larger company will be able to compete and partner better in a media industry dominated by giants. The new company will be named ViacomCBS, although CBS shareholders will own 61% and Viacom shareholders 39%.
  • Excellent quarterly results from DouYu International Holdings (back in the black), Huya (back in the black), StoneCo and YY (back in the black).
  • Very good quarterly figures from Alibaba.
  • Good quarterly numbers from DASAN Zhone Solutions, JD.com (back in the black), Sercomm, Tencent Holdings and Zhen Ding Technology.
  • Good half-year figures from BenQ Materials and Network International Holdings.
  • Satisfactory quarterly results from Apex International, Globant SA, II-VI, Information Edge (India), Lenovo, Perspecta, Qisda, Tencent Music, Viavi Solutions (back in the black) and Wireless Telecom Group (back in the black).
  • Satisfactory half-year numbers from 1&1 Drillisch and Avast.
  • Mediocre quarterly results from Applied Materials, Ceragon Networks, CMC Magnetics, Innodisk, NetApp and Nvidia.
  • Mediocre half-year figures from Stilo International.
  • Mediocre year-end numbers from Telstra.
  • Mixed quarterly figures from CACI International, Cisco, Elbit Systems, Foxconn, Magic Software and Phison Electronics, with revenue up but net income down; and from Asustek and UTStarcom (back in the black), with revenue down but net income up.
  • Quarterly losses from ARM Holdings, AudioEye, Avaya, Boxlight, CDK Global, Cellcom Israel, Document Security Systems, eMagin, Epistar, GDS Holdings, Giga Solar Materials, HTC, ParkerVision, Radcom, Ritek, Sino-American Silicon Products, Superconductor Technologies, TSEC, Vislink Technologies, voxeljet AG and WidePoint.
  • The appointments of Peter Chen as vice-chairman of Alpha Networks; and Mark McLaughlin as chairman of Qualcomm.
  • The departure of Nate Mitchell, the last Oculus co-founder remaining at Facebook.
  • An IPO filing for Shanghai’s STAR Market from Chinese mobile phone and device maker Transsion.
  • An IPO filing in New York from WeWork, The We Company, which outfits and leases shared office space utilising a space as a service model.
  • An IPO filing for the NYSE from Cloudflare, one of the companies that ensures Web sites run smoothly.

Research results and predictions

EMEA/Africa:

  • Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the fastest-growing investment zones for financial technology companies, and the region will remain the fastest growing worldwide, according to a GMSA report.

Worldwide:

  • More than eight in 10 companies discover third-party risks after a due diligence period, according to Gartner.
  • Worldwide ICT spending on hardware, software, services and telecommunications will achieve a CAGR of 3.8% over the 2019-2023 forecast period, reaching $4.8 trillion in 2023, according to IDC.

Stock market changes

  • JSE All share index: Down 3%
  • FTSE100: Down 1.9%
  • DAX: Down 1.1%
  • NYSE (Dow): Down 1.5%
  • S&P 500: Down 1%
  • Nasdaq: Down 0.8%
  • Nikkei225: Down 1.3%
  • Hang Seng: Down 0.8%
  • Shanghai: Up 1.8%

Look out for

International:

  • The EU hitting Facebook with decisions under the bloc’s new privacy law.
  • VMware acquiring Pivotal Software.

South Africa:

  • Naspers buying a stake worth about $100 million in India-based online fantasy gaming start-up Dream11.

Final word

Fortune magazine has released its 2019 ‘The Global 500’ list. The following is some analysis from a technology perspective:

Newcomers:

  • 409: Micron Tech
  • 468: Xiaomi

Displacements:

  • Altice Europe (was 445)
  • DXC Technology (was 484)
  • Ericsson (was 500)
  • LG Display (was 483)

Highest upward movers:

  • Alibaba at 182 (was 300)
  • Facebook at 184 (was 274)
  • JD.com at 139 (was 181)
  • Lenovo Group at 212 (was 240)
  • Pegatron at 259 (was 285)
  • SK Hynix at 335 (was 442)
  • Tencent Holdings at 237 (was 331)

Highest downward movers:

  • BT Group at 405 (was 377)
  • Canon at 345 (was 317)
  • Fujitsu at 349 (was 313)
  • Hitachi at 102 (was 79)
  • Toshiba at 371 (was 326)
  • Vodafone Group at 217 (was 158)
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