Admiring Apple

The company tops Fortune magazine’s 2020 Most Admired Companies list.
Read time 4min 20sec

Several small acquisitions or deals in the pipeline were the highlights of a quiet international ICT market last week.

At home, it was also quiet.

Key local news

  • A positive trading update from Blue Label Telecoms.
  • Atio, an ICT service provider, will apply for liquidation and is under business rescue.
  • Five Elms Capital, a US-based software investor, is investing $30 million in Skynamo, a South African field sales app and management platform provider.
  • A renewed JSE cautionary by Metrofile.

Key African news

  • Paga, a Nigerian digital payments start-up, acquired Apposit, a software development company based in Ethiopia.
  • The appointment of Alex Okosi as YouTube’s MD for EMEA.

Key international news

  • CGI acquired Meti Logiciels et Services, a France-based company offering integrated business solutions and consulting services for the retail sector.
  • Cority Software, a Thoma Bravo company, bought Enviance, a leader in environmental, chemical management, sustainability and ergonomics software.
  • FireEye purchased Cloudvisory, which will add cloud workload security capabilities to FireEye Helix, offering customers one integrated security operations platform for cloud and container security.
  • Gryphon Investors acquired Ncontracts, a provider of risk management software and services for the financial services sector.
  • Arista Networks has scooped up software-defined networking specialist Big Switch Networks.
  • Hitachi Vantara has agreed to buy Waterline Data, a start-up developer of intelligent data cataloguing technology.
  • Italy's competition watchdog has launched proceedings against Facebook for non-compliance with a previous request it had made regarding improper commercial practices in the group's treatment of user data.
  • Paycom Software has joined the S&P 500 index.
  • ServiceNow has agreed to acquire Loom Systems, an Israel-based start-up that uses artificial intelligence to predict and prevent IT problems.
  • takes private in a deal that values the company at about $579 million.
  • Sweden's Stillfront has agreed to pay $300 million for Storm8, adding another developer of mobile games to its existing portfolio of a dozen studios.

Look out for government selling its shares in Telkom SA to fund SAA.

  • TalkTalk has agreed to sell its fibre network to Goldman Sachs-backed CityFibre for £200 million.
  • Tencent Holdings has launched a $148 million bid for computer games maker Funcom.
  • Veritas Capital has agreed to buy Campus Management, a cloud-based student information system provider, and Edcentric, a SaaS platform for student and alumni engagement. Earlier this month, the firm acquired Cambium Assessment, which provides technology-driven student testing tools.
  • Vista Equity Partners has agreed to sell Regulatory DataCorp, a provider of governance, risk and compliance software, to Moody's for $700 million.
  • VMware plans to buy Nyansa, an artificial intelligence-based networking start-up backed by Intel Capital.
  • TPG Sixth Street has led a $260 million investment in PartnersAvidXchange, a company that offers an automation platform to process invoices and payments.
  • Summit Partners invested in eClinical Solutions, a provider of cloud-based enterprise software and data services for the life sciences industry.
  • Insight Partners has led a $70 million investment in Sysdig, a provider of security and monitoring services for container-based applications.
  • Viavi Solutions has reached a patent infringement settlement with LG Electronics and LG Innotek relating to the alleged unlawful use of its optical filters.
  • Xilinx has filed claims against Analog Devices, asserting infringement of eight US patents.
  • Very good quarterly figures from ASML and Netflix.
  • Good quarterly numbers from Plexus, Soitec SA and Teledyne Technologies.
  • Satisfactory quarterly results from Citrix Systems, Comcast, Ericsson (back in the black), IBM, Intel, Logitech International and PTC.
  • Mediocre quarterly results from Amphenol, AVX, Chunghwa Telecom, Skyworks Solutions, Texas Instruments and Zensar Technologies.
  • Mixed quarterly figures from Atlassian, Rogers Communications and STMicroelectronics, with revenue up but net income down.
  • Very poor quarterly figures from Avnet.
  • Quarterly losses from Tejas Networks.
  • The appointments of Jeffrey Cote as CEO of Sensata Technologies; Dan Hendrix as CEO of Interface (already chairman); and Omar Ishrak as chairman of Intel.
  • The retirement of Martha Sullivan, CEO of Sensata Technologies.
  • The departures of Andy Bryant, chairman of Intel; and Jay Gould, CEO of Interface.
  • Jamf, a provider of enterprise software that helps manage Apple products, has confidentially filed for an IPO that could value the business at roughly $3 billion.

Research results and predictions


  • Worldwide shipments of devices will total 2.16 billion units in 2020, an increase of 0.9% from 2019, according to Gartner. In 2019, global shipments of devices totalled 2.15 billion units.

Stock market changes

  • JSE All share index: Down 2.3%
  • FTSE100: Down 1.2%
  • DAX: Up 0.4% (highest weekend close)
  • NYSE (Dow): Down 1.2%
  • S&P 500: Down 1%
  • Nasdaq: Down 0.8%
  • Nikkei225: Down 0.9%
  • Hang Seng: Down 3.8%
  • Shanghai: Down 3.2%

Look out for

South Africa:

  • Government selling its shares in Telkom SA to fund SAA.

Final word

Fortune magazine has published its 2020 Most Admired Companies list. Included in the top 100 are:

  • 1: Apple
  • 2: Amazon
  • 3: Microsoft
  • 7: Alphabet
  • 10:
  • 16: Netflix
  • 34: Accenture
  • 35: IBM
  • 36: Visa
  • 42: Mastercard
  • 47: Adobe
  • 54: Activision Blizzard
  • 55: AMD
  • 62: America Movil
  • 64: American Tower
  • 70: Applied Materials
  • 74: Arrow Electronics
  • 75: Asustek Computer
  • 76: AT&T
  • 77: Autodesk
  • 78: ADP
  • 87: Booz Allen Hamilton
  • 94: CACI International
  • 95: Canon
  • 100: Cerner
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