BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY MEDIA COMPANY
Companies
Sectors
Financial

SoftBank pumps billions into world’s major tech firms

Adobe, Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, Nvidia, PayPal and Zoom are among the 25 companies into which SoftBank has invested a total of $3.9 billion.
Read time 8min 10sec

The coronavirus pandemic continues to dominate most things, including the technology industry, and continues to have a significant effect on quarterly results. However, the IPO market is flourishing and acquisitions continue apace.

South African highlights

  • Ayo Technology Solutions has entered into an agreement to acquire Kathea Communication and 60% of Kathea Energy for about R89.8 million.
  • Datatec’s Logicalis Latin America has acquired a 30% stake in Brazil-based Kumulus, a specialist in Microsoft cloud and data managed services.
  • Liquid Telecom SA has announced a strategic re-positioning as Liquid Intelligent Technologies.
  • South African investigators are seeking to recover more than R400 million from SAP for two government contracts they allege were entered into unlawfully.
  • Standard Bank has acquired a 35% equity stake in digital escrow company TradeSafe Escrow.
  • The announcements of new CEOs at MTN Group and Net1 UEPS Technologies.

African highlights

  • Ethiopia’s ECA has suspended plans to privatise that country’s telecommunications industry.
  • Kenya’s government has gazetted a new ICT policy, which mandates that foreign ICT companies facilitate 30% local ownership.
  • Plans are afoot for MTN to exit the Middle East and focus on its burgeoning operations on the continent.
  • Telkom Kenya has called off its merger with Bharti Airtel’s Kenyan unit.

International highlights

  • Accenture has acquired CreativeDrive, a content production specialist; and Organize Cloud Labs, a Brazil-based company operating as ServiceNow's first Elite partner in Latin America.
  • Alibaba, Xiaomi and WuXi Biologics will enter the Hang Seng index next month, broadening Hong Kong's traditionally financial services-dominated index.
  • Alphabet has made a $450 million investment in ADT, a home security firm.
  • American Virtual Cloud Technologies and Ribbon Communications have entered into a definitive agreement for AVC Technologies to acquire Kandy Communications, an industry-leading proprietary, multi-tenant, highly-scalable cloud communications platform.

South African investigators are seeking to recover more than R400 million from SAP for two government contracts they allege were entered into unlawfully.

  • Apple has become the first company to reach a market capitalisation of $2 trillion and has acquired Spaces, an AR technology start-up that was a former project of DreamWorks Animation.
  • A federal judge on Monday blocked Apple from shutting down an Epic Games tool, Unreal Engine, a key graphics technology that is relied on by hundreds of other app makers but had become the subject of an anti-trust battle between the companies; although Apple was spared from having to immediately reinstate Epic Games’ Fortnite on its App Store.
  • Aveva will buy OSIsoft in a $5 billion deal.
  • Bain Capital has invested $750 million in Nutanix, a developer of cloud software for enterprises.
  • ByteDance has acquired Caicloud, a Chinese cloud computing platform.
  • Cisco has agreed to buys BabbleLabs, a provider of noise removal and speech enhancement technology.
  • Cognizant has entered into an agreement to purchase Tin Roof Software, a privately held custom software and digital product development services company.
  • ConvergeOne has acquired Altivon, a contact centre services provider.
  • Datadog has bought Undefined Labs, a testing and observability company for developer workflows.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average will add Salesforce to its index.
  • Epic games, the maker of Fortnite, has sued Apple and Google after removal of that game from their app stores.
  • EQT has agreed to purchase EdgeConneX, a large data centre provider, for between $2.5 billion and $3 billion.
  • Equinix has agreed to an all-cash transaction of $161 million for the Indian operations of GPX Global Systems, one of the main providers of carrier-neutral edge data centre services in Africa and South Asia.
  • Facebook France has accepted paying more than €100 million in taxes, including a penalty relating to its accounting years before 2018; and has received a federal court's preliminary approval for a $650 million settlement related to a lawsuit that alleged the social media giant gathered biometric data of millions of its users without their consent.
  • Genasys has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Amika Mobile, a Canada-based enterprise software provider of critical event situational awareness, communication and control products.
  • Globant has acquired gA, a digital and cloud transformation services company.
  • Google, Qualcomm and Nokia Technologies have invested in HMD Global, the maker of Nokia-branded smartphones.
  • FARO Technologies has acquired Advanced Technical Solutions in Scandinavia, a Swedish-based leader in 3D digital twin solution technology.
  • Insight Partners has invested in Keeper Security, a cyber security specialist; and Mural, a digital workspace for visual collaboration in the enterprise.
  • Motorola Solutions has purchased Pelco, a global provider of video security solutions.
  • Palo Alto Networks has agreed to buy The Crypsis Group, an incident response, risk management and digital forensics consulting firm ($265 million).
  • KKR has reportedly made a binding offer for 38% of TIM’s secondary copper and fibre networks.
  • Liberty Global has agreed to buy Sunrise Communications Group in a deal valued at $7.5 billion.
  • Lumina Networks has announced it has begun the process of shutting down the business.
  • Orange has signed a preliminary agreement with the Romanian government to take over the fixed-line operations of incumbent Telekom Romania.
  • Pegatron has announced plans to merge with its metal chassis-making affiliate Casetek Holdings.
  • Presidio has acquired Coda Global, a cloud consulting specialist.
  • Qlik, a Thoma Bravo company, has acquired the assets and IP of Knarr Analytics, an innovative start-up that provides real-time collaboration, sophisticated data exploration and insight capture capabilities.
  • Silver Sun Technologies has purchased Prairie Technology Solutions Group, a managed services provider.
  • Smartsheet has agreed to buy Brandfolder, the creator of a digital content and brand management platform ($155 million).
  • SiFive, an ARM rival and a start-up working to commercialise an open source semiconductor technology, has raised an additional $60 million in funding from investors, including SK Hynix and Saudi Aramco.
  • SAP has acquired a minority stake in Vistex, an ISV partner that develops go-to-market, pricing, rights and royalty management, and other applications that work with SAP’s core ERP software.
  • Chinese artificial intelligence company Shanghai Zhizhen Intelligent Network Technology (aka Xiao-i) has filed a lawsuit against Apple, alleging it has infringed on its patents.
  • Sharp, a unit of Taiwan's Foxconn, will spin-off its low-margin liquid crystal display and camera module businesses, both of which have Apple as a client.
  • The Softbank Group has invested $3.9 billion in Adobe, Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, Nvidia, PayPal and Zoom Video Communications.
  • The T2 Tech Group, an IT consulting and management services provider with a heavy focus on the healthcare industry, has acquired Plano’s patient access services business.
  • Thoma Bravo has agreed to purchase Foundation Software, a provider of accounting software and payroll services for small and mid-sized construction contractors; and it has agreed to sell Ellie Mae to Intercontinental Exchange in a deal that values Ellie Mae at $11 billion.
  • Take-Two Interactive Software plans to buy mobile developer Playdots for $192 million.
  • Tencent Holdings has made a small investment in Voodoo, a French mobile games company.
  • TTEC Holdings has agreed to acquire VoiceFoundry, a global partner of Amazon Web Services, creating an end-to-end CX delivery solution for Amazon Connect.
  • Thoma Bravo-backed Veriforce has purchased ComplyWorks, a Canadian developer of compliance management software.
  • Uber will buy UK-based Autocab, which sells booking and dispatch software to private hire firms.
  • The UK’s Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed appeals by Huawei and ZTE in patent disputes with Unwired Planet International and Conversant Wireless Licensing.
  • The Warner Music Group has acquired IMGN Media, a creator and curator of social media content focused on gaming, entertainment and related sectors.
  • Zynga has entered into an agreement to buy Turkey-based Rollic, a mobile games developer and publisher.
  • The announcement of new CEOs at Avnet, BlackLine, DAZAN Zhone Solutions, Infinera, Poly, SMART Global Holdings, Sanmina and Workday.
  • An IPO filing in Hong Kong from the Ant Group, Alibaba’s fintech arm.
  • An IPO filing in Japan from Kioxia Holdings, the memory chipmaker spun out of Toshiba in 2018.
  • IPO filings for China’s Nasdaq-like STAR market from the Ant Group and VeriSilicon Microelectronics, a Chinese electronics company.
  • IPO filing for Nasdaq from JFrog and Sumo Logic.
  • IPO filings for the NYSE from Amwell, Asana, Palantir, Snowflake and Unity Software.
  • IPOs on Nasdaq by BigCommerce, Duck Creek Technologies, IBEX and Rackspace.

Stock market changes for August:

  • JSE All share index: Up 0.6%
  • FTSE100: Up 1.1%
  • DAX: Up 5.8%
  • NYSE (Dow): Up 8.4%
  • S&P 500: Up 7.2% (highest close during this period)
  • Nasdaq: Up 8.8% (highest close during this period)
  • Nikkei225: Up 5.4%
  • Hang Seng: Up 3.4%
  • Shanghai: Up 2.8% (highest close since November 2017 achieved during this time)

Research highlight

  • According to Gartner, worldwide government IT spending is forecast to total $438 billion in 2020, a decrease of 0.6% from 2019.

Final word

Fortune recently published its latest Global 500 list. Included in the top 50 are:

  • 9: Amazon (was 13)
  • 12: Apple (was 11)
  • 19: Samsung Electronics (was 15)
  • 22: AT&T (was 25)
  • 26: Hon Hai Precision Industry (Foxconn) (was 23)
  • 29: Alphabet (was 37)
  • 44: Verizon Communications (was 43)
  • 47: Microsoft (was 50)

In addition, Flex, Micron Technology and SK Hynix dropped out from the top 500; however, there were no new technology entrants.

Other key movements included:

  • JD.com at 102 (was 139)
  • Alibaba at 132 (was 182)
  • Facebook at 144 (was 184)
  • Tencent Holdings at 197 (was 237)
  • Canon at 380 (was 345)
  • Xiaomi at 422 (was 468)
See also