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Cisco Gets China Nod For $4.5B Acacia Takeover

Just a while after sweetening its Acacia takeover deal from $2.6 billion to $4.5 billion, Cisco has gotten the required approval from China's antitrust regulator to go ahead with its proposed takeover, clearing the hurdle for the deal to go through.  The approval came from China's State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), the country's antitrust regulator. Before now, Cisco made an earlier $2.6 billion bid for Acacia but later got rebuffed by the company on the grounds that it didn't gain the required approval from China's antitrust regulator in the stipulated time. Now, with a takeover deal that was hiked from $2.6 billion to $4.5 billion, the hurdle appears to have been cleared for Cisco to buy Acacia, which is a major producer of optical communications equipment. It marks a big deal for Cisco to open 2021 with. As it looks, Cisco first struck a deal to buy publicly-traded Acacia Communications in July 2019 but will complete its acquisition in 2021. The

IBM Buys Cloud IT Firm Taos

It seems that IBM is on a buying spree for IT firms focused on cloud services for enterprises, having just acquired its second cloud IT firm in the span of a few weeks. The company has announced that it's reached a definitive agreement to buy Taos, a San Jose-based multi-cloud consulting and managed services firm. IBM has chosen the cloud sector as the one it looks to for growth so it's no surprise that the company is making acquisitions there. Taos is similar to another firm that it recently acquired, Nordcloud , the difference being Nordcloud is focused on the European market. Taos, which IBM just reached a deal to buy, has existed as an IT firm for over 30 years. Pivoting towards cloud services as the technology caught up, Taos forged partnerships with leading cloud providers like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure to aid its business of cloud consulting services for enterprises. According to the research firm Gartner , the market for cloud professional

Desktop Metal Buys 3D Printing Rival EnvisionTEC For $300M

Desktop Metal, the publicly-traded 3D printing company catering to enterprises and industrial firms, has reached a deal to buy its German counterpart EnvisionTEC for $300 million, a press statement notes. With EnvisionTEC, Desktop Metal is getting industrial-scale 3D printing systems and products that fit well into its work. EnvisionTEC was one of the pioneers of digital light processing (DLP) 3D printing technology and has cultivated a strong intellectual property portfolio of over 140 issued and pending patents along its way. EnvisionTEC has over 5,000 customers across a broad range of industries including jewelry, automotive, aerospace, and medical devices. The company has made a name for itself in the dental market with over 1,000 customers from that sector using its 3D printers to make parts, it says. Just like Desktop Metal, EnvisionTEC sells 3D printers targeted at enterprises and industrial customers. It was founded much earlier than Desktop Metal however in 2002 compared to 2

Cisco Boosts Acacia Bid To $4.5B

After seeing opposition to its proposed $2.6 billion takeover of the optical communications equipment maker Acacia Communications on Acacia's end, Cisco has lifted its bid for the company to $4.5 billion, a 64% rise from the previous price.  With its sweetened offer, Cisco says it's struck a deal to buy Acacia after earlier opposition from the company. Cisco first struck a deal to buy Acacia for $2.6 billion in July 2019 and hoped to close its acquisition in the second half of its fiscal year 2020. Regulatory requirements then prolonged the deal up into this year January when Acacia moved to terminate the acquisition agreement. Acacia moved to terminate the agreement on the grounds that Cisco didn't get approval for the deal from Chinese regulators in the timeframe that it was stipulated to do so. Cisco then balked at the company's move and said it'll pursue a legal case against the termination. Now, it looks like more money settled the deal rather than a legal cas

Recruiting Startup Greenhouse Bought Out By TPG

Greenhouse, a startup that makes recruiting software used by many tech companies, has been bought out by the private equity giant TPG and its subsidiary The Rise Fund for a reported sum of $500 million in a deal that values the startup at $820 million post-money. TPG announced that it's reached a deal purchase a majority stake in Greenhouse but didn't disclose the amount it'll pay. The $500 million figure comes from a report from Forbes  which got details of the deal. Per the report, TPG will spend close to $450 million to buy shares from existing investors and employees and invest another $50 million into the company. Greenhouse is backed by $110 million in venture funding so an $820 million exit deal seems like a win for the company. Its investors include the likes of Benchmark Capital, Thrive Capital, Social Capital, and Groupe Arnault. As it seems, some of Greenhouse's existing investors will retain minority stakes in the company following TPG's deal.  Before

FuboTV Buys Sports Betting Company Vigtory

The publicly-traded sports streaming service FuboTV has reached an agreement to buy the sports betting company Vigtory to make it the foundation to launch a FuboTV sportsbook this year, a press statement notes. The financial terms of the acquisition weren't disclosed. FuboTV is strategically looking to use Vigtory's sportsbook platform to develop a betting experience for its sports streaming customers. Vigtory is notably getting acquired after just roughly two years of existence, founded in 2019 by entrepreneur Sam Rattner and co-led by Scott Butera, a former MGM executive. After going public in October 2020, FuboTV has set its eyes on strategic expansion and seen sports betting as a way to do that. The company has an existing customer base of over 450,000 subscribers that it hopes to attract into sports betting.  FuboTV says it'll launch a sportsbook app for customers to place wagers on varieties of sports and cash in their winnings this year. It'll integrate the app

Qualcomm Buys Chip Startup Nuvia For $1.4B

The chipmaking giant Qualcomm has reached a deal to acquire Nuvia, a two-year-old chip startup founded and run by former Apple executives. Qualcomm will pay $1.4 billion for the company, marking a very big exit for a startup that has existed for only two years. Nuvia is led by CEO Gerard Williams, a former Apple chip design executive that was actually sued by the iPhone maker over alleged breach of duty  after he left Apple to start Nuvia. Now with a $1.4 billion exit, he seems to have come out on top of the situation, at least monetary wise. Nuvia designs chips for data centers, using Arm technology for its processors but designing its own cores. That Qualcomm is acquiring the company looks very strategic as the company seeks a competitive edge in the data center chip market, after having dominated that of mobile chips. A Nuvia acquisition seems to further the rivalry between Qualcomm and Apple, given that an Apple lawsuit against Nuvia's co-founder and CEO Gerard Williams is stil

Weber Buys Smart Oven Startup June

Weber-Stephen Products, the popular maker of outdoor grills, has acquired the smart oven startup June for an undisclosed sum, it announced in a press release. June is the second smart cooking startup to be acquired by Weber, after iGrill which it acquired in 2016. Before this acquisition, Weber and June were already partners on the  Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub  that turns any grill into a 'smart' grill by connecting to a phone and guiding the users through the grilling process. With June now being bought out in entirety, it'll be housed under Weber which will presumably continue selling its products. The acquisition comes as June has begun shipping out its third-generation smart oven. June was founded in 2013 by Matt Van Horn, a serial entrepreneur who previously co-founded the ride-hailing company Zimride that morphed into Lyft. The company is backed by some $30 million in venture funding from investors including the Amazon Alexa Fund, Lerer Hippeau, M13, and Lumia C

NCR, Apollo In Bid War To Buy ATM Operator Cardtronics

NCR Corporation, the American ATM manufacturer, has confirmed a $39-per-share bid to buy the American non-bank ATM operator Cardtronics (NASDAQ:CATM), rivaling a previous offer of $35-per-share made by the private equity firm Apollo in conjunction with the investment firm Hudson Executive. Cardtronics had already entered into a definitive acquisition agreement with Apollo so a rival, bigger bid now from NCR could spark a rife between the three parties.  The $39-per-share bid from NCR sums up to $1.7 billion net of debt, topping Apollo's $35-per-share offer that summed up to $1.5 billion net of debt.  Cardtronics is a company with a network of 285,000 ATMs across 10 countries in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Africa.  The company maintains its headquarters in the state of Texas. Cardtronics operates the Allpoint Network, which is the world's largest retail-based surcharge-free ATM network with over 55,000 locations.  As it's not a licensed bank, Cardtronics is kno

Bill Gates-Backed British Biotech Kymab Sells For $1.5B

The French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi has reached a definitive agreement to buy Kymab, a British immunotherapy firm, in a $1.45 billion deal split into an upfront payment of $1.1 billion and then $350 million in top-up payments contingent on meeting certain milestones. Kymab is a firm backed by investors including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust, ORI Capital, and Hepalink.  The company has raised roughly $230 million in venture funding. Sanofi's acquisition marks a sweet deal for Kymab, which was looking at a public listing in the US before now getting bought out. With Kymab under its belt, Sanofi will get full global rights to KY1005, a monoclonal antibody developed by Kymab with the potential to treat varieties of immune-mediated diseases and inflammatory disorders. Along with KY1005, Kymab also has another monoclonal antibody treatment in its pipeline; KY1044, which is currently in early Phase 1/2 development. To that, the acquisition benefits Sanofi w

Bill Gates, Blackstone Bid $4.3B For British Aviation Firm

The famed Microsoft founder Bill Gates has teamed up with the American private equity giant Blackstone in a bid to acquire Signature Aviation (LON:SIG), a British aviation services firm focused on business and private travel. Together, Blackstone and Gates' holding firm, Cascade Investment,  are bidding to take Signature private in a $4.3 billion deal. Already, Cascade is the biggest shareholder in publicly-traded Signature Aviation with a 20% stake. It's now looking to team up with Blackstone to buy out the company. As the deal is structured, Gates's Cascade would pony up additional cash to increase its stake in Signature to 30% while Blackstone buys the remaining 70%. Gates' Cascade Investments first invested in Signature (formerly BBA Aviation) back in 2009 and gradually built up its stake to 20% over time. Now its biggest shareholder, a partnership with Blackstone to buy out Signature seems to be the frontrunner deal even as other potential bidders may emerge (the p

Equifax Buys Fraud Detection Company Kount For $640M

The consumer credit reporting giant Equifax has reached a deal to acquire Kount, an Idaho-based company that provides fraud detection solutions for e-commerce businesses. Equifax will pay $640 million to buy Kount, marking a big exit for the technology scene in the state of Idaho. Equifax already has a major hand in digital identity and fraud prevention solutions so its acquisition of Kount looks very strategic. The Atlanta-based credit reporting giant will expand its footprint in the market with the acquisition of Kount that's expected to be completed in the first quarter of this year. Upon completion of the acquisition, Kount's full suite of fraud detection products will be integrated to the Equifax Luminate fraud detection platform. As to operations, all of Kount's employees will join Equifax's United States Information Solutions (USIS) business unit and continue to be based in Idaho. Kount represents a landmark exit for the technology industry in Idaho, a state tha

Cisco's $2.6B Acacia Buyout Hits A Roadblock

The proposed $2.6 billion takeover of the optical communications equipment maker Acacia Communications by the networking giant Cisco has run into a major roadblock that seems to have resulted in a fight between Acacia and Cisco.  Acacia has put out a press statement  stating that it's elected to terminate its merger agreement with Cisco because it hadn't gotten approval from Chinese regulators in the timeframe which was stipulated that it did so in order for the merger to go through. Now, with the timeframe expired, the company has sought to halt the planned merger. On the other hand, Cisco is disputing Acacia's termination and has put out its own press statement  asserting that it's met the requirements for its proposed Acacia takeover and will pursue a legal case to suspend Acacia's termination and challenge the decision.  Cisco claims that the agency blamed by Acacia for its proposed merger's termination,  China's State Administration for Market Regulatio

F5 Buys Cloud Startup Volterra For $500M

The Seattle-based application services company F5 Networks has announced that it's reached a deal to acquire the multi-cloud management startup Volterra for $500 million, split into an upfront payment of $440 million and a top-up of $60 million in conditional earnouts for Volterra's founders and employees. The half-a-billion-dollar acquisition opens the year for F5 Networks and marks a sweet deal for Volterra, a startup that emerged from stealth just about a year ago with a service that helps developers to scale their apps across multiple cloud services. Volterra launched out of stealth in November 2019 with a $50 million round from investors including Khosla Ventures, Samsung NEXT, Mayfield Fund, and Microsoft's M12. Now, just a year and two months later, the Santa Clara-based startup has scored a $500 million exit that'll undoubtedly reap good monetary rewards for its investors and founders. Upon completion of its acquisition, Volterra's multi-cloud service will

UK Probes Nvidia's Arm Takeover

The UK government has announced that it's launching a formal probe into the proposed $40 billion takeover of the British chip designer Arm Holdings by the American chipmaker Nvidia. The country's Competition and Market Authority (CMA) will begin a formal probe into the acquisition 'later this year', it says. Nvidia sealed a deal to acquire Arm from its owner, the Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank, in September last year. It agreed to pay $40 billion, split into $12 billion in cash, $21.5 billion in stock, a $5 billion conditional earnout and an extra $1.5 billion in equity for Arm's employees. SoftBank paid $32 billion to buy Arm in 2016 and is apparently looking towards a significant return from its investment with the sale to Nvidia. The $40 billion price marks one of the biggest deals ever seen in the semiconductor industry. Now being probed by the UK, Nvidia could face major hiccups in its plan to takeover Arm given that it's a company based in the UK, wh

Quibi Selling Catalog To Roku: Report

Quibi, the failed video streaming startup founded by Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, is in talks to sell its content catalog to the streaming media company Roku, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal .  Roku seems like a good contender for Quibi's content given its efforts to secure content for its ad-supported app, Roku Channel. The company sells the most popular streaming-media player in the US and has a big roster of content available on its platform. With Quibi, Roku will get access to exclusive content that gobbled up big budgets but failed to get Quibi needed traction. Quibi, which raised $1.8 billion from investors before fizzling out, produced exclusive content featuring big Hollywood names including Yara Shahidi, Nick Jonas, Kevin Hart, Karlie Kloss, and Steven Spielberg to name a few. Quibi raised a mammoth amount of money from investors but didn't last up to a year after its launch. It raised a whopping $1.8 billion even before its launch, thanks to

Tokopedia, Gojek Near Merger?

After earlier reports of the Indonesian ride-hailing and e-commerce giant Gojek looking to merge with one of its main rivals named Grab, Gojek is now said to be eyeing a merger with another Indonesian tech company, this time the e-commerce giant Tokopedia. Gojek and Tokopedia have drawn up terms for a merger and signed a detailed term sheet to conduct due diligence of each other's businesses and operations, a report by Bloomberg states. If finalized, the merger would combine the two most valuable private tech companies in Indonesia in a deal worth over $18 billion, Bloomberg reports. Gojek and Tokopedia represent the first and second most valuable technology startups in Indonesia. Both companies share common investors including Google, Sequoia Capital India, and Temasek.  It's said that SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son is the driving force behind the merger talks between Gojek and Tokopedia and previously tried to work a merger between Gojek and its rival Grab but faced opposition

MGM Bids $11B For UK Gambling Group Entain

The American casino giant MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) has initiated an 8.1 billion-pound ($11.1 billion) takeover offer for the UK gambling group Entain (LON: ENT) , which operates popular sports betting sites such as  Ladbrokes, Bwin, and Coral. MGM's offer is primarily with stock, seeking to exchange 0.6 MGM shares for each share of Entain, with the offer representing a 22% premium to Entain's share price as of the time it was made. In addition to offering shares, MGM says that it'll include a "limited partial cash alternative" for shareholders of Entain who intend to receive cash and not MGM shares from the offer. Even with MGM's lucrative offer, Entain's board is actually opposing the proposed takeover, stating  that MGM's offer "significantly undervalues" the British sports betting giant. It's also requested officials from MGM to provide additional information regarding the strategic rationale for MGM buying Entain. Apparent

India's Mphasis Said To Head For $3B Buyout

A group of American private equity firms, namely Brookfield, Carlyle, Bain Capital, and Permira, have initiated due diligence for a deal to acquire Mphasis, the publicly-traded Indian IT services company, the Indian news outlet Economic Times reports , citing "people aware of the matter". According to the Economic Times, the four aforementioned private equity firms are competing with each other for a final deal to buy out Mphasis, which is itself controlled by the American private equity firm Blackstone Group. The publicly-traded Mphasis is being pursued for a $3 billion buyout that would mark Blackstone's biggest exit in India and notably a landmark deal for an American private equity firm in the Indian technology sector, the Economic Times reports. Mphasis has an ownership history that has involved several American firms. First, the IT company Electronic Data Systems (EDS) bought a controlling stake in Mphasis in 2006 and itself then sold to the tech giant  Hewlett-Pac

Amazon Buys Podcast Network Wondery

Corroborating a recent report of the e-commerce and tech giant Amazon looking to acquire the podcast network Wondery, the company has confirmed that it's reached a deal to buy Wondery to join its Amazon Music brand. The price Amazon is paying for Wondery isn't disclosed but previous rumors had placed it at up to $300 million. With Wondery, Amazon aims to strengthen its nascent podcast service that it just launched on Amazon Music this September. Wondery produces dozens of popular podcasts listened to by millions of persons such as “Dirty John,” “Dr. Death,” and “Business Wars”. Even after being acquired by Amazon, Wondery's podcasts will continue to be published on other platforms such as Spotify, Apple Podcast, and the company's own app Wondery+. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal , Wondery's CEO, Hernan Lopez, will step down and hand over his role to COO Jen Sargent  after Amazon completes its purchase of the company. The move seems related to Lo

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Alert: Nikola Founder Trevor Milton Indicted On Fraud Charges

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Earnings: AMD Doubles Revenue, Triples Profit

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Antitrust: Amazon Fined $900M By EU For Privacy Violations

Tech behemoth Amazon is for the nth time in the crosshairs of the European Union (EU). The latest saga in that arena is that Amazon has been fined a record-breaking amount for alleged privacy violations, according to an SEC filing from the company. Amazon has been fined the sum of €746 million ($888mn) by the Luxembourg National Commission for Data Protection (CNPD) for not complying with data privacy laws. It's the largest fine imposed under Europe's data protection law.  The fine originates from the CNPD accusing Amazon of processing customers' personal data in violation of the EU's famous-cum-infamous General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws.  In June, it was reported ( WSJ )  that the Luxembourg data protection agency had sanctioned Amazon's privacy practices and proposed a fine topping $425mn to the EU's other two-dozen or so national data protection authorities. Now, it appears that the final fine is much larger than that.  Before now, the bigges

Deal: Qualtrics Buys CX Startup Clarabridge For $1.1B

Months after getting spun out of SAP into a separate public company, Qualtrics , a major provider of online survey software, has made a major acquisition. It's agreed to buy Clarabridge , a startup that does similar work to Qualtrics in the field fondly referred to as "customer experience (CX)". Qualtrics will pay $1.1bn all with shares to buy Clarabridge. The acquisition is a major strategic play for the company, pairing Qualtrics' customer survey business with Clarabridge's similar business of measuring customer sentiment from various sources like social media posts and customer support calls. Basically, Qualtrics is in the business of weighing customer surveys directly and Clarabridge in the business of doing so indirectly . Pairing both businesses represents a major strategic play for Qualtrics. In an investor presentation, Qualtrics said that Clarabridge has $100mn in annual revenue, implying an 11x multiple that it's paying to buy the company. That&#

Deal: Amgen Buys Biotech Startup Teneobio In $2.5B Deal

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Antitrust: UK Probes Facebook's $1B Kustomer Acquisition

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Earnings: Shopify Beats Estimates, Reaches Major Milestone

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Alert: Square Buys Australia's Afterpay For $29B

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Markets: US SEC Takes Aim At Chinese IPOs

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