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M&A News In The Technology, Media and Telecom Industry Sector

By Dan Vermeire | Nov 20, 2018

The report below provides a good overview of the fourth quarter M&A activity in the Technology, Media and Telecom Industry Sector. M&A activity for North American based target companies in the Technology, Media and Telecom sector for Q3 2018 included 429 closed deals, according to data published by industry data tracker FactSet.

One of the notable middle market transactions was announced in September when GrubHub, Inc. acquired Tapingo, Inc., a portfolio company of Viola Ventures Ltd, Khosla Ventures LLC, Shanghai Fosun Kinzon Equity Investment Management Co Ltd, QUALCOMM Ventures and Doll Capital Management, Inc., for US$150 million in cash, subject to standard closing conditions. Founded in 2012, Tapingo is located in San Francisco, California and offers a mobile shopping application.

Software, hardware and platforms are migrating to the cloud at a rapid rate as on-premise solutions phase out.

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Environmental Liability in M&A

By Dan Vermeire | Oct 23, 2018

Environmental concerns can be hugely important in an M&A deal, and are typically investigated as part of the due diligence process. But, for a business owner, that may be too late.

What’s at stake for your business?
It’s important to know that PLL (Pollution Legal Liability) can affect both the property owner and the tenant. Yes, a business that leases the property can still be responsible for environmental problems. Further, PLL can be from the historic uses, well before you owned or leased the property. And PLL can affect you because of an adjacent property, even if you don’t operate there.

PLL costs can be significant to identify and remediate problems. This may involve drilling and digging at the property, through the floors, parking lots, and open ground, to remove and dispose of contaminated soil. Far worse, if the environmental issue isn’t properly managed, it can be disruptive to your business if customers, employees and regulatory agencies draw the wrong conclusions.

How does the process work?
It is a three-step process, starting with a simple assessment and, if problems are found, progressing to more rigorous efforts. The initial step, Phase 1, reviews the property and creates the Environmental Site Assessment (ESA), which identifies potential or existing environmental contamination liabilities. Various engineering firms specialize in the practice of these reports, according to guidelines from the EPA. The assessment will look for any visible signs of contamination and review the historic uses of the property. If the ESA identifies areas of significant concern, then a Phase 2 is recommended which involves further analysis such as boring, collecting soil samples, and installing ground water monitoring wells. If the Phase 2 identifies significant issues, then a Phase 3 project will remediate the site. As you can see, each step costs more money, takes more time, and may create further disruption to your business.

How can you protect your business?
It is important that the business or property owner’s attorney order the ESA, not the buyer. Why? Because the report can be protected by attorney-client privilege. Should the ESA identify problems, then the information can be kept confidential. Most good law firms will have a working relationship with an engineering firm and keep the owner’s interests in mind, thereby avoiding overly aggressive, or “make work” recommendations.

There are several areas of the ESA that are somewhat subjective, such as the classifications of risks. Professional opinions can vary – one group may think action is needed, while others may not. For this reason, ESA’s are initially produced in a draft form and issues can be discussed. If it is warranted, you can get a second opinion, perhaps more favorable. If the process continues, eventually a report becomes final, and then can be made available to the buyer, banks, and regulatory agencies. A clean ESA has value to both the buyer and seller.

To stay ahead of any issues, you should consider ordering an ESA well before you start the M&A process. In that way, you can be aware of any potential risks and solve them before they become bigger problems.

Other ways to manage environmental risk include indemnification from the seller to the buyer. This approach may often require some meaningful security, such as continued equity, a note, escrow or insurance. Leasing may be considered as an alternative to buying property in an M&A deal. There may be other business reasons to control the property and leasing does not completely eliminate risk for the new owner, but this approach can help in many cases.

Last, but certainly not least, environmental insurance is a very good way to eliminate risk and should be considered in any PLL situation. Policies have been used for many years, are available from many respected providers and can have customized coverage. Many policies are transferrable to the new owner and will cover pre-existing conditions, both onsite and offsite contamination, claims for bodily injury and legal costs. In certain cases, policies will exclude voluntary digging, that is, don’t go looking for trouble. This restriction can be included in the lease or purchase agreement, too. Environmental insurance is affected by the findings in an ESA, so it is important to consider insurance before starting the process. Always work with your advisor to control the process and manage the information flow to the insurance market.

Environmental concerns continue to gain attention, as we move closer to a green planet. Any business that involves owning or leasing property should have an effective strategy to manage environmental risk. Our CFA professionals regularly lead programs that successfully avoid environmental pitfalls.


M&A News In The Technology, Media and Telecom Industry Sector

By Dan Vermeire | Aug 20, 2018

The report below provides a good overview of the third quarter M&A activity in the Technology, Media and Telecom Industry Sector. M&A activity for North American based target companies in the Technology, Media and Telecom (TMT) sector for Q2 2018 included 429 closed deals, according to data published by industry data tracker FactSet.

One of the notable middle market transactions was announced in May when Cisco Systems, Inc. acquired Accompani, Inc., trading as Accompany, a portfolio company of Resolutevc, LLC, Ignition Venture Partners, ICONIQ Capital, FLOODGATE Fund LP, Cowboy Capital LLC and Charles River Ventures, Inc., for US$270 million in cash and assumed equity awards. The acquisition enhances Cisco’s portfolio of software solutions. Accompani develops and publishes software tools for relationship intelligence. Its platform integrates email, contacts and social feeds to keep users informed on professional connections. The company was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Los Altos, CA.

The video game market is experiencing explosive growth on mobile platforms. According to data from industry research group Newzoo, in 2018 the mobile video game market will generate $70.3 billion comprising 51% of the global video game market.
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M&A News In The Technology, Media and Telecom Industry Sector

By Dan Vermeire | May 16, 2018

The report below provides a good overview of the second quarter M&A activity in the Technology, Media and Telecom Industry Sector. M&A activity for North American based target companies in the Technology, Media and Telecom sector for Q1 2018 included 432 closed deals, according to data published by industry data tracker FactSet.

One of the notable middle market transactions closed in March when Allen Media LLC, a subsidiary of Entertainment Studios, Inc., acquired Weather Group Television LLC, a portfolio company of Rosemont Solebury Capital Management LLC, AlpInvest Partners BV, Bain Capital Private Equity LP and Blackstone Corporate Private Equity, for $300 million. The acquisition is in line with the growth strategy of Allen Media LLC. Weather Group Television LLC is located in Atlanta, Georgia and broadcasts weather related information.

UBM, the company that puts on the annual Game Developers Conference, took a survey regarding which platforms developers currently consider the most important. Approximately 60 percent of the roughly 4,000 developers surveyed are currently working on a game that will be released on PCs.
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M&A News In The Technology, Media and Telecom Industry Sector

By Dan Vermeire | Mar 28, 2018

The report below provides a good overview of the first quarter M&A activity in the Technology, Media and Telecom Industry Sector.
M&A activity for North American based target companies in the Technology, Media and Telcom sector sector for Q4 2017 included 420 closed deals, according to data published by industry data tracker FactSet.
One of the notable transactions of the quarter was announced in November when private equity group Thoma Bravo, LLC acquired Barracuda Networks, Inc. for US$1.5 billion in cash. Under the terms of the transaction, Thoma Bravo paid US$27.55 in cash per Barracuda Networks share. This represented a 22.5% premium to Barracuda Networks’ 10-day average stock price prior to November 27, 2017. Barracuda Networks designs and delivers powerful yet easy-to-use security and data protection solutions. It offers cloud-enabled solutions that empower customers to address security threats, improve network performance and protect and store their data.
The technology sector continues to evolve as companies focused on the Internet of Things (IoT) continue to garner interest from investors and strategics looking acquire greater capabilities.

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M&A News In The Technology, Media and Telecom Industry Sector

By Dan Vermeire | Nov 17, 2017

The report below provides a good overview of the fourth quarter M&A activity in the Technology, Media and Telecom Industry Sector. M&A activity for North American based target companies in the Technology, Media and Telecom sector for Q3 2017 included 266 closed deals, according to data published by industry data tracker FactSet.

One of the more notable deals of the quarter was announced in September when Internet Brands, Inc., a portfolio company of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co LP, acquired WebMD Health Corp for US$2.5 billion in cash. Under the terms of the agreement, Internet Brands paid US$66.5 in cash for each share of WebMD Health Corp. The transaction enhances the business portfolio of both companies.

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M&A News In The Technology, Media and Telecom Industry Sector

By Dan Vermeire | Oct 23, 2017

The report below provides a good overview of the 3rd Quarter M&A activity in the Technology, Media and Telecom Industry Sector.  M&A activity for North American based target companies in the Technology, Media and Telecom Industry sector for Q2 2017 included 296 closed deals, according to data published by industry data tracker FactSet.  The average purchase price was $167 million.

Social media continues to be a major force in media as users all over the world flock online and away from cable. Below is a graph illustrating the user count for the largest social media networks in the world.

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M&A News | Technology, Media & Telecom Industry

By Dan Vermeire | Apr 06, 2017

M&A News Technology – m&a news technologyOne of the largest transactions of the quarter in was completed in December when Roper Technologies, Inc. acquired Deltek, Inc., a portfolio company of Thoma Bravo LLC, for US$2.8 billion in cash. The transaction was funded through cash on hand, borrowings under Roper Technologies’ existing credit facility and new debt. The acquisition enables Roper Technologies to solidify its market position. Roper Technologies engages in the provision of engineered products and solutions for global niche markets. Deltek provides enterprise software and information solutions. Its products include project ERP solutions, enterprise information management, business development solutions, project and portfolio management solutions, HR and talent management solutions and professional services automation solutions. Read more »


Technology Industry M&A News

By Dan Vermeire | Nov 03, 2016

Technology Industry M&A NewsTechnology Industry M&A News for North American based target companies in the Telecom, Media and Technology sector for Q3 2016 included 483 closed deals, according to data published by industry data tracker FactSet. The average transaction value was $303 million.

On the public markets, stocks continued to surge higher during the quarter led by sector behemoth Alphabet (GOOGL). Q3 earnings per share minus items for the stock rose 23% to $9.06 while total revenue climbed 20% to $22.45 billion vs. consensus estimates of $8.60 and $22.05 billion.

Competition is intensifying in the fast-growing education software market as tech giants including Facebook, Amazon, and Google roll out new digital education products and services. Many of these early offerings are provided free to educators, but the companies are likely to use them as springboards to sell more advanced academic and institutional software to the education sector in the future, The New York Times reports. In summer 2016, Amazon unveiled a new online marketplace called Amazon Inspire, which gives teachers access to thousands of lesson plans and instructional materials at no cost. Facebook introduced a personalized digital learning platform that enables students to manage their own projects and assignments online and learn at their own pace. Google is another major force in the ed-tech sector: more than 60 million students and teachers now use its cloud-based Google Apps for Education software, and more than 5 million Chromebooks were sold to US schools in 2015, according to the International Data Corporation. Annual spending on education software and digital teaching materials at US pre-K through high schools is about $8.3 billion, according to the Software and Information Industry Association.

Industry Indicators

  • US retail sales for electronics and appliance stores, a potential measure of demand for computer software, decreased 2.8% in the first nine months of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015.
  • Total US revenue for software publishers rose 0.5% in the second quarter of 2016 compared to the previous year.

Posted by Dan Vermeire.

Read the Entire Technology, Media and Telecom 4th Quarter Newsletter Here


Technology M&A News

By Dan Vermeire | Aug 11, 2016

technology M&AReports from various industry observers present a mixed outlook on IT employment growth, according to Computerworld. Analysts use terms ranging from “modest” to “pre-recession” to describe recent industry hiring trends. Trade association CompTIA noted steep declines of about 96,000 IT jobs across all industries in May 2016 compared to the month before. That figure includes the impact of the approximately 37,000 telecommunications jobs not on payrolls due to a recent strike of Verizon workers, which has since been settled. Analyst group Foote Partners and industry group TechServe Alliance both said that once the Verizon strike is adjusted for, tech employment actually gained some 13,500 jobs that month. Analyst group Janco Associates is less optimistic, forecasting only 40,300 IT jobs will be created in 2016, down from 112,500 new IT jobs that were created in 2015.

Leading technology vendors are using acquisitions to quickly build Internet of Things (IoT) expertise and service capabilities. With a growing number of devices being embedded with software and sensors and connected to the Internet, a trend commonly referred to as IoT, companies with IoT service platforms have become hot commodities. Recent deals include Microsoft’s May 2016 purchase of Solair, an Italian provider of IoT products and services; Cisco Systems’ acquisition of IoT service platform provider Jasper in March 2016; and IBM’s acquisition of The Weather Company’s product and technology business in January 2016. Microsoft plans to integrate Solair’s technology into its Azure IoT Suite, Jasper will become Cisco’s IoT Cloud Business Unit, and IBM is using The Weather Company’s technology to form its Watson IoT Cloud platform. The new offerings should help the companies capture revenue in the rapidly expanding market, which will grow from $157 billion in 2016 to $662 billion by 2021, according to MarketsandMarkets.

  • Total US consumer spending, a driver for the IT needs of consumers, rose 0.9%, primarily from service expenditures, in May 2016 compared to the same month in 2015.
  • Total US revenue for computer systems design and related services rose 3.8% in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the previous year.

Read the Entire Technology, Media and Telecom 3rd Quarter Newsletter Here