Posts Tagged ‘merger’

Here is some big news from SF Gate.

“Intel Corp., signaling its ambitions to expand beyond computers and into the booming market for mobile and Internet-connected devices, announced a deal Thursday to buy security software maker McAfee Inc. for $7.68 billion, the chipmaker’s biggest acquisition ever.

The surprise deal represents Intel’s bold move to position its chips, primarily its lower-powered mobile processors, as an attractive choice for the billions of coming Internet-connected devices, what some have termed the Internet of Things.

By integrating McAfee’s anti-virus software, the world’s biggest chipmaker hopes to create a product that addresses the potential security vulnerabilities created by countless wireless devices, appliances, cars, printers and ATM machines.

Paul Otellini, Intel’s president and CEO, said in a conference call that the Santa Clara company is looking to provide added security, which he called a third pillar of computing, after energy efficiency and connectivity. In the process, Intel is transforming from just a PC company to a broader computing company, he said.

“Our view is that everywhere we sell a microprocessor, there is an opportunity to sell security software with it,” he said.

The acquisition values McAfee, a leading security software firm also based in Santa Clara, at $48 a share. That is a 60 percent premium over its Wednesday closing price.

The deal also continues a streak of cash-rich Silicon Valley titans buying neighbors, following Oracle’s purchase of Sun and Hewlett-Packard‘s acquisition of Palm.

Intel said it would run McAfee as a subsidiary with its executive structure in place. David DeWalt, McAfee’s CEO, said he was excited about the prospect of teaming with Intel to tackle larger security challenges ahead.

“By becoming part of Intel Corp., we believe we can continue to create new and innovative security solutions,” said DeWalt.

Analysts’ reactions

Analysts greeted the news with mixed reactions. Some saw the wisdom of securing Internet-connected devices, which could hit an estimated 50 billion units in the next decade.

“If you look at the PC world, we have a stable stack and set of technologies like the operating system, middleware and antivirus software,” said Crawford Del Prete, an analyst with research firm IDC. “But when you think of connected devices, the stack doesn’t exist in the same way, and security will be a big problem for the billions of devices out there.”

The move will also help Intel compete against processors based on designs from ARM Holdings, which are found in virtually all cell phones and many electronic devices. ARM chips are preferred because they offer better power efficiency, but Intel’s move may help differentiate its chips by highlighting their built-in security protection.

Doubts about synergy

Other analysts, however, have questioned the strategy of buying McAfee, saying it is an expensive purchase and one whose synergies may be hard to realize.

Brian Marshall, an analyst with investment bank Gleacher & Co., said its unclear how much help McAfee can provide, with its strengths in selling packaged software for PCs. He said the business model for selling security for smaller and embedded devices is not established and may be challenging to monetize.

Symantec Corp., McAfee’s biggest rival, said in a statement that Intel might be too focused on securing individual devices when it should create a broader solution that addresses the multiple devices consumers will use.”

Read more here.

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Here is an interesting piece on mergerlaw from IT Business Edge.

“More frequently than not these days, when two companies operating in the same market space agree to merge or to engage in a strategic partnership, the U.S. Department of Justice or the Federal Trade Commission, or even both agencies, are going to want a closer look. Take Oracle’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems, and the Microsoft-Yahoo agreement in the search arena, for instance. The agencies want to make sure the merger, acquisition or partnership is not going to have an anti-competitive effect on the market such that consumers will be adversely affected.

The number of these inquiries has risen, and will continue to rise in the next few years, I’d imagine, because the Obama Administration has pledged to get serious about antitrust violations. That pledge has garnered mixed reviews, especially in the tech industry, as you can see in this post by our Rob Enderle. I don’t have Rob’s years of experience watching these things unfold, but I don’t know that I would go to such extremes. Yes, the new administration appears to be taking a more hands-on approach in enforcing the law, but at least the agencies responsible are also evaluating whether the guidelines they use to do so are still up to par.

Last week, Compliance Week’s Melissa Klein Aguilar reported that the DoJ and the FTC are considering whether the guidance they use in evaluating the anti-competitive effects of proposed horizontal mergers and acquisitions need updating. To that end, they are asking the public to respond to a 20-question survey on the matter.”

Read the full article here.

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Facebook avoid the IPO and steam ahead with expansion plans. It is not your average valuation we are talking about – $10B is quite a accomplishment. Please find earlier Facebook articles here; Facebook turned down funding at $8B, Few IPO candidates, Rapid growth and several more here.

Here is a story from Read Write Web.

“After we saw some rumors about this over the weekend, Facebook today confirmed that it will receive a $200 million investment from Digital Sky Technologies (DST), one of the leading Internet investment groups in Eastern Europe. This investment puts Facebook’s valuation at $10 billion. DST also plans to offer to purchase at least $100 million in Facebook common stock from existing shareholders.

According to Facebook‘s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, roughly 70% of the company’s users are now outside of the U.S., so cooperating with an international investment firm seemed to make sense in order to bring a global perspective to Facebook’s operations. DST will not get a seat on Facebook’s board, however.”

It continues…

“Digital Sky Technologies is a major player in Eastern Europe, and with Mail.ru, Forticom, and vKontakte among its assets, the company claims to account for over 70 percent of all all page views on the Russian-speaking Internet. Interestingly, DST (mostly through its investment in Forticom) also owns interests in a number of social networks like one.lt and Odnoklassniki.ru.

This deal also fits in well with other rumors about Facebook trying to raise capital to allow its employees to cash out some of their options. Just two weeks ago, our colleagues at VentureBeat reported that Facebook’s current investors “found it a stretch to supply the full amount of capital” that would be needed to provide Facebook with enough money to allow it to buy out roughly 15 million common shares at around $10 each.”

Zuckerberg commented this deal on the pressconference by saying…

“The company does not have any immediate plans for the cash it will receive from DST. Zuckerberg was also asked about a possible IPO, but according to Facebook’s CEO, an IPO is not on the “immediate horizon.”

Being asked about Microsoft’s investment in Facebook at a $15 billion valuation, Zuckerberg mostly sidestepped the issue, but stressed that this investment was part of a larger partnership at the top of the bubble and that he thinks that $10 billion valuation is “fair” and that he “feels good” about it.

Given the nature of the call, there was not a lot of focus on specific features, but Zuckerberg did confirm that Facebook is testing out a video chat feature. Our friends at All Facebook spotted references to this in Facebook’s code two weeks ago.”

Read the full article here.

Other sources for this topic include: TrolleyBlog, The Next Web, PEHub, Northloop,

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With a worse than bad report coming out of its first quarter, Yahoo is struggeling to find ways to stand on its own.  In the wake of Oracle/ Sun merge, next large Silicon Valley merge may come very soon. Microsoft who was once considered a no-no in the Valley may look like a saviour!

Here are some coverage tidbits from PCWorld.

“Yahoo had revenue of US$1.58 billion, down 13 percent from the first quarter of 2008 but higher than the $1.20 billion consensus expectation from analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.”

“Meanwhile, net income fell 78 percent to $118 million, or $0.08 per share, compared to $537 million, or $0.37 per share, in the first quarter of 2008, the company said Tuesday. On a pro forma basis, which excludes certain one-time items, Yahoo had net income of $206 million, or $0.15 per share, down 16 percent and 17 percent, respectively, compared to the first quarter of 2008 but exceeding by seven cents per share analysts’ expectation.”

With these bleak numbers, cutbacks will only solve parts of the fundamental problems.

“This time around, Yahoo will let go 5 percent of its staff worldwide. Yahoo ended 2008 with 13,600 employees, so this would mean that about 680 people will be laid off. Yahoo handed out pink slips to about 2,600 employees in two rounds of layoffs last year.”

One may wonder if this is the preparation for a merge with MSFT.

Other coverage on this story can be found at;  YogiMassMedia NowErik Bowman , 24/7 Wall Street

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