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Posts Tagged ‘mergers’

Article from Techcrunch.

Cisco has announced it plans to acquire Cloupia for $125 million. The software company helps customers automate their data centers.

Cisco sees Cloupia’s infrastructure management software enhancing its Unified Computing System (UCS) and Nexus switching portfolio. Cisco expects Cloupia will help better manage the automation of compute, network and storage as well as virtual machine and operating system resources.

Cisco UCS is a converged infrastructure play. Cisco has made a big bet on providing converged infrastructures that consolidates compute, storage and networking into one box. IT wants to decrease its data center dependency. Vendors like Cisco, EMC and IBM see converged infrastructures as a way to sell their hardware into the enterprise.

Investing in these systems has its costs for IT. The systems are pricey and create a lock-in with one vendor.

Cisco wrote a blog post about the acquisition today. Here’s a snippet:

Cisco’s acquisition of Cloupia benefits Cisco’s Data Center strategy by providing single “pane-of-glass” management across Cisco and partner solutions including FlexPod, VSPEX, and Vblock. Cloupia’s products will integrate into the Cisco data center portfolio through UCS Manager, UCS Central, and Nexus 1000V, strengthening Cisco’s overall ecosystem strategy by providing open APIs for integration with a broad community of developers and partners.

The post is a window into Cisco’s data center strategy. Like other big enterprise software companies, Cisco partners with companies such as NetApp and VMware to sell its solutions through its extensive sales channels.

Read more here.

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Article from GigaOm.

“Oracle bought Sun Microsystems, hired former HP CEO Mark Hurd and declared that as “Oracle continues to grow, we need people experienced in operating a $100 billion business,” and ever since, the technology world has waited to see what other acquisitions Larry Ellison might have up his sleeve. This past week, we saw strong reactions to the rumor that Oracle might make a bid to buy EMC, due to the acquisition’s outlandish nature and monetary mismatch. Oracle will need to more than triple its revenue to reach that $100 billion target, so anything is possible.

That said, the rumor whips up a bunch of financial questions, because EMC owns 80 percent of VMware. EMC has a market capitalization of around $43 billion, and VMware around $32 billion. Match that up with EMC’s annual revenues of around $15 billion and VMware at $2.4 billion, and it isn’t hard to figure out where most of the value is, as well as where Oracle might be able to get a good deal on the multiple leading storage platforms.

So yes, the idea of Oracle buying EMC and VMware is a little crazy. But the idea of buying EMC and not VMware is within the realm of possibility, at least on paper, with The Register estimating that the non-VMware portion of EMC could be worth as little as $7.9 billion.

This is where things get interesting. The industry appears to be pushing towards server, network and storage consolidation following the moves of HP, IBM, Cisco, and Dell. Even Oracle has pushed a complete hardware and software package with Exalogic and Exadata using technology from Sun Microsystems to deliver an integrated solution. EMC and Network Appliance remain the large pure-play storage companies that could add significant heft to a server vendor that wants to dominate integrated stacks. HP and IBM have too much product overlap, and Dell can’t afford EMC, so that leaves an opening for Oracle and Cisco.

It seems likely that Oracle could be considering an EMC-only bid. I’ve heard some speculate that the reason Oracle became so tied to NetApp for certain solutions was the fear of EMC data center account control. Make no mistake; EMC knows how to close big deals, as their revenue number proves. If the goal for Oracle is to reach $100 billion, NetApp wouldn’t help them as effectively. NetApp currently has an $18 billion dollar market cap and just over $4 billion in revenue.

With Oracle, and potentially Cisco, interested in looking at a the EMC part of the equation, there could be impetus to move this deal forward. Even though Sun had plenty of great storage technology, they never had the commercial product success and storage revenues of EMC. If consolidation between servers and storage is the future, EMC better get cozy with someone soon.”

Read the original post here.

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Steven R. Gerbsman, Principal of Gerbsman Partners, Kenneth Hardesty and Dennis Sholl, members of Gerbsman Partners Board of Intellectual Capital, announced today their success in maximizing stakeholder value for a venture capital backed, medical device company company focused on a unique stent delivery platform that has applications in treating coronary, neuro and peripheral artery disease.

Gerbsman Partners provided Crisis Management and Investment Banking leadership, facilitated the sale of the business unit’s assets and its associated Intellectual Property. Due to market conditions, the board of directors made the strategic decision to maximize the value of the business unit and Intellectual Property.

Gerbsman Partners provided leadership to the company with:

  • Crisis Management and medical device domain expertise in developing the strategic action plans for maximizing value of the business unit, Intellectual Property and assets;
  • Proven domain expertise in maximizing the value of the business unit and Intellectual Property through a Gerbsman Partners targeted and proprietary “Date Certain M&A Process”;
  • The ability to “Manage the Process” among potential Acquirers, Lawyers, Creditors Management and Advisors;
  • The proven ability to “Drive” toward successful closure for all parties at interest.

About Gerbsman Partners

Gerbsman Partners focuses on maximizing enterprise value for stakeholders and shareholders in under-performing, under-capitalized and under-valued companies and their Intellectual Property. Since 2001, Gerbsman Partners has been involved in maximizing value for 61 Technology, Life Science and Medical Device companies and their Intellectual Property and has restructured/terminated over $790 million of real estate executory contracts and equipment lease/sub-debt obligations. Since inception in 1980, Gerbsman Partners has been involved in over $2.3 billion of financings, restructurings and M&A transactions.

Gerbsman Partners has offices and strategic alliances in Boston, New York, Washington, DC, Alexandria, VA, San Francisco, Europe and Israel.

For additional information please visit www.gerbsmanpartners.com or
Gerbsman Partners blog.

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Here is a good Techcrunch article about Foursquare.

“A months long fundraising process for Foursquare is in its last stages, we’ve heard from multiple sources, and Andreessen Horowitz looks to be preparing to check-in to Foursquare to take an investor badge.

The company has delayed committing to new venture capital as they considered buyout offers – negotiations went deep with both Yahoo and Facebook, and possibly Microsoft. The Yahoo discussions ended weeks ago, and Facebook passed on an acquisition earlier this week, we’ve heard.

That means the company is raising that big new round of financing. And a slew of venture capitalists, including Accel Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Spark Capital and First Round Capital were all rumored to competing heavily for inclusion despite the $80 million or so valuation, say our sources.

Andreessen Horowitz, despite rumors that they were pulling out of discussions with the company weeks ago over concerns that too much information was leaking to the press, is the last venture capitalist standing. The fact that founding partner Marc Andreessen is on the board of directors of Facebook, a key partner or competitor of Foursquare, may be the factor that put them over the top.

Existing investors OATV and Union Square Ventures will also participate heavily in the new round, we’ve heard. In the meantime they’ve likely already loaned additional capital to the company.”

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Here is a good read from Yahoo.

“Jeffrey Bussgang likes crazy entrepreneurs. Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman and Sitrris Pharmaceuticals’ Dr. Christoph Westphal all share what Bussgang, a partner with Boston-based Flybridge Capital Partners, calls paranoid optimism. He defines it as an almost-arrogant belief in a world-changing idea mixed with a healthy fear of competitors. “You rarely see those two words together, which is why I like them,” Bussgang says. “They really distill the essence of the great entrepreneurs.”

He should know. Before he was a venture capitalist, Bussgang co-founded Upromise, now part of Sallie Mae and the nation’s largest private source of college funding contributions. In his new book, Mastering the VC Game, Bussgang offers a blueprint for entrepreneurs hoping to get funded: Be a paranoid optimist.

But even that may not be enough, given the state of today’s venture capital market. Total VC dollars invested fell 39 percent between the first quarter of 2008, before the recession began, and the first three months of 2010, according to data supplied by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association.

VC firms have gone tight-fisted, and limited partners–the investors who supply capital to private equity funds–are skittish, afraid of being burned again after suffering a decade of negative returns. Mix in a contentious debate over the taxability of profits derived from successful venture capital investments, otherwise known as carried interest, and entrepreneurs are being forced to clear hurdles not seen since the 1980s, says Roger Novak, a partner with Novak Biddle Venture Partners in Bethesda, Md. “I think we’re going back to the old days, and better companies are going to be born.”

In other words, venture capitalists are being more discerning about where and with whom they invest. Here are three ways to make sure your business passes the sniff test.

  1. Create the Market
    Much of that time was spent planning and talking with prospects; the founders didn’t want to build a solution before defining the problem, which they believed was big. Advertising affiliate networks were losing revenue each time a customer clicked on a digital ad but completed the transaction by phone. RingRevenue would fill the gap with technology, but only if affiliates could agree on the concept they had in mind.

    “Before we were going to commit all of our time, career, dollars and resources to it, it was important to [know] enough about the customers and their needs that we could feel good that we were getting it right the first time,” Spievak says.

    Each meeting brought changes to the design. But by asking prospective customers for feedback and then building to spec, RingRevenue created its own market. “We wanted to make sure that we understood the formula for growth, that we had satisfied customers and a scalable model,” Spievak says. Investors were impressed. RingRevenue closed a $3.5 million initial round of venture capital funding in June of 2009.

  2. Get a Big Idea
    If there’s a model for the sort of crazy entrepreneurs Bussgang admires, it might be the team at PhoneHalo. The company’s wireless technology plugs into a smartphone, making it a hub for preventing computers, iPads and other networked equipment from getting lost or left behind. But the vision for what it could be is much bigger.

    “Imagine that everything that’s valuable to you in your life is always connected to the network. And imagine down the road if every item in your refrigerator was somehow talking to the network so when you were low on milk, if it goes through PhoneHalo’s infrastructure, it can update a to-do list right as you’re in the grocery store, all on the fly,” says CEO Jacques Habra. Crazy? Sure, but according to Bussgang, the ability to press forth in the face of naysayers is what makes a great entrepreneur.

    PhoneHalo was still shopping for venture capital funding as of this writing. And yet Habra and co-founders Christian Smith and Chris Herbert are confident they’ll eventually find the right VC partner.

    “Since this is our baby, it’s easy to feel rejected and bruised by a no,” Habra says. “In reality, that time with an investor is hugely valuable: If you ask the right questions and apply the feedback to your business unemotionally, you make the company that much more investable and likely to succeed.”

  3. Work Your Network
    Finally, the venture capitalist who doesn’t know you isn’t likely to partner with you. “They see so many referred-in deals that it just doesn’t make sense for them to spend much time on the ones that come in over the transom,” says Spievak.

    He and his team were approached by potential venture capital investors in late 2008, during the height of a global financial meltdown, in part because backers of his earlier venture, publicly traded CallWave, earned back 30 times their investment following a 2004 public offering.”

Read more here.

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Here is a piece from the Digits blog at wsj.com.

“Salesforce.com said Wednesday that it would pay at least $142 million to acquire lead-generation startup Jigsaw, the biggest acquisition to date for the online software company.

The move comes as companies throughout the industry gear up for a period of consolidation. Salesforce.com, which has made relatively few deals in its history, recently hired several mergers and acquisition specialists and in January raised $575 million in debt.

(The debt—and the notion that Salesforce was gearing up to make acquisitions—was the subject of a story in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal.)

Salesforce has had its eye on Jigsaw for several years, but only got serious about a possible deal a few months ago, says Kendall Collins, Salesforce’s chief marketing officer. Jigsaw is basically a big database filled with contact information for potential customers. It’s “crowd sourced,” meaning users submit, update and fact check the information themselves. There’s already a version of Jigsaw that’s built on Salesforce’s systems and allows for contacts from Jigsaw to be easily copied into Salesforce’s sales-automation software.

Salesforce.com has been marketing itself as a “platform” that other companies can build applications on. Does buying one of these companies send a bad message that it will play favorites?”

Read the full article here.

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Here is an interresting article from SF Chronicle.

“Regulators have cleared the way for the landmark search partnership between Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc., creating a unified front in the battle to crack the dominance of Google Inc.

Seven months after announcing the agreement and following several years of merger flirtations, the U.S. Department of Justice and European Commission approved a deal that tightly allies the No. 2 and No. 3 players in the search space. It also marks a pivotal moment in the history of Yahoo, as it cedes territory where it was once a pioneer.

Under the terms of the pact, Microsoft’s Bing search tool will become the exclusive platform on Yahoo’s sites, funneling queries through the Redmond, Wash., software titan’s increasingly popular algorithm. The Sunnyvale Web portal will sell advertising tied to online search for both companies, and Microsoft will pay Yahoo for the traffic it generates.

The deal promises to give the companies control over nearly 30 percent of U.S. online searches, based on the current market share reported by comScore Inc. The combination will deliver improved results for consumers and better returns for advertisers and publishers, the companies said.

“Together, Microsoft and Yahoo will promote more choice, better value and greater innovation,” Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said in a statement.

But analysts are skeptical about how much the deal will really reshape the search industry. Google holds a commanding lead of more than 65 percent of searches, and Yahoo has been bleeding market share for years.

“I don’t think there’s a big shift in power here,” said Carl Howe, analyst with Yankee Group Research Inc.

Rather, he said the agreement provides incremental benefits, opening up a bigger channel of advertisers for Microsoft and lowering research and development costs for Yahoo.

Yahoo previously estimated the agreement would add $500 million to its annual operating income and save $200 million in capital expenditures, though not until two years after the deal was approved.

Implementation will begin in the coming days and could be complete in the United States by the end of the year. The goal is to transition U.S. advertisers and publishers to the new platform before the holiday season, but the companies acknowledged it may take until 2011.

“This breakthrough search alliance means Yahoo can focus even more on our own innovative search experience,” Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz said in a statement. “Yahoo gets to do what we do best: combine our science and technology with compelling content to build personally relevant online experiences for our users and customers.”

Read the whole article here.

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