Boss Insights - Tech M&A News Round Up - 5th July 2019

Access Acquires Safety Media Ltd to Enhance UK Digital Learning, Risk Management and Compliance Offering
3 July 2019 - The Access Group, has announced the acquisition of Safety Media Ltd, the UK’s market leader in Health & Safety e-learning and risk management & compliance workflow solutions. Only months after the acquisitions of Unicorn Training, Socrates and Riliance, the addition of Safety Media to its Digital Learning and Compliance Division, underlines Access’ intent to be the solution provider of choice to the UK’s thousands of mid-market and growing businesses. Chris Bayne, CEO of Access, commented, “The Global LMS market is already large, with revenues of just over £2Bn in 2018 and estimated revenues of over £7Bn by 2023. The UK holds an impressive share of this market and Access is now undoubtedly one of the major players. We know many of our existing and future clients are coming under increased pressure for training, risk management and compliance, driven by increased legislation and regulation in their industries, which is why we have moved to make these solutions part of Access Workspace. By enhancing a company’s ability to incorporate digital learning, risk management and compliance into the same platform that their people use every day to do their job, we believe that uptake will increase and monitoring adherence and completion will become simpler and even more cost effective.”

KKR Acquires Software Platform Corel Corporation from Vector Capital
Ottawa, Canada – 3rd July 2019 - KKR, a global investment firm, and Corel Corporation, one of the world's top software platforms, have announced that KKR has completed its acquisition of Corel from Vector Capital, a technology-focused, private equity firm. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed but the purchase price is widely reported as being in the region of US$1 billion. Comprised of some of the industry’s best-known brands Corel’s products empower professionals across industries in three main verticals: Creativity, Productivity, and Desktop-as-a-Service. “Corel has differentiated itself by offering an impressive portfolio of essential tools and services for connected knowledge workers – across devices, operating systems, and a range of fast-growing industries. KKR looks forward to working together with management to drive continued growth across its existing platforms while leveraging the team’s extensive experience in M&A to deliver a new chapter of innovation and growth on a global scale,” said John Park, Member at KKR.

Symantec in Talks to be Acquired by Broadcom in Deal Worth $15 Billion
3rd July 2019 - Symantec shares surged more than 20% this week after Bloomberg’s report that Broadcom is in advanced talks to acquire the security software vendor. In recent years, Symantec has struggled with management turmoil and difficulties with its core business, as cloud security companies have grabbed enterprise market share and newer companies have emerged to protect mobile devices. Symantec’s most recent CEO, Greg Clark departed in May after the company failed to achieve revenue estimates for the fourth quarter and Director, Richard Hill, was immediately named interim President and CEO, according to a statement at the time. In addition to the potential acquisition of Symantec, Broadcom last year acquired CA Technologies for $18.9 billion.  Blocked by Donald Trump from acquiring Qualcomm, Braodcom CEO, Hock Tan, is intent on acquiring tech companies in deals that will consolidate its position in the global tech industry.

Secure-24, an NTT Communications Company, to Acquire Symmetry Leading SAP Managed Service Provider in the U.S.
Tokyo, JAPAN – 26th June 2019 - NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com), the ICT solutions and international communications business within the NTT Group, and Symmetry Holding Inc, a US-based provider of SAP managed services, have announced that Secure-24 Intermediate Holdings, Inc, (wholly owned subsidiary of NTT Com, entered into a definitive agreement for Secure-24 to acquire Symmetry. "The acquisition of Symmetry allows us to strengthen the comprehensive managed services we provide to our customers, while opening doors to new opportunities," said Mike BeDell, Chief Executive Officer, Secure-24. "With the combined expertise of both companies and Symmetry's extensive portfolio of managed SAP services we are now in a position to deliver greater value to our customers around the world."

Uber Acquires Mighty AI to Help Enhance its Technology in the Race for Autonomous Driving
Seattle - 26th June 2019 - Uber has announced it has acquired computer vision start-up, Mighty AI, to help progress its technology for self-driving cars. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but the ride-hailing giant said some 40 employees from the Seattle-based firm would join Uber's advanced technology group to develop plans for autonomous taxis. Mighty AI specializes in computer vision, a field within artificial intelligence that is used to better understand or "label" the surroundings of autonomous vehicles. Jon Thomason, Vice President of software engineering for the Uber division, said: "The team at Mighty AI has built technology to label at scale using the latest AI and user experience techniques. Training our AI at increasing pace is critical to scaling our self-driving technology, and I look forward to bringing Mighty AI's technology together with our existing labeling automation expertise to help us move even faster."

Forterro Announces Acquisition of Abas Software AG
Austin, TX and Karlsruhe, Germany – 25th June 2019 - Forterro, a group of European ERP software companies, backed by Battery Ventures, has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Abas Software AG, a privately held ERP vendor, headquartered in Germany, with subsidiaries and partners in 27 countries. Abas was founded in 1980 and provides a complete ERP portfolio to 4,000 mid-market manufacturing and distribution businesses around the world. Today the company employs 450 people. Jeff Tognoni, CEO of Forterro, said: “Abas is an important strategic milestone for Forterro, as it marks our eighth European ERP software acquisition, and our initial entry into the German market, Europe’s largest manufacturing economy. With the acquisition of Abas, we gain a strong product and brand, a large and loyal customer base and a talented team of product and market experts - all qualities that Abas shares with Forterro’s existing businesses. We are extremely excited to begin working more closely with the Abas team to elevate Abas’ status as an international leader in manufacturing ERP.”

Capgemini Acquires Altran - Creates Global Digital Transformation Leader
Paris and Neuilly-sur-Seine – 24th June 2019 – Capgemini, a consulting, IT services and digital transformation company, and Altran Technologies, an Engineering and R&D services company, have announced that they have entered into an agreement whereby Capgemini is to acquire Altran. The total cash consideration will amount to €3.6 billion, excluding net financial debt (c. €1.4 billion). The transaction will be accretive to Capgemini’s normalized EPS by more than 15%, before synergies from the combination. In 2023, accretion is expected to exceed 25% post synergies. The agreement is unanimously recommended and approved by the Boards of Directors of Capgemini and Altran. In addition, Capgemini has signed a definitive agreement to acquire shares representing 11% of Altran capital from a group of shareholders led by Apax Partners.

Insight Enterprises to Acquire PCM, Inc.
Tempe, Arizona & El Segundo, California - 24th June 2019 - Insight Enterprises, provider of Insight Intelligent Technology Solutions™ for organizations of all sizes, and PCM, Inc, a provider of IT products and services, have entered into an agreement under which Insight will acquire PCM for $35 per share, representing a 36% premium to its 1-month average closing share price as of Friday, June 21, 2019. The transaction implies an enterprise value of approximately $581 million (including cash and debt acquired). Ken Lamneck, CEO of Insight, said: “Over the past five years, Insight has made significant progress, transforming our business from a value-added reseller to a well-respected global solutions provider with deep expertise across technology areas that provide our clients with significant value. Together with PCM, we will be even better positioned to capitalize on our solution area investments through the addition of more technical and sales resources and access to thousands of new clients, especially in the mid-market and corporate client segments.”

WP Engine to Acquire Flywheel
Austin, Texas – 24th June 2019 – WP Engine, the WordPress Digital Experience Platform (DXP), has announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Flywheel, a WordPress hosting and management company based in Omaha, Neb. By combining their strengths, WP Engine and Flywheel are enhancing the WP Engine Digital Experience Platform for WordPress with the best creative and business workflows for agencies, building upon their collective investments in WordPress and creating the largest Agency Partner Program in WordPress. These benefits are all driven by a shared set of cultural values and purpose, aimed at better serving the global brands and agencies who build sites on WordPress. In the largest acquisition to date in the WordPress industry, WP Engine will now power more than 120,000 brands and agencies in 150 countries served by nearly 900 employees across seven offices globally.

Equisoft acquires Grendel, advancing its growth strategy in the United States
Philadelphia – 20th June 2019 – Global business-driven solution provider, Equisoft, has announced the acquisition of Grendel, a privately-owned US-based company, offering a customer relationship management system (CRM) purpose-built for the wealth management industry. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Founded in 2004 and headquartered in West Chester, PA, Grendel is a high-end development firm specializing in the financial services industry with a wide variety of industry connections and relationships. Their flagship application suite Grendel is an advanced web-based and mobile practice management solution built for financial advisors, broker-dealers, RIAs, and their clients. Grendel’s modules include exhaustive client information management, compliance management, wealth management, account aggregation, email and file archive, client portal, practice management tools, advanced analytics capabilities, and more.

Phoebus Software Ltd achieve management buyout backed by NorthEdge Capital
Solihull, West Midlands, UK - 19th June 2019 - After over thirty years of private ownership, Phoebus Software Limited (PSL) has concluded a management buyout (MBO) backed by NorthEdge Capital. NorthEdge is a private equity firm that supports MBOs, development capital and equity release transactions for companies based in the Midlands and the North of England. The transaction will see a change in PSL Board personnel: George Potts from NorthEdge will join the new Board, while founders, Robert Lintonbon and Peter Pontefract, will exit the business. Paul Hunt will remain as CEO supported by other key directors. Commenting on the transaction, Paul Hunt, CEO at PSL commented: “After many successful years of supplying our clients with market leading products and services, the time is right for PSL to push on in an ever-evolving and fast paced technology sector. The investment from NorthEdge will provide very solid foundations from which to move our business, products and solutions to the next level of market requirements.”

Tieto buys Nordic banking tech rival Evry for €1.3bn
Tieto and EVRY have today announced a merger agreement to create one of the most competitive digital services and software companies in the Nordics. The combined companies have revenues of close to EUR 3 billion and will be called TietoEVRY. The transaction will be highly complementary from a geographical, offering and customer perspective and the new company will serve thousands of enterprise and public sector customers in more than 90 countries. Kimmo Alkio, President and CEO, said in a statement: “This combination announced today will create a company well-positioned to facilitate digital transformation across the Nordics for the benefit of our customers, employees, shareholders and society. With continued investments in our people, latest technologies such as robotics, cloud and artificial intelligence, the combination will create a competitive digital partner for our customers. Together we have the opportunity to accelerate the pace of change and innovation in the industry and bring the benefits of the digital world to our customers faster and more effectively. I foresee a very exciting journey ahead.”

06 July 2019