Boss Insights - Tech M&A Round Up - June 2020

Carlyle to Acquire Stake in Airtel’s Data Centre business at a valuation of US$1.2 billion
New Delhi, India – 1st July 2020 - Bharti Airtel, India’s largest integrated telecommunications operator, and Comfort Investments II, an affiliated entity of CAP V Mauritius Limited, an investment fund managed and advised by affiliated entities of The Carlyle Group, have announced an agreement under which Comfort Investments II will invest US$235 million in Nxtra Data Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Airtel engaged in the data centre business. The post-money enterprise valuation of Nxtra is approximately US$1.2 billion and Carlyle will hold a stake of approximately 25% in the business upon completion of the transaction, with Airtel continuing to hold the remaining stake. The transaction is subject to the necessary regulatory approvals, including approval from the Competition Commission of India. Headquartered in New Delhi, Nxtra from Airtel offers secure data centre services to leading Indian and global enterprises, hyperscalers, start-ups, SMEs and governments. Nxtra’s nation-wide portfolio of 10 large data centres and more than 120 edge data centres provides customers with co-location services, cloud infrastructure, managed hosting, data backup, disaster recovery, and remote infrastructure management.

Computershare Acquires Corporate Secretarial Service Provider, Verbatim Global Compliance
New York – 1st July 2020 - Computershare has announced the acquisition of Verbatim Global Compliance, an established US-based provider of managed corporate secretarial services around the world, from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. As a result of the acquisition, Computershare says it will be able to offer a greater range of integrated, entity governance offerings; combining group restructuring support, advisory services, regulatory technology and fully managed services that help clients reduce the burden of global entity compliance. “Verbatim’s team has the capabilities, know-how and market recognition to complement the growing suite of services we offer our clients in the U.S. and around the world, and we’re delighted to welcome them to the Computershare group,” said Naz Sarkar, CEO of Global Issuer Services at Computershare.

Google Acquires Smart Glasses Start-Up, North
Kitchener, Ontario - 30th June 2020 - Google has confirmed it has acquired Canadian augmented reality (AR) wearables start-up, North, which was backed by both Amazon and Intel. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but the sale price has been widely reported as being around $180 million. Post-acquisition, North will wind down its business and the team will join Google’s existing hub in Kitchener, Ontario, where North is based. Announcing the acquisition in a blog, Rick Osterloh, Senior VP for Devices and Services at Google, said North’s technical expertise “will help as we continue to invest in our hardware efforts and ambient computing future.” Osterloh welcome our new colleagues, and committed to the growing global tech community of Kitchener-Waterloo.”

Addnode Group Acquires SaaS company, Netpublicator 
Stockholm – 1st July 2020 - Addnode Group has acquired the system supplier, Netpublicator Apps AB, which develops SaaS services for digital document- and meeting management in conjunction with public administration meetings. The company's net sales in 2019 amounted to about SEK 16 million, with good profitability. Netpublicator provides SaaS services for digital distribution of documents, register of elected officials, digital signing and video meetings, focusing on political assembly processes. Division President for Process Management, Andreas Wikholm, said: “Netpublicator is an important piece in our investment in innovative IT solutions for a more efficient and effective public administration. We have long known the company as a partner to the Addnode company Sokigo, which provides document- and case management systems for Swedish municipalities, regions and government authorities. Now that we gather the competence within the same family, we will be even better positioned to help our customers reach their high-set goals for digital management.”

Brainlab Acquires Medical Video Game Innovator Level Ex
Chicago – 29th June 2020 - Digital medical technology company, Brainlab, has announced the acquisition of Level Ex, a Chicago-based company that creates medical video games designed to advance the clinical skills of physicians and surgeons. The Level Ex expertise and product portfolio align with the broader Brainlab strategy to drive value creation across the healthcare data economy. Today, the balance between data, technology and people plays a critical role in healthcare’s digital transformation. Brainlab recognizes that there is an urgency to deliver agile and scalable solutions in the immersive, virtual and mobile space to help drive meaningful development and the adoption of digital medical technology across the value chain—concept and development; sales, education and training; clinical decision support; global access; and consistency of treatment. The company is already integrating Level Ex technology across vertical and horizontal products with the Brainlab 3D Viewer software and a virtual sales tool for the company’s ExacTrac X-Ray patient position and monitoring system.

The Carlyle Group Partners with Management to Acquire Unison from Abry Partners
Washington, DC and Dulles, Virginia – 29th June 2020 – Unison, a provider of procurement, supply chain, and contract management software to Federal government agencies and government contractors, has announced it has been acquired by global investment firm The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG), and Unison management. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Carlyle previously owned the business from 2005 to 2010.  Unison’s solutions help government agencies and contractors navigate the complex rules and compliance requirements of procurement and grants, program management and contract lifecycle management. Reid Jackson, President and CEO of Unison, said: “We are pleased to re-join the Carlyle portfolio of companies to help craft the next chapter of Unison’s growth. The Carlyle team shares our consistent focus on the success of our clients as the foundation of our business. With Carlyle’s support, we will accelerate our focus on bringing ’Applied Innovation‘ to powering the business of government and their vendor partners.”, 

Lululemon Athletica Acquires MIRROR
Vancouver, British Columbia - 29th June 2020 - lululemon athletica inc has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire MIRROR, an in-home fitness company that created an interactive workout platform that features live and on-demand classes, for a purchase price of $500 million. Calvin McDonald, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “In 2019, we detailed our vision to be the experiential brand that ignites a community of people living the sweatlife through sweat, grow and connect. The acquisition of MIRROR is an exciting opportunity to build upon that vision, enhance our digital and interactive capabilities, and deepen our roots in the sweatlife. We look forward to learning from and working with Brynn Putnam and the team at MIRROR to accelerate the growth of personalized in-home fitness.”;en-US;about-us;media

Amazon Acquiring Zoox to Make Vision of Autonomous Ride-Hailing Reality
26th June 2020 – Amazon has announced it is acquiring pioneering, self-driving start-up, Zoox. In a blog statement, announcing the deal, Amazon said Zoox would continue to operate as a standalone company under the existing leadership team ‘as they innovate and drive towards their mission’. An individual familiar with the deal, said that Amazon intends to work with Zoox to create a fleet of self-driving taxis, in competition with Alphabet’s Waymo. Analysts have also suggested that Amazon may use Zoox to build self-driving delivery vehicles. In the past, Amazon has bought smaller stakes in electric truckmaker Rivian and the self-driving start-up Aurora but, at a reputed £1.2 billion, this is its largest investment in the autonomous vehicle sector to date. Commenting on the deal, Jesse Levinson, co-founder, Zoox, said: "Since Zoox's inception six years ago, we have been singularly focused on our ground-up approach to autonomous mobility. Amazon's support will markedly accelerate our path to delivering safe, clean, and enjoyable transportation to the world."

Keysight Technologies Acquires Eggplant for US $330 Million
Santa Rosa, California and London, England – 25th June 2020 - Keysight Technologies, Inc, a technology company that helps enterprises, service providers and governments accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world, and Eggplant, the digital automation intelligence specialist, have announced that Keysight has completed the acquisition of Eggplant from The Carlyle Group. Eggplant is a software test automation platform provider that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics to automate test creation and test execution. Eggplant's Digital Automation Intelligence platform can test any technology on any device, operating system or browser at any layer, from the user interface (UI) to application programming interfaces (APIs) to the database. With today's digital revolution, software content and value has grown exponentially. Smart and interconnected products are enabled by millions of lines of code. Businesses must accelerate their digital transformation to remain competitive and relevant, while continuing to support legacy platforms. Commenting on the deal, Dr. John Bates, CEO of Eggplant, said: "Joining forces with Keysight gives Eggplant the ability to scale our intelligent automation platform and reach more organizations across the globe. We share a vision to accelerate innovation and together we will be able to help customers on their digital transformation journey."

MHC Acquires Ecrion Software to Enhance its Automation Solutions
22nd June 2020 - MHC has announced it has acquired Ecrion Software, a provider of customer communication management (CCM) and customer experience automation (CXA) software and services.  Ecrion provides a highly intuitive and user-friendly platform for organizations to optimize interactions throughout the customer lifecycle. The acquisition brings exciting new capabilities to MHC’s platform including omnichannel communication, dynamic documents, and customer journey automation, all powered with user engagement analytics and artificial intelligence. These capabilities will accelerate the availability of MHC’s next-generation platform allowing us to better meet the evolving content and experience automation business needs of organizations across the globe. The acquisition of Ecrion by MHC comes eight months after a majority equity investment by Strattam Capital, a private equity firm that invests in founder-led, independent, B2B software technology companies outside of Silicon Valley. The partnership with Strattam has helped MHC to drive its innovation, growth and scale to meet market needs.

MRI Software Completes Acquisition of Castleton Technology Plc – Expands Social Housing Offering in the UK and Beyond
2nd July 2020 - MRI Software, a global firm focusing on real estate software solutions, has completed its acquisition of Castleton Technology Plc, a provider of specialist software and services for the social housing sector, after receiving shareholder approval. MRI’s acquisition of Castleton, along with that of Orchard Information Systems in March, extends its offering in the social housing market in the UK, Ireland, and Australia. The combination boosts MRI’s ability to empower social housing providers to adopt digital innovations and customer-centric technologies, while accelerating the development of cloud-based solutions for the sector. Chief Executive Officer of MRI Software, Patrick Ghilani, said: “The acquisition of Castleton is an important step in our drive to deliver greater scale and broaden our offering in the UK housing sector. The combination of Castleton and Orchard also extends our comprehensive residential market proposition, MRI Living, and brings together invaluable industry experience and expertise to drive further innovation and accelerate the delivery of new advancements to social/affordable housing operators and residential property managers in multiple regions across the globe.”

Funds Managed by Affiliates of Apollo Complete Tech Data Acquisition
New York - 30th June 2020 - An affiliate of certain funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management Inc, has announced the completion of its acquisition of technology distributor, Tech Data Corporation. Chief Executive Officer, Rich Hume, will continue to lead Tech Data from its headquarters in Clearwater, Florida. Commenting on the acquisition, Matt Nord, Co-Lead Partner of Private Equity at Apollo, said: “Tech Data is a global, market-leading company with an excellent management team and significant opportunities for expansion. As a result of this acquisition and the resources we can bring to bear, Rich and the Tech Data team will have the strategic and financial flexibility to invest in new technology, expand services and pursue transactions that we believe will drive long-term value creation.”

03 July 2020