M&A Round Up for the Software Tech Sector - October 2018

02 November 2018

ASG Technologies Releases Letter Announcing its Proposal to Acquire Mitek Systems
Naples, Florida - 31st October 2018 - ASG Technologies, provider of solutions for information access, management and governance and a portfolio company of Elliott Associates, L.P. and Elliott International, L.P., has sent a letter to the Board of Directors of Mitek Systems, Inc. following up on its recent proposal to acquire the company. The offer, for $10.00 per share in cash, represents a 51% premium on the unaffected closing stock price on October 9, 2018. In the letter, Charles Sansbury, Chief Executive Officer at ASG Technologies, outlined the reasons for the proposal, claiming that ASG strongly believes that the best future for Mitek’s products is “as a part of a broader platform at ASG where we can invest behind extending the Company’s identity verification solutions via further automation.” He also said the company would be able to provide its financial services customers with a compelling, end-to-end information management solution, cross-selling Mitek’s mobile capture offering into its Mobius content repository customer base. Since its IPO in 2011, Mitek has enjoyed solid revenue growth and is the market-share leader in mobile check capture solutions. Its acquisitions of IDchecker in 2015 and more recently, of A2iA, have  added important functionality to Mitek’s portfolio, while Jim DeBello and the rest of the management team have driven impressive growth at the Company.


Booking Holdings Invests US $200 Million in Grab, Enabling Further Fintech Expansion
Norwalk, Conn. And Singapore - 29th October 2018 - Booking Holdings, the global online accommodations and travel e-commerce company, and Grab Holdings Inc., the on-demand transportation and mobile services platform in Southeast Asia, have announced that they have entered into a strategic partnership. Through the partnership, Booking Holdings’ brands will be able to offer on-demand transport services through their apps, powered by Grab, and Grab customers will be able to book accommodations across the globe, powered by Booking.com and agoda. Booking Holdings has also invested US$200 million in Grab. Grab has raised over US$2 billion for its current round of financing and is on track to raise over US$3 billion by the end of this year. Todd Henrich, SVP and Head of Corporate Development for Booking Holdings, said, “Grab has scaled impressively across Southeast Asia over the last few years, establishing itself as a recognized leader in an increasingly competitive space, and we’re excited to partner with them to build even better travel experiences through technology.”

NTT Data Services to acquire Sierra Systems Group
Plano, Texas – 29th October 2018 – NTT Data Services, an organisation offering global technology services, has announced its intent to acquire Sierra Systems Group, Inc., the Canadian subsidiary of The Sierra-Cedar Group, Inc. Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Sierra Systems is an IT services and consulting firm, offering a full range of IT consulting, systems integration and application managed services across Canada. This acquisition will expand NTT DATA’s North American footprint with a significant Canadian presence. CEO, NTT DATA Services, Bob Pryor, said, “With the addition of Sierra Systems’ talented team, we’ll expand our ability to deliver innovation and business outcomes to clients in Canada and extend our North American delivery capabilities. Growth prospects are very strong in Canada, so this is an attractive market as we continue to grow globally.”

IBM to acquire Red Hat for $34 Billion
Armonk, N.Y. and Raleigh, N.C – 28th October 2018 - IBM and Red Hat, a provider of open source cloud software, have announced that the companies have reached a definitive agreement under which IBM will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Red Hat for $190.00 per share in cash, representing a total enterprise value of approximately $34 billion. "Most companies today are only 20 percent along their cloud journey, renting compute power to cut costs," said Ginni Rometty, IBM Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "The next 80 percent is about unlocking real business value and driving growth. This is the next chapter of the cloud. It requires shifting business applications to hybrid cloud, extracting more data and optimizing every part of the business, from supply chains to sales.” This acquisition will enable companies to securely move all business applications to the cloud. Companies today are already using multiple clouds. However, research shows that 80 percent of business workloads have yet to move to the cloud, held back by the proprietary nature of today's cloud market. This prevents portability of data and applications across multiple clouds, data security in a multi-cloud environment and consistent cloud management. IBM and Red Hat will be strongly positioned to address this issue and accelerate hybrid multi-cloud adoption.

Ricoh to Acquire cloud-based billing management software vendor, MakeLeaps, Inc.
Tokyo – 26th October 2018 - Ricoh has announced the acquisition of MakeLeaps, Inc, a provider of cloud-based billing management software. The completion of the acquisition is scheduled for November 30, 2018. This acquisition is aimed at strengthening Ricoh's digital business, which was set out in “RICOH Ignite”, its Growth Strategy Plan announced in February 2018. Workforce decline is one of the biggest social issues effecting Japan, where population decline, combined with the increase in the number of elderly people, is making Japan a super-aged society. This is especially challenging for small and medium-sized businesses, where the shortage of manpower has become a great obstacle to business continuity, and so now many companies are working on workstyle reforms to improve worker productivity. The acquisition of MakeLeaps is one of a series of strategic investments as set out in Ricoh's Growth Strategy Plan. Ricoh will digitize and improve its customer's workflows by combining MakeLeaps' software with Ricoh's multi-function printers, as well as other venders' systems such as customer management systems, accounting systems, sales management systems, etc.

Ricoh to Acquire LAC Corporation, an Industrial Printer Manufacturer
Tokyo - 26th October 2018 - Ricoh has announced that it has reached an agreement to buy LAC Corporation, a company with unique inkjet technology that supports printing on three-dimensional surfaces e.g. on the sides of cars, trucks, aircraft and even tyres and glass bottles. This acquisition is aimed at strengthening Ricoh's industrial printing business, which is one of its three growth strategies. The transfer of the shares is scheduled to complete on October 31, 2018. Founded in 1983, LAC has unique technology that can discharge high-viscosity ink from a maximum of 100mm enabling printing directly onto three dimensional objects. Using its technology, LAC develops, manufactures, sells, and supports industrial printing systems for cars, liquefied petroleum gas cylinders, and much more. The investment in LAC is part of Ricoh's Growth Strategy Plan, and one of a series of strategic investments being made by Ricoh. By combining LAC's proprietary inkjet technology and Ricoh's technologies such as imaging systems and manufacturing, Ricoh will create new value for its customers. In addition, Ricoh is planning to expand LAC's offerings into new overseas markets, using Ricoh's global network.

Bytedance Raises $3 Billion Funding to Become World’s Largest Privately Backed Start Up
Beijing - 26th October 2018 – According to sources close to the deal, Bytedance Ltd. has closed $3 billion of funding from SoftBank Group Corporation and other major investors, KKR & Co and General Atlantic, at a valuation of $75 billion, making it the world’s largest privately backed start-up. The deal represents a major infusion of cash, which will enable the Chinese media giant to expand beyond its home turf to challenge its Western rivals. Although the exact details of the deal have not been released, anonymous sources claim that SoftBank aimed to invest about $1.8 billion, depending on the availability of secondary shares. They also disclosed that Bytedance remains in talks with other interested investors, which could offer more funds in future.

Pintec Successfully Listed on NASDAQ, Heralding a New Chapter for Fintech B2B Model
Beijing – 25th October 2018 - Pintec Technology Holdings Ltd, an independent technology platform enabling financial services in China, has officially listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market, with shares trading under the stock code PT. The underwriters for the transaction were Goldman Sachs (Asia) LLC, Deutsche Bank Securities, Citigroup, and ICBC International. The net proceeds of this offering will be used primarily for general corporate purposes, which may include, among other things, investment in product development, sales and marketing activities, and technology infrastructure. “Today marks a special day for PINTEC. We have strived to get here. I am very grateful to our team for their hard work, to our investors for their trust, and to our business partners and financial partners for their support,” said William Wei, founder and CEO of PINTEC. “The listing does not mark the end, but rather, it is a gate to the future. We will continue to carry forward the vision and mission of PINTEC, providing the most efficient financial services to users all around the world through the latest financial technology.”

OASIS Group Extends Market Reach into Wales
Powys, Wales - 25th October 2018 - OASIS Group, one of the largest Records and Information Management (RIM) providers in Europe, has confirmed the completion of the acquisition of Box-it Wales & Severn located in Crickhowell, Powys. The acquisition was completed on October 8th and is the fourth Box-it franchisee acquired by Oasis Group since the acquisition of Box-it UK in March 2018. Wales has been a region of interest for OASIS for some time and this new location bridges a gap in it’s already strong footprint in Britain. “This acquisition provides us with a platform in a great market which allows us to deliver the wide range of services we offer our clients” states Brian Connolly, Chief Executive Officer of OASIS Group. Providing a suite of RIM services, from intricate archiving solutions to GDPR Readiness, this transaction marks the 38th successful acquisition for OASIS Group.

Hexagon strengthens its construction solutions portfolio for AEC (Architecture, Engineering, Construction) market with Bricsys acquisition
Ghent, Belgium - 23rd October 2018 - Hexagon AB, a global, digital solutions organisation, has announced the acquisition of Bricsys, a fast-growing developer of CAD (computer-aided design) software that has been at the forefront of providing open, collaborative construction technology solutions since its founding in 2002. “Hexagon has long been a leader in structural & process piping design. The Bricsys acquisition extends our domain expertise into building design, adding walls, floors, doors and other construction related features,” says Hexagon President and CEO, Ola Rollén. “More importantly, we can now provide the AEC market with an end-to-end platform – with conceptual design, CAD design, BIM software and collaboration tools, project and cost controls, in-field construction execution tools (work packages), and progress documentation (reality capture) – to connect, automate, and ultimately 'autonomise’ the entire building and construction ecosystem through our HxGN SMART Build solution.”

Microsoft Completes $7.5 Billion GitHub Acquisition
California - 26th October 2018 - Microsoft has announced it has completed its acquisition of GitHub, announced in June. The news comes a week after the European Union approved the deal, ruling that the merged entity doesn’t pose a major threat to competing DevOps tools and cloud services. Nat Friedman, former CEO of Xamarin (acquired by Microsoft in 2016), will be taking over as GitHub’s CEO. In its blog, announcing completion of the deal, Microsoft said that, “GitHub will retain its developer-first ethos, operate independently, and remain an open platform. Together, the two companies will work together to empower developers to achieve more at every stage of the development lifecycle, accelerate enterprise use of GitHub, and bring Microsoft's developer tools and services to new audiences.”

Sitecore to Acquire Innovative Content Marketing Software Vendor Stylelabs
San Francisco, California and Brussels, Belgium – 9th October 2018 – Sitecore®, a digital experience management company, has announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Stylelabs, creator of the Marketing Content Hub® platform. Adding Stylelabs’ platform to Sitecore allows marketing teams to own the entire content lifecycle and understand the impact of specific content assets on individual customers’ behavior, empowering them to deliver transformative experiences throughout the customer journey. “I am thrilled to welcome the entire Stylelabs team to the Sitecore family,” said Mark Frost, CEO of Sitecore. “Companies thrive by exceeding their customers’ expectations. Together, Sitecore and Stylelabs will be the only company that can deliver functionality spanning the entire content lifecycle, from planning to publishing to delivering rich, relevant experiences tailored to customer needs. We’re providing the best end-to-end digital marketing solution in the world to help CMOs and their teams realize the power of content as their most valuable asset to build life-long customer relationships.”

Iron Mountain Acquires GRM's China Operations - Significantly Expands Presence in China
Shanghai, China – 8th October 2018 - Iron Mountain Incorporated a storage and information management services company, has announced the acquisition of GRM's Chinese operations, expanding Iron Mountain's presence in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Qingdao, Dalian, Chengdu and Wuhan (including over 2.5 million cubic feet of storage); 550 customers; and add 170 employees to its Chinese operations. "The acquisition of GRM China advances our strategy for expanding Iron Mountain's presence in faster growing Asian markets like China," said Ernest Cloutier, Executive Vice President and General Manager, International for Iron Mountain. "In Asia, we see a growing opportunity for records and information management outsourcing. We seek to capitalize on this opportunity, in part, by acquiring leading local providers that share our commitment to best-in-class service delivery, trust and security. This enables us to support our local, regional and global customers; enhance returns as we integrate these companies into our regional business; and ensure we are poised to make the most of the global trend of information management outsourcing."

Iron Mountain Acquisition of Valex, Expands Presence in South Korea
Seoul, South Korea – 4th October 2018 - Storage and information management services company, Iron Mountain Incorporated, has announced the acquisition of the information management operations of Valex Security in South Korea, expanding the company’s presence and market position. The acquisition of Valex’s information management operations – including services for records management, storage and secure destruction – will add three facilities in Seoul to Iron Mountain’s existing South Korean business, delivering document storage, scanning and secure destruction to nearly 200 customers. “As the largest city in South Korea, Seoul is an important hub for our local and regional business, as well as our international customers with operations in and around the city. Acquiring Valex’s records management operations provides us with the opportunity to strengthen our presence and serve those customers, and we look forward to building upon the high levels of service that they expect for their records management and information management needs.” said Peter Hwang, Managing Director, Iron Mountain Asia.