Software Tech M&A and Other News - November 2017 Round Up

30 November 2017

Boss Insights - News Items – November 2017  

Fortlock Group acquires Comsmart
Auckland, New Zealand, 28 November 2017 – Fortlock Group has announced the acquisition of Wellington-based technology services company Comsmart, as part of its strategy to broaden its range of business services and solutions. Patrick Shields, owner and Executive Chairman of Fortlock Group, says that the acquisition adds further momentum to the growth of the group, expanding its market reach and strengthening its professional IT and converged security solutions capabilities. “Comsmart’s solutions and capabilities fit squarely within Fortlock’s strategic plan in respect of the products and services that we want to be able to provide to our customers. This acquisition provides Fortlock with the perfect opportunity to move into IP / network design and integration services, while expanding our cyber security offerings, collaboration technologies and cloud storage offerings,” says Shields.

Iron Mountain Expands Presence in China with Agreement to Acquire Santa Fe A/S
Boston, USA - November 16th, 2017 - Global storage and information management services organisation, Iron Mountain Incorporated®, has announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire the China records and information management operations of Santa Fe Group A/S, a provider of services for international mobility and relocation. The acquisition includes five facilities in four locations in China – Beijing, Shanghai, Dalian, and Guangzhou – serving 700 customers, with storage volumes that include one million cubic feet of records and 51,000 data protection assets, expanding the company’s current operational footprint to 11 facilities in China. The transaction is expected to close later this year.

Siemens strengthens IC market commitment with acquisition of Solido Design Automation
Plano, Texas - November 20, 2017 - Siemens has entered into an agreement to acquire Saskatoon, Canada-based Solido Design Automation Inc., a provider of variation-aware design and characterization software to semiconductor companies worldwide. Solido's machine learning-based products are currently used in production at over 40 major companies, enabling them to design, verify and manufacture more competitive products than ever before. The acquisition of Solido further expands Mentor's analog/mixed-signal (AMS) verification portfolio to help customers address the growing challenges of IC design and verification for automotive, communications, data-center computing, networking, mobile and IoT applications. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Siemens expects to close the transaction in early December 2017.

Essar concludes sale of Aegis to Capital Square Partners for US $300 Million 
Mauritius / Singapore, 27 November 2017: AGC Holdings Limited, Mauritius, a wholly owned portfolio company of Essar Global Fund Limited, has concluded the sale of 100% of its stake in ESM Holdings Limited, Mauritius, which is the holding company of Aegis, a major global outsourcing company, to Capital Square Partners (CSP) for US $300 Million (Approximately Rs.2,000 crore). Net proceeds from this sale, which was announced on 3 April 2017, will be used to retire Essar’s debt. The closure of this transaction is in line with Essar’s intent to reduce leverage that is complemented by an asset monetisation programme. The proceeds from the sale of Aegis and Essar Oil have enabled Essar to retire almost Rs 75,000 crore of debt. The transaction also marks Essar Global’s complete exit from the BPO business after creating significant value through organic growth and strategic acquisitions that helped diversify customer offerings.

Freeman Acquires Design Studio, Helios Interactive
Dallas — November 9, 2017 — In a continued effort to increase attendee engagement and create new opportunities with data and technology, Freeman, a provider of brand experiences, has acquired cutting-edge design studio, Helios Interactive. With the acquisition, Freeman will be able to help companies design and implement immersive digital engagements that drive audiences to action. The acquisition is the latest in a series of commitments Freeman has made to the digital transformation of the brand experience industry since forming Freeman Digital Ventures. “We are just beginning to see how exciting and immersive technologies like virtual and augmented reality are enhancing brand storytelling, and you’re only going to see demand increase over time as brands look for new ways to engage and inspire their audiences. The growth opportunity for AR and VR is immense, and the event industry is taking notice,” said Mike Schaiman, managing director, Helios.

PSAV Acquires Concise 
SCHILLER PARK, Ill., November 7, 2017 – PSAV, a leading global provider of audiovisual and event technology services, has acquired Concise Ltd. (“Concise” or “Company”), one of the largest and most trusted providers of interactive live event software applications. The acquisition reinforces PSAV’s commitment to deliver services that enhance meeting and event experiences with solutions that connect and inspire people. Concise has served the live event industry for more than 20 years and has developed a proprietary advanced software platform that enables event planners to deliver more engaging experiences and capture actionable event intelligence. Its primary product, Chime™, is an industry leading second-screen event application with broad functionality to stage interactive, engaging events. Additional capabilities include note-taking, polling, surveying, Q&A, dynamic personalized agendas, collaboration tools, and a document library. Concise’s Chime Check-In™ solution provides event planners with a powerful onsite check-in app, complete with an easy-to-use seating planner tool.

Microsoft and SAP join forces to offer a trusted path to digital transformation in the cloud  
Redmond, Wash., and Walldorf, Germany — Nov. 27, 2017 — Microsoft Corp. and SAP SE have announced integrated offerings to provide enterprise customers with a clear road map to confidently drive more business innovation in the cloud. In a bold show of commitment, the two companies also announced they will be deploying each other’s cloud solutions internally. Through their unique partnership, the companies will co-engineer, go to market, together with premier solutions and provide joint support services to ensure the best cloud experience for customers. Together, SAP and Microsoft will help companies make the most of running SAP applications in the cloud.  “We are taking our partnership to the next level with this new capability to run SAP S/4HANA in the Microsoft Azure environment,” said SAP CEO Bill McDermott. “The world’s significant businesses trust Microsoft and SAP. Together, we will help companies win the customer-driven growth revolution.”

Siemens Strengthens Its IoT Operating System Mindsphere Through Technology Partnership With Software Ag
Darmstadt, Germany - Thursday, November 23, 2017 - Software AG and Siemens AG have announced a partnership to strengthen the presence of the cloud-based open Internet of Things (IoT) operating system, MindSphere, across industries. MindSphere supports industrial companies in their digital transformation and offers a development platform to a broad customer base where companies can integrate their own applications and services to promote IoT innovations. Software AG brings the highly scalable components of its Digital Business Platform to MindSphere, which help customers to flexibly manage networks of millions of end devices. "Working hand in hand with partners like Software AG, we are continuing to drive forward the expansion of our IoT operating system, MindSphere, creating an ever more extensive global ecosystem. With MindSphere as a key component of our Digital Enterprise Suite we provide optimum support for manufacturing customers undergoing digital transformation," says Dr. Jan Mrosik, CEO Digital Factory Division, Siemens AG.

GE Healthcare Partners with Intel to Accelerate Digital Imaging from Edge to Cloud
Chicago - GE Healthcare has announced an expanded partnership with Intel that aims to enhance patient care and reduce costs for hospitals and health systems using digital imaging solutions, deployed via edge and cloud. Together, the companies anticipate their solutions will offer greater hospital efficiency through increased asset performance, reduced patient risk and dosage exposure – with faster image processing – and expedited time to diagnosis and treatment. Through the expanded partnership, GE Healthcare will use the new Intel® Xeon® Scalable platform with an aim towards lowering the total cost of ownership for imaging devices by up to 25 percent. Paired with GE Healthcare’s imagin g solutions, the Intel Xeon Scalable platform may improve radiologists’ reading productivity compared to the prior generation by reducing first image display down to under 2 seconds and full study load times down to under 8 seconds.

Box combines its content management services with Microsoft Azure’s cloud storage
20 Nov 2017 · Scott Guthrie, EVP of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group, joined CEO, Aaron Levie at BoxWorks 2017, to announce that Box using Azure would be available in November. Box using Azure is the first product milestone in the expanded partnership between Box and Microsoft. Now customers can benefit from combining Box's cloud content management platform with Microsoft's global-scale Azure cloud platform. Benefits include simplifying cross-company collaborative processes between employees and external stakeholders; securely managing content for the enterprise, with integrations for 1,400 best-of-breed SaaS apps, including Office 365 apps, while allowing users to work in their familiar productivity and line-of-business tools. The combined offering of Box and Azure will deliver new digital content experiences and streamline business processes for employees, customers and partners, alike. Thousands of businesses, including the new Microsoft Teams, currently use Box with Microsoft Office 365 to complete their work. This new integration with Azure is another step toward delivering a great user experience for customers using Box with the Microsoft stack.

ChemAxon and DEXSTR Team-Up to Boost Chemistry in Unstructured Data
Budapest, Hungary and TOULOUSE, France and BOSTON, November 21, 2017 - ChemAxon, a provider of cheminformatics software for life sciences has announced a strategic partnership with DEXSTR, an innovative provider of Scientific Knowledge Management solutions. Inquiro, DEXSTR's Scientific Knowledge Management System significantly enhances the R&D digitalization process, turning unstructured data into actionable insight. Inquiro combines powerful scientific capability with innovative technology, including indexing, automatic metadata generation, big data storage and analytics. ChemAxon provides cheminformatics software such as chemical search engine JChem Base, drawing component, Marvin JS, and the Document to Structure application, all which have now been integrated into the Inquiro Scientific Knowledge Management solution. Users of Inquiro will benefit from a wide range of chemistry features such as smart chemical detection, storage, indexing and structural searching. "We are pleased to partner with ChemAxon, allowing us to expose powerful chemistry capabilities directly within Inquiro, enabling our customers to go a step further in the digitalization of their R&D data knowledge." said David Peyruc, CEO at DEXSTR.

Accenture set to open new BPO Centre in Romania
Bucharest, Romania - November 20 - Global management consulting and professional services company, Accenture, has announced it will open a new business process outsourcing (BPO) centrе in Romania's central city of Brasov, in December. In the following six months Accenture will employ 100 people, who will provide customers with business process management services. Initial recruitment efforts will focus on university graduates with German language skills. Accenture has had a presence in Romania since 2006; the new centre in Brasov, located in Coresi Business Park,  is Accenture's seventh in the country. Accenture empllys over 2,700 people in five cities in Romania, delivering a wide range of services and solutions in areas such as consulting, digital, technology and operations. Most of its customers are based in Europe.

Restore Plc Appoints New Chairman Designate
Restore plc, the UK office services provider, announces that Sir William Wells has advised the Board that he will retire as Chairman on 31 December 2017 and step down from the Board following the release of the Company's Full Year results on 13 March 2018. He will be succeeded as Chairman from 1 January 2018 by Martin Towers, who joined the Board as a Non-Executive Director on 1 September 2017. Commenting, CEO, Charles Skinner said: "On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Sir William for his leadership over the past eight years and the significant contribution he has made to the strong growth of Restore during that time. On a personal note, I would like to thank Sir William for his wise counsel and invaluable support. Martin is an able and experienced public company chairman and I look forward to working closely with him". Martin Towers, said: "I am looking forward to succeeding Sir William and leading the Board in executing the growth strategy which has delivered such significant value for shareholders. Restore is a leading operator in UK office services with clear opportunities in each of its businesses and I'm delighted that I will be so closely involved in the next stage of its development."