Tech M&A Round Up - 26th July 2019

EY in India acquires C Centric to enhance customer experience for businesses

Mumbai, India – 25th July 2019: EY, a professional services organisation, has announced the acquisition of C Centric, a provider of CRM solutions and services to help businesses rethink, redesign and deliver better customer experience. The acquisition strengthens EY’s commitment to support businesses in their transformation journeys by bringing a customer-insights driven strategy that helps organizations look at digital from every angle and unlock the power of key disruptive technologies like AI, RPA, Analytics, Cloud among others. With the acquisition, EY brings on board a team with extensive experience in conceptualizing and implementing CRM solutions. The team’s capabilities range from both online as well as on-premise CRM implementations, that include social CRM, cloud CRM, SaaS CRM, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) powered CRM.

Keensight Capital Enters into Exclusive Agreement to Acquire Majority Stake in Smile
Paris, France - 24th July 2019 - Keensight Capital, one of the leading European Growth Buyout1 firms, has entered into an exclusive agreement to acquire a majority stake in Smile, the European leader in digital and opensource. Subject to the completion of the information and consultation process of the employees representative bodies of the Smile group and the approval of the transaction by the French competition authority, Keensight Capital, which has built a strong partnership with Smile over the years having first invested in the company from 2013 to 2017, would replace Eurazeo PME as majority shareholder. Eurazeo PME would also be reinvesting in the company, alongside the management team and the employees.

Toast Acquires StratEx to Simplify HR for Restaurants
Boston, MA – 24th July 2019 - US restaurant management platform, Toast,  has announced it has acquired StratEx, provider of HR and payroll software for restaurants. StratEx’s HR software and consulting services help restaurants automate applicant tracking, scheduling, payroll, benefits and labor law compliance. “At Toast, we know that for a restaurant to be successful it often starts with recruiting and retaining a great team, yet many restaurants wrestle with employee turnover that can exceed 70 percent,” said Chris Comparato, CEO of Toast. “By adding StratEx to the Toast Platform, we can better support restaurants of all sizes in simplifying HR, payroll, and talent management on a platform that works seamlessly with Toast and our technology partner ecosystem.” As a result of the acquisition, the former StratEx product is now part of Toast Payroll & Team Management, an all-in-one HR solution, built specifically for the restaurant industry.

Australia’s Ticketbooth Acquired by US Event Technology Giant
Pittsburgh, PA – 24th July 2019 - Live event technology company, Patron Technology, has announced it has acquired Ticketbooth, along with sister companies Token Systems and Audiencetools. Audiencetools, a social marketing platform used to help sell more tickets, and Token Systems, an RFID solution for cashless payments at events, are both owned by Ticketbooth. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The addition of Ticketbooth solidifies Patron Technology’s global presence. While the company already supports numerous festivals and events around the world, this is the first acquisition based outside of North America. Patron Technology is the only event technology company offering a start-to-finish platform, including ticketing, event operations, data-driven engagement tools, experiential marketing, and mobile app solutions, aimed at growing events. Audiencetools greatly increases the social marketing capabilities of event organizers. Token makes it easy for attendees to make purchases during the event.

Compass Datacenters Acquires Root Data Center, Expanding Focus on Hyperscale Market
Dallas - 23rd July 2019 - Compass Datacenters, LLC has announced that it has completed the acquisition of ROOT Data Center, a wholesale data center provider in Montreal, Quebec. The ROOT acquisition is the first by Compass since its recently announced plan to develop up to $3 billion in new data center campuses, which included follow-on investments from existing investors RedBird Capital Partners and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, as well as from new investment partner the Azrieli Group Ltd., an Israeli real estate development company. Financial terms of the ROOT transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition of ROOT adds significant scale to the Compass platform and is highly complementary to Compass’s core strategy of serving high-growth hyperscale and cloud customers with dedicated facilities delivered on expedited timelines. Following the acquisition, Compass has the capacity to expand up to 375MW of IT load across its current campuses.

OpenAI forms exclusive computing partnership with Microsoft to build new Azure AI supercomputing technologies
San Francisco and Redmond, Washington – 22nd July 2019 - Microsoft Corp. and OpenAI have partnered to further extend Microsoft Azure's capabilities in large-scale AI systems. Through this partnership, the companies will accelerate breakthroughs in AI and power OpenAI's efforts to create artificial general intelligence (AGI). The resulting enhancements to the Azure platform will also help developers build the next generation of AI applications. The companies will focus on building a computational platform in Azure of unprecedented scale, which will train and run increasingly advanced AI models, include hardware technologies that build on Microsoft's supercomputing technology, and adhere to the two companies' shared principles on ethics and trust. This will create the foundation for advancements in AI to be implemented in a safe, secure and trustworthy way and is a critical reason the companies chose to partner together.

West Yorkshire IT business acquires Mazars’ Client-facing IT operation
22nd July 2019 - Horsforth-based Jungle IT has acquired the IT operations of the managed services business of accountancy firm Mazars in Leeds for an undisclosed sum.  The deal, which was supported by a team of Yorkshire professional advisers, sees all three members of the Mazars IT team transfer to Jungle IT. Founded in 2004 by Jonathan Asquith, £6m turnover Jungle IT has grown from a supplier of hardware and software to offer complete, managed computer services. The 22-strong team is supported by experienced entrepreneur and business development adviser, Jon Crabtree, in the role of chairman. The acquisition of Mazars’ client-facing IT services business, led by David Blythe, will enable Jungle IT to strengthen its managed IT services offering whilst also seamlessly continuing to provide IT support to Mazars’ clients.

Ebix Signs Agreement to Acquire Yatra Online Creating India's Leading Travel Services Platform
Gurugram & Noida, India, Atlanta and New York – 17th July 2019 – Ebix, Inc.and Yatra Online, Inc. have announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Ebix will acquire Yatra via merger. In connection with the merger, each ordinary share of Yatra will be entitled to receive 0.005 shares of a new class of preferred stock of Ebix. Each share of Ebix Convertible Preferred Stock received for each Yatra Ordinary Share will, in turn, be convertible into 20 shares of common stock of Ebix. Based on the trailing 15-day volume weighted average price (“VWAP”) of Ebix Common Stock of $49.05 per share, each Yatra Ordinary Share convertible into Ebix Common Stock would be valued, on an as-converted basis, at $4.90 per share, representing an approximately 32% premium to Yatra’s closing share price on March 8, 2019, the last trading day prior to the public announcement of Ebix’s offer to acquire Yatra. Assuming a value of $4.90 per Yatra Ordinary Share, the transaction implies an enterprise value of $337.8mil at the Ebix collar price of $59 per share and post adjustment for Indebtedness, Working capital, Warrants to be converted and minimum cash requirement, a net equity value of $239 million.

Wavecell Acquired by 8×8, Enabling 8×8 to Enter Global CPaaSs Market
Singapore – 18th July 2019 — 8×8, Inc, a cloud provider of voice, video, chat and contact center solutions for over one million users worldwide, has announced the acquisition of privately-held Wavecell Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based global Communications Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS) provider, for approximately USD $125 million in cash and stock. The acquisition provides 8×8 with an established technology platform and high-growth revenue business to pursue CPaaS globally and represents a natural expansion of 8×8’s cloud business from Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS), Contact Center-as-a-Service (CCaaS), and Video into the CPaaS market. The acquisition expands 8×8’s presence into the rapidly growing Southeast Asian market, including Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Hong Kong, with a talented employee base and more than 500 enterprise customers. Wavecell also brings an R&D center in Asia which allows 8×8 to further accelerate growth in product innovation and delivery.

Crown Capital Partners Announces Acquisition of WireIE 
Calgary – 15th July 2019 -Crown Capital Partners Inc, a capital partner to entrepreneurs and growth businesses, has announced it has completed a transaction to acquire WireIE Holdings International Inc, an Ontario-based network operator that specializes in the deployment and management of carrier-grade data networks across Canada and internationally to underserved communities. Pursuant to the Transaction, Crown has acquired all the debt and equity of WireIE for a nominal amount on closing and a performance-based earn-out payment of up to $5 million. Crown had previously provided an income streaming facility to WireIE in July 2018 to support the company’s expansion. Crown has invested $7.6 million to date and will provide additional capital as required to fund future growth. Chris Johnson, President & CEO of Crown, said: “We’re delighted to expand our relationship with WireIE and welcome it to the Crown platform. The data network industry is rapidly growing and capital-intensive, and we view this industry as a new avenue for revenue growth and diversification for Crown, building on our special situations and power segments. In addition to direct investments such as WireIE, there is an opportunity to develop a third-party fund targeting this market.” 

26 July 2019