Major M&A Deals In Tech Industry 2014

by CXOtoday News Desk    Dec 26, 2014


The year 2014 had been a rather busy one for the tech industry in terms of mergers and acquisitions (M&A). From Facebook acquiring WhatsApp to Google buying Nest and Motorola going into the hands of Zebra Technologies, the year has been marked by some landmark tech M&A deals that made news throughout the year. While for some, it was growing their business and market shares, for others it was a survival strategy.

Here’s a list of some major acquisitions in IT industry in 2014.

#1.Google buys Nest Labs

In January 2014, Google announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Nest Labs, the maker of high-tech thermostats and smoke detectors, for $3.2 billion. The deal is the second biggest in Google’s history after Motorola Mobility, and marks another expansion of the company’s ambitions beyond its search advertising business. Through this acquisition, Google wanted to gain a firm footing in the growing Internet of Things market for smart household appliances. Experts believe, a platform for Internet-connected home devices powered by Google will help both companies capture a bigger share of the $600 billion IoT market.

#2.Facebook acquires WhatsApp

In October, Facebook wrapped up its landmark $19 billion acquisition (with a final price of about $22 billion) of the mobile messaging service WhatsApp that it announced in February 2014. The acquisition is expected to strengthen Facebook’s footprints in mobile messaging, especially in the emerging countries such as India, Brazil and Indonesia where mobile is becoming a lifeline for communication. At present, WhatsApp is the most globally diverse messaging service, with more than 600 million monthly active users globally connected to its service.

Read on: What Makes Facebook-WhatsApp A Win-win deal?

#3.  Zebra buys Motorola Solutions’ scanner biz

What may come as a surprise to many in the tec industry is that printer/bar code maker Zebra Technologies is buying Motorola Solutions’ Enterprise business for $3.5 billion in an all cash deal, it announced in April. Experts believe this is a major move by the Illinois-headquartered Zebra which was known for its RFID and real-time location solutions. On the eve of the acquisition, senior vice president Philip Gerskovich told Washington Post that Zebra can now capi­tal­ize on two trends: the Internet of Things, and an increasingly mobile workforce.

Read more: With Motorola Acquisition, Zebra Set To Enter Big League

#4. Oracle acquires Micros Systems

Oracle acquired Micros Systems Company for $5.3 billion. Micros systems, which is based in Columbia, provides hospitality and retail businesses with hardware, software, cloud solutions and scalable point-of-sale services. Summit Research Partners analysts Richard Williams and Srini Sundararajan tell Forbes, “We think a deal could make sense from a number of perspectives. One aspect would be vertical expertise in parts of retail that are spending increasing amounts on IT infrastructure. Another would be to provide tighter integration between Oracle’s database and software stack for hotel retailers.”

#5.Elliot takes over Riverbed Technologies

Networking company Riverbed Technology has agreed to be acquired for $3.6 billion. Elliot led by Paul Singer, in recent times is known for its string of multi-billion dollar acquisitions, and has taken control over Riverbed through Thoma Bravo and the private equity arm of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Riverbed initially rejected Elliott’s demands but the company’s quarterly financial results missed its own forecasts and eventually it succumbed to the selling process. J.P Morgan’s Rod Hall told Reuters the offer was fair, given the lack of growth in the company’s core business.