Top 10 Tech Acquisitions In 2017 So Far

by Sohini Bagchi    Dec 15, 2017

tech deals

Acquisitions and mergers are strategic moves by companies foreseeing scope for business expansion and 2017 saw a good number of deals where companies did go private, undertaking consolidation and breaking into new markets with new services.

According to the 451 Research’s M&A KnowledgeBase, tech companies announced $500 billion worth of transactions in 2016, ranking that year as the second-highest annual total since 2000.

Companies such as HPE, Cisco, Google, Apple, CA Technologies and Intel, among others, were very active with acquisition this year in order to gain their competitive edge, signaling new products, services and capabilities coming to the market for solution providers. Overall the year saw mergers and acquisitions that resulted these companies to explore disruptive technologies with a focus on Cloud, AI, IoT, security, VR, among others.

CXOToday offers its readers a quick glance on the major tech deals in 2017.

1. HPE buys SimpliVity

In January, Hewlett Packard Enterprise buy hyperconverged infrastructure provider SimpliVity for $650 million. The deal - that is expected to close in the second quarter and is aimed at strengthening HPE’s hyperconverged portfolio.

“This transaction expands HPE’s software-defined capability and fits squarely within our strategy to make Hybrid IT simple for customers,” said Meg Whitman, President and CEO, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “More and more customers are looking for solutions that bring them secure, highly resilient, on-premises infrastructure at cloud economics. That’s exactly where we’re focused.”

The vendor has already announced new products following the acquisition. HPE will combine SimpliVity Omni Stack software with its DL380 servers, which will be available during the second half of 2017.

2. Cisco acquires AppDynamics

In January, Cisco acquired San Francisco-based application analytics firm AppDynamics for $3.7 billion. The latter provides software that monitors the performance of most applications, flagging issues and areas that need particular attention. The deal came just before AppDynamic’s IPO and closed in March 2017.

Rowan Trollope, Cisco senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Internet of Things and Applications Business Group said, “The combination of Cisco and AppDynamics will allow us to provide end to end visibility and intelligence from the network through to the application; which, combined with security and scale, and help IT to drive a new level of business results.”

Cisco’s announcement comes a week after Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) said it would buy cloud startup SimpliVity for $650 million in cash. It is said to be Cisco’s largest acquisition since it bought security company Sourcefire for $2.7 billion in 2013. 

3. HPE Buys Nimble Storage

In March 2017, HPE agreed to buy hybrid storage provider Nimble Storage for $1.09 billion cash, in an attempt to expand its growing storage business. HPE CEO Meg Whitman has been focusing on networking, storage and technology services as part of a major restructuring of the business. Nimble’s predictive flash offerings for the entry to midrange segments are complementary to HPE’s scalable midrange to high-end 3PAR solutions and affordable MSA products. This deal will enable HPE to deliver a full range of superior flash storage solutions for customers across every segment. 

In addition, HPE plans to incorporate Nimble’s InfoSight Predictive Analytics platform across its storage portfolio, which will enable a stronger, simplified support experience for HPE customers.

4. Apple acquires Lattice.io

As large tech companies gear up to make a stronger push into machine learning and artificial intelligence, Apple has acquired a company to fill out its own capabilities in the area. As a step in this direction, Apple acquired Californian startup Lattice.io in May for between $175-$200 million. The startup provides an AI-enabled engine that can take unstructured ‘dark’ data and turn it into meaningful and structured insights. And while in true Apple fashion, the tech giant declined to reveal how it plans to use Lattice, the significant price tag suggests it has big plans for the technology to build out its own machine learning capabilities.

5. CA Technologies Buys Veracode

CA Technologies has agreed to acquire security testing firm Veracode for $614 million (£490 million). The deal is said to broaden CA’s devops portfolio, and expand its development and testing offering for enterprises and app developers, with the acquisition expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2017. Veracode provides a software-as-a-service platform that helps developers improve the security of their applications.

6. Google Strikes a deal with HTC

In September, tech giant Google said it has signed an agreement with HTC to buy part of the Taiwanese company’s smartphone business for USD 1.1 billion to boost the search giant’s relatively new hardware business.

Google is roping in HTC’s employees including teams that have worked on the Pixel smartphones. The agreement paves for a non-licencing agreement for HTC intellectual property, the companies said in a statement. With this, Google gains firmer grounds over the production of its Pixel smartphones and other devices, which will help bolster sales. 

7. Google confirmed Kaggle Buyout

In March 2017, Google confirmed its acquisition of Kaggle, an online community of data scientists and host of data science and machine learning competitions, for an undisclosed sum. In early March, Google and Kaggle joined forces to host a $100,000 competition around machine learning and the classification of YouTube videos. It is believed that Google bought Kaggle to improve its AI and machine learning capabilities, by taking advantage of Kaggle’s active community of 600,000 data scientists.

8. Verizon completes Yahoo acquisition

In June, Verizon announced that it had completed its acquisition of Yahoo for $4.5 billion. The US-based telecom company said that it plans to combine its new assets with its existing AOL business to create a subsidiary called Oath, covering some 50 media brands and more than 1 billion people across the world. Tim Armstrong, former CEO of AOL, is heading up these new operations with Marissa Mayer resigned from Yahoo. The deal dated back to February 2016, when Yahoo revealed that it was looking for “strategic alternatives” for its core business, and by July Yahoo had agreed to sell the company’s core internet operations to Verizon. This acquisition spilled over into 2017, with Yahoo’s multiple data breaches making beadlines. 

9. Intel-Mobileye deal done

US chipmaker Intel agreed to purchase Israel-based driverless car firm Mobileye for $15.3 billion (£12.5 million) in March. Mobileye currently holds contracts with 27 car makers, and also controls two-thirds of the software for automatic emergency braking and semi-autonomous cruise control systems on the market.

While Mobileye is one of the few companies that has a comprehensive set of technology, no single company currently offers the entire stack of technologies for self-driving. Intel and Mobileye together would be able to marry the data-crunching needs with sensor tech.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich estimates self-driving will be a $70 billion industry by 2030. Intel and Mobileye struck a deal last year to start developing better autonomous technology. In partnership with BMW, Intel and Mobileye are working to produce a working fleet of 40 driverless of BMW 7 Series cars on roads by the end of 2017.

10. Atos To Buy Gemalto

In late November, Atos announced that it has made a formal proposal to acquire Gemalto by way of a public offer for all of Gemalto issued and outstanding shares. Strategically, the combination of Atos and Gemalto will lead to enhanced global leadership in cybersecurity and digital technologies and services, with highly complementary offerings, technologies, and commercial footprint in the global market.

“Atos has been following closely, and with a lot of interest, the evolution of Gemalto as a leading player in digital cybersecurity, IoT and payment and has long admired its global presence and strong customer and technology portfolios. We believe that a combination of Atos and Gemalto would result in enhanced global leadership in cybersecurity, digital technologies and services and in the strengthening of our positioning as a leading payment services provider” said Thierry Breton, Chairman and CEO of Atos.