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The Biggest Tech Acquisitions Of All Time

Tech Acquisitions

Excitement is abuzz in the tech industry with IBM announcing its plans to acquire Red Hat , representing a total enterprise value of approximately $34 billion. The acquisition is by far IBM’s largest deal ever and touted among the largest deals in the technology history of the world. In 2015, Dell had acquired a merger with EMC at a massing USD 70 billion, making it the biggest ever acquisition in the technology sector. There are several more examples. CXOtoday lists out some of the landmark acquisitions in the technology industry – that are considered to be the biggest of all time.

– Dell’s historical buyout of EMC at $67 billion in 2015

The Dell-EMC merger marks the biggest tech takeover deal ever struck. Dell agreed to acquire EMC, with a market capitalization of $52 billion and reaching a record USD 67 billion – making it one of the largest tech mergers of all time. Falling demand for mainstream personal computers has resulted in Dell seeking to expand into the more lucrative professional and business computing areas, and it has identified data storage as a key growth area for the sector. 

Read More: Dell-EMC Deal May Be Biggest-Ever In Tech Sector

Goldman Sachs analyst Simona Jankowski told The Wall Street Journal, “Dell, would be able to expand its business and gain entry into a key part of the data storage market. It could help Dell move away from the stagnant PC market and tap strongly into the faster-growing and more lucrative market for managing and storing data for enterprises.”

– Avago Technologies buys Broadcom for $37 billion in 2015

In May 2015, Avago Technologies announced it is buying rival chipmaker Broadcom in a cash-and-stock deal worth a whopping $37 billion. Avago is paying $17 billion in cash and the rest in stock, it said in a statement.

Broadcom makes radios for cellphones and other consumer devices, plus chips used in networking equipment for the data center. Both of its businesses could complement Avago’s more industrial and component-level activities. Avago makes analog and mixed-signal chips for automotive, industrial and communications applications. It also makes custom chips known as ASICS that are used in networking.

The combined company, Broadcom, will be based in Singapore and will be the third-largest US semiconductor-maker by revenue, behind Intel Corp and Qualcomm.

– Microsoft buys LinkedIn for $26.2 Bn

One of the major tech mergers is Microsoft announcing its plans to buy LinkedIn, the professional social network, for USD 26.2 billion (in an all cash deal). It was touted among the largest deals in the technology history of the world. Ever since, the two companies have been taking advantage of each other’s’ strong suits, such as adding LinkedIn data into Office 365 programs such as Outlook and embedding Bing commute time maps for LinkedIn job postings.

Read more: Microsoft Buys LinkedIn; Strengthens Enterprise Social Media Biz

– Facebook buys WhatsApp for $22 billion in 2014

The multibillion-dollar Facebook acquisition of the mobile messaging service WhatsApp was the largest deal ever for a venture capital-backed company. Facebook was looking for a way to win the market for messaging and also lure younger generation, an area where it was losing out.

Hence, WhatsApp offered several benefits to Facebook, including a large user base in the direct messaging arena, smartphone engagement, and high international penetration across various demographics.

– HP buys Compaq for $18.6 billion in 2002

Compaq and Hewlett-Packard competed during the early days of personal computers. Compaq sales slowed in the early 2000s and HP agreed to a takeover. Although it was announced in June 2001 at a higher price tag, HP closed the deal in May 2002 for nearly $19 billion. The deal remains the biggest completed computer hardware deal in history.

– Intel’s $16.7 billion acquisition of Altera in 2015

Intel’s $16.7 billion acquisition of Altera can be a significant investment for the world’s largest chip company and much was made over the consolidation in the semiconductor industry. A key reason, Jason Waxman, the VP & GM of the cloud platforms group at Intel said is that by 2020 Intel believes a third of the data center market could be using the type of chips that Altera specializes in. And there lies a valid answer.

Intel’s purchase of smaller chipmaker Altera is necessary for the company to overcome technological hurdles, GVA Research’s David Garrity told CNBC’s adding that only Altera’s integrated circuits, which use a technology called field-programmable gate array, provide a way for Intel to improve the performance of its chips at a slightly higher cost.

– VeriSign buys Network Solutions for $21 billion in 2002

Security software-maker VeriSign acquired the internet-name registrar Network Solutions in an all-stock deal worth about $21 billion, creating an online powerhouse that can shepherd companies onto the Internet and help them establish and maintain their e-commerce identity. The surprise deal often called ‘yin and yang’ combination by analysts unites the world’s leading provider of Internet domain name registrations, Network Solutions, with the nation’s leading provider of e-commerce and e-mail security, creating a company that will begin with more than 12 million worldwide subscribers.

– Intel purchases Mobileye for $15.3 billion

US chipmaker Intel agreed to purchase Israel-based driverless car firm Mobileye for $15.3 billion (£12.5 million) in March 2017. Mobileye currently holds contracts with 27 car makers. It also controls two-thirds of the software for automatic emergency braking and semi-autonomous cruise control systems on the market. 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 this year.

– HP buys EDS for $13.9 billion in 2008

The Hewlett-Packard Company completed the purchase of Electronic Data Systems Corporation (EDS) for nearly $14 billion in August 2008. EDS was a multinational company started by Ross Perot and headquartered in Plano, Texas. It was known for building a system for allowing bank machines to take in money, but was acquired for its wider IT services business.

– Symantec buys Veritas for $13.5 billion in 2005

In the largest deal of its kind, the security software company Symantec finalized its purchase of Veritas, a storage management company. This deal turned out to be another mismatch, culminating in Symantec’s decision last year to sell Veritas for $8 billion to the Carlyle Group and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC.

– Google buys Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in 2014

Google expanded from the search and software industries into the hardware and gadget sector with its largest acquisition to date. Google primarily bought Motorola for its portfolio of 17,000 mobile patents, but Google also inherited an unprofitable division that made smartphones. After losing more than $2 billion in less than two years, Google sold Motorola’s smartphone business to the Lenovo Group for $2.9 billion and held on to the patents. 

– NXP’s deal to buy Freescale for $11.8 billion in 2015

NXP has completed its nearly $12 billion deal to buy Freescale, doubling the proportion of auto-related revenue to 40 percent to create the world’s top maker of automotive electronics. NXP automotive unit chief executive Kurt Sievers said in an interview that the combination will allow the company to assemble a range of discreet automotive applications into more complete systems running on top of Freescale processors.

“It propels NXP into new application areas in cars including powertrain, safety and body electronics,” he said, building on its existing leading positions in audio infotainment, security and vehicle networks.

– Oracle buys PeopleSoft for $10.3 billion in 2005

The hostile takeover of PeopleSoft by Oracle took more than 18 months to conclude. The deal made Oracle the world’s second-largest seller of business applications software at the time and a formidable rival to SAP in the similar market. In recent years, Oracle has been contending with a new threat from Workday, a specialist in online personnel services that was started by PeopleSoft founder David Duffield.

– Oracle buys Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion in 2010

The buyout gave Oracle ownership of the Java programming language and catapulted the software company into the hardware business. Analysts have been generally unimpressed with the payoff that Oracle has gotten from Sun Microsystems so far.

–  Verizon acquires Yahoo for $4.5 bn in 2017

Verizon completed its acquisition of Yahoo for $4.5 billion in June 2017. The US telecoms 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, will be heading up these new operations with Marissa Mayer choosing to resign from Yahoo as a result of “inherent changes” to her role “resulting from the closing of the transaction”.

The deal dated back to 2016, when Yahoo had agreed to sell the company’s core internet operations to Verizon. This acquisition spilled over into 2017, with news of Yahoo’s multiple data breaches causing Yahoo to reduce its price slightly. 

– Cisco snaps up AppDynamics for $3.7 bn

In January 2017, Cisco acquired application analytics firm AppDynamics for $3.7 billion. San Francisco-based AppDynamics 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.

– Google buys Kaggle

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.

(The ranking is based on the size of the deal in descending order)

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Sohini Bagchi
Sohini Bagchi is Editor at CXOToday, a published author and a storyteller. She can be reached at sohini.bagchi@trivone.com