Mergers and acquisitions in September

Ecommerce giant eBay paid $2.6 billion for Luxembourg-based Skype, promising a further $1.5 billion if performance targets are met. Skype was founded two years ago by the team behind KaZaA, which provided peer-to-peer filesharing software. Skype uses similar technology to enable free voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls between users, charging for extra services like voicemail and landline calling.

Even though only 2 million of its 54 million users pay for such services and the company is yet to turn a profit, Skype had sparked interest from Yahoo!, Google and News Corp. This may account for the steep price eBay paid, but many analysts have questioned that valuation: “eBay could have developed its own sophisticated messaging and communications platform, or even bought one, for far less money than it is paying for Skype,” says Ovum analyst Mark Main.

Microsoft also bought into the VoIP world, purchasing Teleo, a provider of VoIP software and services, at the end of August for an undisclosed fee. It will embed Teleo’s technology into consumer applications such as MSN Messenger.

Relative to the Skype deal, Hewlett-Packard (HP) picked up a bargain with its $425 million purchase of Peregrine, an asset management software company that recorded $191.1 million in revenues in 2004. Peregrine has slowly engineered its way back to health and respectablity after an accounting scandal forced it to file for bankruptcy protection in 2003. The buy will help HP stand up to asset management giants CA and IBM. However, analyst group Gartner warns customers that product overlap means HP is unlikely to maintain both its existing asset management offering and the acquired one.

HP also purchased privately held AppIQ for $270 million. Although the four-year-old storage resource management vendor has never reported profitability, AppIQ will bolster HP’s presence in the storage software market and may provide valuable OEM deals with Engenio and SGI.

Mergers and acquisitions in September
Acquirer   Activity   HQ   Target   Activity   HQ   Price  
2e2 Group IT managed services UK TriSys Back-up s/w &services UK £8.11m
2e2 Group IT services UK Yul Data Security Data mgmt/security s/w &svcs Holland n/a
Access Co Mobile content s/w &svcs Japan PalmSource Mobile operating systems US $324.5m
Avaya Communications equipment US Nimcat Networks IP phone call processing s/w Canada C$46m
CheckFree Financial ecommerce s/w &svcs US Integrated Decision Systems Financial portfolio mgmt s/w US $18m
Chelford Group Supply chain s/w &svcs UK Agility Systems Supply chain execution s/w UK £3.8m
eBay Online auctions US Skype Technologies Internet telephony s/w &svcs Lux $2.6bn
Epsilon Data Management Financial services s/w US Bigfoot Interactive Email marketing s/w US $120m
Exact Software Business applications s/w Holland Modulair Easy Access Warehouse management s/w Holland n/a
F5 Networks Internet traffic controllers US Swan Labs Network appln acceleration prods US $43m
FileNet Content mgmt s/w US Yaletown Technology Group Content compliance s/w US $11m
Hewlett-Packard Systems, s/w &IT svcs US AppIQ Storage resource mgmt s/w US $270m
Hewlett-Packard Systems, s/w &IT svcs US Peregrine Systems Asset &service mgmt s/w US $425m
IDT Telecoms services US Net2Phone Voice-over-IP phones US n/a
Logicalis Group Systems integration svcs UK Hawke Systems Storage/systems integration svcs UK n/a
Mercury Interactive Appln optimisation s/w US BeatBox Technologies Web user tracking s/w US $14m
Mercury Interactive Appln optimisation s/w US Intuwave’s m-Test unit Wireless testing tech UK n/a
Microsoft Applications &systems s/w US Alacris Identity assurance s/w Canada n/a
Microsoft Applications &systems s/w US Teleo Voice-over-IP s/w US n/a
Oracle Database &applns s/w US Siebel Systems CRM s/w US $5.85bn
Oracle Database &applns s/w US G-Log Logistics/transport mgmt s/w US n/a
Polycom Voice &video conferencing s/w US DSTMedia Technology Co IP conferencing products China n/a
SAP Business applications s/w Germany Triversity Customer-centric retail s/w Canada n/a
SimCorp Financial management s/w Denmark SolutionForge Finance info exchange s/w UK n/a
SumTotal Systems Business perf mgmt s/w US Pathlore Software Learning mgmt s/w US $47m
Symantec Security and storage s/w US WholeSecurity Behaviour-based security s/w US n/a
Tikit Group Law firm IT services &s/w UK Shamrock Marketing Data mgmt for prof svcs UK £0.7m
Verint Systems Analytics s/w US Opus Group Performance analysis s/w US $12m

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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