Verizon (VZ) confirms it's acquiring CDN owner EdgeCast Networks. No price tag is given, but TechCrunch reported over the weekend Verizon is paying $350M+. The companies hope to close the deal in early 2014. (PR)
Akamai (AKAM) investors aren't responding well to the news; shares -2.5% premarket. The deal could both strengthen an Akamai rival, and end Verizon's partnership with the CDN market leader.
Verizon notes EdgeCast has 6K+ customers, and says the business complements that of TV Everywhere uploading/encoding service provider upLynk (acquired earlier this year).
Separately, at a UBS conference talk (webcast), Verizon predicts its $130B purchase of Vodafone's Verizon Wireless stake (financed using both debt and equity) will boost EPS by 10%.
TechCrunch reports Verizon (VZ) is acquiring content delivery network (CDN) EdgeCast for $350M+. EdgeCast counts Yahoo, Twitter, Pinterest, and Hulu among its clients, has been profitable for the last four years, and was on a $100M/year revenue run rate as of July.
Thus, assuming EdgeCast is still growing, Verizon may be paying just ~3x forward sales. CDN market leader Akamai (AKAM) trades at 4.5x 2014E sales.
Acquiring EdgeCast could unravel an enterprise CDN partnership Verizon has with Akamai. With telcos increasingly looking to offer their own CDN services, Akamai has been trying to turn a threat into an opportunity by offering carrier CDN solutions. In addition to Verizon, AT&T and Orange are clients.
As for Verizon, the company could leverage its IP infrastructure and sales reach to grow EdgeCast's sales to third-parties, and (perhaps more interestingly) use EdgeCast's network to underpin an expansion of its online/mobile video offerings.
This year has already seen Verizon add mobile support for certain FiOS channels, and acquire TV Everywhere encoding tech provider upLynk. The telco has also been reported to be eying the assets of Intel's Web TV unit, with the idea of offering a Web TV service in areas not covered by FiOS.
The deal is expected to close in 1H14, and to dilute Akamai's EPS in "the first full year post closure" by $0.06-$0.08.
Akamai declares the combination of its existing security offerings (backed up by a giant CDN that can offload traffic from a data center facing a DDoS attack) with Prolexic's services will allow it to offer "a comprehensive portfolio of security solutions designed to defend an enterprise's Web and IP infrastructure against application-layer, network-layer and data center attacks."
The high-margin security services market has increasingly been a priority for Akamai. Earlier this year, the company launched Kona Site Defender, its own solution for dealing with DDoS and other hacking attacks.
Akamai (AKAM) has acquired Velocius Networks, an Indian developer of technology that improves quality-of-service for enterprise app traffic. Terms are undisclosed. (PR)
Akamai declares Velocius' technology will allow it to "offer enterprise-class service levels for customers accessing IP applications over the Internet," and will complement its efforts to provide traffic optimization services for remote/branch-office enterprise users; the company calls this effort its "hybrid cloud optimization strategy."
Enterprise CDN services are a relatively high-margin business for Akamai, and one the company has shown a clear interest in growing in recent years. The company is looking to profit rising business demand for both remote app/file access and cloud services.
Following a few notable acquisitions in 2012, Akamai had been pretty quiet on the M&A front in 2013 until now.
Limelight (LLNW +6.3%) "is in talks to try and sell the company to Verizon (VZ) and is desperate to make a deal," Dan Rayburn reports hearing from "multiple attendees from Wall Street" at a conference he hosted. With Limelight burning cash and facing tough competition from Akamai (AKAM) and Level 3 (LVLT), there's logic to exploring a sale. Rayburn points out Limelight's management changes and Verizon's interest in growing its CDN business could lead to a deal. However, he adds Limelight has been seeing employee defections, and has heard Limelight customers criticize the "poor performance" of its CDN. Private XO Communications is also said to be talking with Limelight.
Akamai (AKAM) is selling its ad targeting business to private Mediamath, AllThingsD and AdAge report. Akamai launched the business in '08 following its $95M purchase of ad tech startup Acerno, arguing it could leverage the Web browsing and transaction data obtained by its massive CDN to deliver more relevant ads on the sites of CDN service clients. But the business has remained a sideshow.
Akamai (AKAM +0.2%) is buying Verivue, a developer of content delivery software aimed at last-mile service providers. Akamai plans to integrate Verivue's tech with its Aura Network Solutions platform for service providers who want to build their own CDNs (as opposed to using Akamai's). Akamai has been pretty aggressive this year at snapping up startups that can provide it with useful technology (I, II, III). (PR)
Akamai (AKAM) has bought FastSoft, a developer of algorithms that improve file transfer speeds and page view loading times for sites and web apps. Akamai's content delivery network is underpinned by proprietary routing algorithms, thus FastSoft's solutions are a natural fit. The company recently said it was on the lookout for security and networking startups that could improve its time-to-market.
Akamai (AKAM) is looking to acquire security and networking firms, says a company exec. The content delivery network owner wants to generate $100M/year in revenue from new businesses within 3 years, he says (for reference, Akamai is expected to post 2012 sales of $1.36B), and is willing to buy a startup if it helps improves the company's time-to-market. Zscaler, a provider of cloud-based security services for Web traffic, is named as the kind of company Akamai could be interested in.
Akamai (AKAM) has acquired Blaze Technology, a developer of technology for accelerating the speed at which web pages load. Blaze's solutions complement the site acceleration capabilities provided via Akamai's content delivery network (CDN). In December, Akamai acquired rival CDN owner Cotendo.
IDC thinks the rapid growth of the market for WAN optimization gear, used to improve Internet access speeds for remote offices, could make market leader Riverbed (RVBD) an acquisition target this year, in spite of its $4.5B market cap. FFIV and AKAM are also seen as buyout targets. Riverbed recently bought the assets of smaller rival Expand Networks.
The Street heaps praise on Akamai's (AKAM +18.9%) acquisition of Cotendo. S&P believes the deal will strengthen AKAM’s "technology, offerings, customer base, pricing, and potential for innovation and growth." Jefferies says it “solidifies AKAM’s position in the app/site acceleration space," and places its Underperform rating on the stock "under review."
Akamai (AKAM +5.3%) is reportedly in talks to buy rival content delivery network Cotendo, which it's currently suing, for more than $300M. Dan Rayburn views Cotendo as a growing threat to Akamai, with customers claiming the Israeli startup's network is both faster and cheaper for certain high-margin applications. Publicly-traded rival Limelight (LLNW +6.6%) is also surging.
Bloomberg reports 2 sources as saying rumors about a Google (GOOG) takeover of Akamai (AKAM) are baseless. Akamai leads American industry in buyout speculation, being named as a target 21 times since 2005. Up as much as 17% in AH trading last night, shares are +3.7% premarket.