Sep. 8, 2015, 7:02 PM
- Ahead of tomorrow's expected unveiling of a 12.9" iPad Pro, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) states Dell and HP will begin reselling its Surface Pro high-end tablet/convertible line and provide related support services.
- The deals are part of a broader Surface Enterprise Initiative meant to boost corporate sales - IT services giant Accenture is also a partner - and suggest at least two major PC OEMs have made peace with Microsoft's decision to compete against them via the Surface line.
- With the low-cost Surface 3 providing a lift. Microsoft's Surface revenue rose 117% Y/Y in calendar Q2 to $888M. A new high-end model - the Surface Pro 4 - is rumored to be launching this fall.
- Separately, Microsoft has confirmed its purchase of Adallom, an Israeli provider of cloud-based software for securing popular cloud/SaaS apps from the likes of Salesforce, Box, ServiceNow, Amazon, Google, and yes, Microsoft (Office 365/Yammer). Bloomberg and TechCrunch report the purchase price is ~$250M, less than the $320M previously reported by the WSJ.
- Microsoft: "Adallom expands on Microsoft’s existing identity assets, and delivers a cloud access security broker, to give customers visibility and control over application access as well as their critical company data stored across cloud services ... Adallom will complement existing offerings that Microsoft makes available today as part of Office 365 and the Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), including our recent Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics release."
Aug. 6, 2015, 2:15 PM
- P-E firms Permira has closed its $5.3B ($48.75/share) acquisition of Informatica (INFA +0.4%), a deal first announced on April 7. Sohaib Abbasi will step down as Informatica's CEO, but remain chairman.
- Along with the deal's closing, Informatica has announced Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) have become "strategic investors," taking stakes of undisclosed sizes in the data warehousing software vendor.
Jul. 20, 2015, 4:18 AM
- Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has reportedly decided to acquire Israeli cloud security company Adallom for $320M, marking the group's largest-ever acquisition in the country.
- Over the past year Microsoft has scooped up several other Israeli firms, including Aorato (cyber security) for $200M, Equivio (text analysis) for $200M, and N-trig (digital pen) for several tens of millions of dollars.
- Adallom has raised $49.5M to date from investors Sequoia Capital and Index Ventures as well as EMC and Hewlett-Packard.
Jul. 7, 2015, 12:41 PM
- After following markets lower earlier today, Workday (WDAY +1.1%) has turned positive in the wake of a column from The Information's Steve Nellis arguing Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) should buy the cloud HCM/financials software leader.
- Nellis: "Only Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) and Workday have enough revenue momentum to help Microsoft become a major seller of software for tracking customers, employee records and financials. But Workday is the better choice for several reasons, including the fact that Salesforce’s products feel dated."
- CNBC reported in May Microsoft held buyout talks with Salesforce, the sole enterprise cloud software pure-play larger than Workday, while adding the companies "remained far apart on a price."
- With a current market cap of $14.8B - would the company be willing to sell at $19B-$20B? - Workday would be a much less costly acquisition for Microsoft than Salesforce ($45.3B market cap). Both the company's forward sales multiples and expected growth rates are notably higher than Salesforce's.
Jun. 29, 2015, 11:22 PM
- KitGuru, not a site with a long track record of delivering M&A scoops, reports (citing a source) Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) "may acquire" AMD.
- It adds Microsoft approached AMD, which provides the APU for both the Xbox One and PS4, about a buyout several months ago, and that "the result of the talks is unclear."
- AMD rose 3% in AH trading to $2.41 on the rumor, after having fallen 5.3% in regular trading thanks to a broad market rout. Shares also fell sharply on Friday, following Micron's results/guidance.
- Back in 2012, BSN reported Intel is thinking of acquiring Nvidia and making Nvidia chief Jen-Hsun Huang its next CEO. That rumor didn't quite pan out.
Jun. 29, 2015, 3:10 PM
- UBER is acquiring map image-collection assets from Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Bing unit to strengthen its internal mapping work. About 100 Microsoft employees will be joining Uber. Terms are undisclosed.
- Uber, whose apps have been relying on Google Maps, has been rumored to be interested in Nokia's HERE mapping/navigation software unit. However, a recent Bloomberg report indicated Nokia prefers to sell the unit to a group of German automakers.
- Earlier: Top Chinese Uber rival Didi Kuaidi reportedly looking to raise ~$2B
Jun. 1, 2015, 9:49 PM
- The WSJ reports Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has agreed to buy 6Wunderkinder, the German developer behind popular to-do list app Wunderlist, for somewhere between $100M-$200M. Presumably, offshore cash will be used.
- Wunderlist claimed 10M users as of last December for its apps, which are offered on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and the Web. In addition to basic to-do list functionality, Wunderlist supports cross-device syncing, list sharing, and photo/PDF attachments. Google Play shows a rating of 4.4/5 stars, and the App Store 4.5/5 stars.
- Microsoft has increasingly looked to acquisitions strengthen its mobile productivity app lineup. Recent purchases include calendar app maker Sunrise (has partnered with Wunderlist) and e-mail app Acompli; Acompli's apps now underpin revamped Outlook mobile apps.
- Update (6/2): Microsoft has confirmed the acquisition. As usual, deal terms are undisclosed. In what's possibly a sign Microsoft plans to integrate Wunderlist with its OneNote note-taking app, the blog post announcing the purchase was published by OneNote GM Eran Megiddo.
May 22, 2015, 1:19 PM
- CNBC's David Faber reports Microsoft (MSFT -0.7%) held "significant talks" earlier this spring about acquiring Salesforce (CRM +2.4%), but the companies "remained far apart on a price." Microsoft was reportedly willing to offer $55B for Salesforce (current market cap of $49.3B); Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is said to have wanted as much as $70B.
- Faber adds the talks aren't expected to restart anytime soon. Aside from the price difference, Satya Nadella was reportedly "somewhat reluctant to pull the trigger on a deal of such size and consequence for his company."
- Bloomberg reported on May 5 Microsoft is "evaluating a bid" for the cloud CRM software giant - Microsoft's name had already loomed large in speculation about a rumored suitor. Reuters reported soon afterwards Microsoft wasn't currently weighing an offer.
- Salesforce has spiked higher on the report. Shares are up 6.3% since the company posted an FQ1 beat and reported 31% Y/Y deferred revenue growth on Wednesday afternoon.
May 18, 2015, 3:10 PM
- Bloomberg reports Baidu (BIDU -0.8%) is teaming with top ride-sharing platform Uber and P-E firm Apax Partners to jointly bid for Nokia's (NOK +0.7%) HERE mapping/navigation software unit. Sources state the business could fetch as much as $4B.
- A rival group consisting of Chinese messaging/gaming giant Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY), Chinese mapping firm/Tencent partner NavInfo, and Swedish P-E firm EQT Partners is also reportedly bidding. A group of German automakers (mentioned in past reports) and a trio of P-E firms are reportedly interested as well, and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has offered to buy a minority stake.
- The next round of bids are reportedly due in 2 weeks. Baidu is said to be partnering with Uber to "avoid regulatory scrutiny." The NYT previously reported Uber has bid up to $3B for HERE, which has a dominant position in the in-car automotive market.
- Separately, Baidu has announced a "strategic investment" in content recommendation platform Taboola - readers may be familiar with the "Recommend for you" article boxes Taboola provides at the bottom of articles on partner sites. The WSJ reports Baidu, which plans to bring Taboola's platform to China, invested $20M-$30M.
May 8, 2015, 4:03 AM
- Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) currently is not weighing an offer for Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM), Reuters reports, saying that Microsoft sees the CRM software giant's market valuation as too expensive.
- Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that Microsoft was evaluating a bid for Salesforce after the latter was approached by another unnamed would-be buyer.
May 5, 2015, 3:08 PM
- Bloomberg reports Microsoft (MSFT -1.2%) is "evaluating a bid" for Salesforce (CRM +4.8%) after Salesforce was approached by another potential suitor. Salesforce is reportedly working with two banks to determine a response.
- Bloomberg cautions Microsoft isn't currently in talks with the cloud CRM software giant, whose market cap stands at $49B. There was plenty of speculation Microsoft was the company that (per Bloomberg) recently approached Salesforce. SAP has denied being interested, and Oracle has suggested it isn't. A source says Microsoft has "long expected it might compete for Salesforce if it was for sale."
- Salesforce has jumped on the report. If Microsoft pursues a bid, activist ValueAct Capital (has a board seat) might raise objections.
- The report comes as Microsoft announces a partnership with cloud ERP/HR/e-commerce software vendor NetSuite (N +3%) to integrate NetSuite's apps with Office 365 apps and Azure services, and to make Azure NetSuite's "preferred cloud infrastructure platform." Microsoft struck an Office 365-focused partnership with Salesforce last year. NetSuite has received a lift from Bloomberg's report.
Apr. 29, 2015, 10:39 PM
- Following an afternoon Bloomberg report stating Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) has been approached by a potential acquirer, many have speculated archrival Oracle is the suitor. However, BuzzFeed's John Paczkowski (formerly with Re/code) reports Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) hasn't made such a move.
- Outside of Oracle, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is the name that has popped up most often. The software giant (closed today with a $399B market cap) is large enough to swallow Salesforce, has relatively limited product overlap - its Dynamics CRM apps compete against Salesforce's apps, but generally with SMBs than enterprises - and has been hungry to grow its cloud exposure. It just set a target of nearly tripling its business cloud service revenue run rate by mid-2018.
- Also: Microsoft and Salesforce struck an Office 365-centered partnership last year. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff showed up today at Microsoft's BUILD developer conference to trumpet the integration of additional Microsoft and Salesforce apps/services, and made a few tweets about the partnership along the way.
- Salesforce closed up 11.6% today thanks to Bloomberg's report, and then rose 1% in AH trading to $75.41. Many cloud software peers also got a lift.
Apr. 14, 2015, 1:35 PM
- Datazen, declared by Microsoft (MSFT -0.6%) to be "an industry leader" in the mobile business intelligence/data visualization software space, offers Windows, iOS, and Android apps (along with server-side software) for easily viewing/publishing business metrics and creating interactive dashboards that render well on devices large and small.
- Microsoft has bought the startup for an undisclosed sum; the company declares the deal furthers its efforts to offer "easy-to-use, accessible tools to extract maximum value from data – from anywhere, on any device." Datazen's offerings complement Microsoft's cloud-based Power BI business intelligence tools.
- Notably, Microsoft will be bundling Datazen's server software for free with its SQL Server database; Datazen's client apps have already been free to download. The software giant also plans to integrate Datazen's tech with Power BI (available via free and pro versions) to "give our customers another hybrid bridge for their on-premises investment to the cloud."
- The deal strengthens Microsoft's ability to compete against the likes of Tableau (DATA -0.6%) and Qlik (QLIK +1.4%), which both already offer mobile-friendly BI/visualization tools that can be used by non-IT personnel. Tableau, which has been grabbing share from BI incumbents, posted 75% Y/Y sales growth in Q4.
- In January, Microsoft bought Revolution Analytics, a provider of advanced data analysis/modeling tools for statisticians and data scientists. FQ3 results are due on April 23.
Mar. 4, 2015, 1:58 PM
- A day after slumping to new post-IPO lows and coming within $0.03 of $80, Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) has seen dip-buyers emerge in large numbers. Naturally, Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) is along for the ride.
- The gains come as a Chinese publication reports Jack Ma once said he considered acquiring Yahoo, which plans to spin off its Alibaba stake into a publicly-traded company in Q4. Ma's alleged comments: "The acquisition of Yahoo is something I worked [on] a couple of years ago, this is a political problem, not an economic problem, Yahoo is a media [company], more sensitive."
- There has already been speculation Alibaba will try to buy Yahoo's spinoff (much less politically challenging than buying the whole of Yahoo) at some point. Bloomberg's Matt Levine has noted the spinoff will have to wait a year before a deal occurs, in order to maintain its tax-free status.
- Meanwhile, Alibaba's Aliyun cloud services unit (a giant in the Chinese cloud infrastructure market) has opened a Silicon Valley data center, its first in the U.S. For now, the data center will cater to Chinese companies with U.S. operations, but it plans to go after non-Chinese clients later this year. When it does, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and a slew of other incumbents will be waiting.
Feb. 12, 2015, 1:11 PM
- Israel's Globes and Calcalist report Microsoft (MSFT +1%) is acquiring N-trig, a local developer of digital styluses and stylus/touch controller chips. Both suggest the deal price is around $200M.
- With N-trig's technology powering Surface tablet styluses, Microsoft already accounts for 79% of the company's revenue. N-trig has raised $130M via 8 funding rounds, but had less than $5M in cash left as of June 2014. Plans for a Tel Aviv IPO were cancelled last year.
- A common sight on pre-iPhone smartphones, styluses are now most notably used with Surface tablets and (courtesy of Samsung's proprietary S-Pen) Samsung's Galaxy Note line. However, there are also plenty of 3rd-party stylus accessories available for the iPad and Android tablets, and rumors that Apple will offer a stylus for an upcoming 12.9" iPad aimed at business users and creative professionals.
- Separately, Microsoft has confirmed its acquisition of calendar app maker Sunrise; TechCrunch reported last week the deal features a $100M+ price.
- Other recent acquisitions: Revolution Analytics, Equivio, HockeyApp
Feb. 4, 2015, 2:53 PM
- TechCrunch reports Microsoft (MSFT +0.9%) has acquired Sunrise, a developer of mobile (iOS/Android) and cloud-based calendar apps, for a price of "at least $100 million."
- Sunrise's apps respectively have ratings of 4.5/5 and 4.3/5 stars on the App Store and Google Play; Google Play reports seeing 500K-1M installs. The apps sync/integrate with Microsoft Exchange, Google Calendar, Eventbrite, and iCloud. TechCrunch reports hearing the apps will remain available on a standalone basis.
- The report comes two months after Microsoft, which has done much to boost its cross-platform credentials in the Satya Nadella era, bought iOS/Android e-mail app developer Acompli for a reported $200M+. Acompli's app underpins new Outlook mobile apps launched by the software giant.
- Two weeks ago: Microsoft shows off HoloLens, new browser, universal apps