IBM to acquire Red Hat for $34bn

IBMIBM and Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source cloud software, have reached a definitive agreement under which IBM will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Red Hat for $190.00 per share in cash, representing a total enterprise value of approximately $34 billion.

Red Hat is a leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver reliable and high-performing Linux, hybridRed Hat cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies. Red Hat helps customers integrate new and existing IT applications, develop cloud-native applications, standardize on our industry-leading operating system, and automate, secure, and manage complex environments.

Ginni Rometty, IBM Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “The acquisition of Red Hat is a game-changer. It changes everything about the cloud market. IBM will become the world’s #1 hybrid cloud provider, offering companies the only open cloud solution that will unlock the full value of the cloud for their businesses. Most companies today are only 20 percent along their cloud journey, renting compute power to cut costs. The next 80 percent is about unlocking real business value and driving growth. This is the next chapter of the cloud. It requires shifting business applications to hybrid cloud, extracting more data and optimizing every part of the business, from supply chains to sales.”

Upon closing of the acquisition, Red Hat will join IBM’s Hybrid Cloud team as a distinct unit, preserving the independence and neutrality of Red Hat’s open source development heritage and commitment, current product portfolio and go-to-market strategy, and unique development culture. Red Hat will continue to be led by Jim Whitehurst and Red Hat’s current management team. Jim Whitehurst also will join IBM’s senior management team and report to Ginni Rometty. IBM intends to maintain Red Hat’s headquarters, facilities, brands and practices.

USA, Armonk, NY and Raleigh, NC

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CloserStill Media acquires a majority stake in The eLearning Guild in the US

CloserStillCloserStill Media has acquired a majority stake in FocusZone Media, Inc., operating as The eLearning Guild, for an undisclosed sum. The eLearning Guild has a 40,000+ membership community of learning and development professionals in the United States and across the world. The Guild operates major conferences and exhibitions including DevLearn (Las Vegas, NV), Learning Solutions (Orlando, FL) and Realities 360 (San Jose, CL) and has a number of digital publications as well as research and online events.

CloserStill runs the world’s leading workplace learning event brand, Learning Technologies, with three market leading annual events in London, Berlin (with Online Educa) and Paris, a global digital community and the industry’s leading awards programme for corporate learning and development professionals. The London event in February is Europe’s largest annual exhibition and conference for the workplace learning sector attracting more than 8,000 attendees and over 200 exhibitors.

CloserStill’s Learning Group Managing Director, Mark Penton, said, “We are delighted to welcome The eLearning Guild and their impressive event portfolio to our growing global network and are incredibly excited by the huge opportunities this will create. And most importantly, we look forward to enhancing the collaboration between our family of learning brands and their learning communities around the world.”

USA, Santa Rosa, CL & UK, London

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Ascential acquires price and promotions analytics firm Brand View for £29.8M

Ascential plcGlobal information and events company Ascential plc is to acquire Brand View Limited, a provider of price and promotion analytics for manufacturers and retailers. Ascential will buy the firm for an initial £29.8 million and a deferred payment of up to £8.2 million, subject to Brand View achieving subscription targets in the coming months.

Founded in 2008, Brand View offers data and analysis to retailers and manufacturers to allow them to measure and manage pricing and promotion activity and drive sales, across both off-line and on-line market places. Brand View serves over 200 customers from offices in Reading (UK), Stamford Connecticut (USA) and Paris (France).In the year to June 2018, Brand View generated revenues of £13m. Ascential is expecting the transaction to be earnings enhancing in its current financial year.

Duncan Painter, Chief Executive at Ascential, said, “We have a clear focus on providing information and capabilities that enable our customers to succeed in the digital economy. The acquisition of Brand View, using capital released from the sale of the exhibitions business, supports this goal by broadening our capabilities in ecommerce analytics. Brand View’s price and promotion expertise, and coverage of store-based activity, provides a comprehensive offering for both retailers and manufacturers.”

UK, London & Reading

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FC Business Intelligence targets growth with LDC investment

LDCMid-market private equity investor LDC has backed the management buyout of global events company FC Business Intelligence. The value of the transaction is undisclosed.

FCBI delivers conference and exhibition events with a focus on providing thought leadership in a diverse range of sectors that are facing both challenges and opportunities from technological and strategic innovation including the energy, insurance, pharmaceuticals transportation and travel sectors. Its offering is designed to help senior business professionals stay at the forefront of change through insight sharing and networking with peers.

The investment will enable FCBI to target further organic growth as it plans to increase the scale of its events and expand into new markets, including Asia. The business will also look to make a number of acquisitions both at home and overseas.FC Business Intelligence

With 130 employees based at its head office in Shoreditch, FCBI operates globally with 65 per cent of the company’s annual turnover of £30 million generated in the US, 20 per cent in continental Europe and 10 per cent in the UK.

LDC is backing FCBI’s existing management team, led by Chief Executive Officer Piers Latimer. The investment marks an exit for its original founders.

The deal was led by investment director David Andrews and investment manager Alex Wilby. David Andrews and Rob Schofield will join the board of the business with Tim Trotter joining as Non-Executive Chairman, bringing significant experience of growing PE-backed people businesses internationally. David Gilbertson, former CEO of EMAP and Informa, also joins as a Non-Executive Director, bringing a wealth of industry experience.

Piers Latimer, Chief Executive Officer of FCBI, said, “We have established a worldwide reputation for developing high-quality strategic events that deliver the insights business leaders need to direct their companies and shape their markets. With demand for our services only set to increase, we’re in a great position to accelerate growth. Bringing on board an experienced and well-connected investment partner in LDC felt right at this juncture and we’re excited to be moving forward with their support”.

David Andrews, investment director at LDC in London, added, “Piers and his management team have overseen a remarkable period of growth for FCBI thanks to their focus on content-rich, delegate-led events that deliver real value to more than 9,000 attendees and 1,400 sponsors and exhibitors each year. The opportunity now is for the management team to strengthen and extend this growth and we’re looking forward to supporting them on this journey.”

UK, London

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Bauer Media to acquire Jazz FM

Bauer Media GroupThe Bauer Media Group has agreed to acquire Jazz FM, the UK’s national commercial radio service for jazz, soul and blues, which reaches 672,000 people weekly. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Paul Keenan, CEO of Bauer Media, said, “Jazz FM is a much loved, respected and influential brand, with strong growth potential, we look forward to developing it further. Jazz music is seeing an unprecedented resurgence, and this extends us into an entirely new and complementary radio audience. […]I believe that Jazz FM’s expertise combined with our knowledge and experience in digital and personalised advertising technology such as Bauer’s InStream+ will propel the brand for both listeners and advertisers. We look forward to working with the team to grow the business.”

Germany, Hamburg & UK, London

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Freeman acquires Info Salons

FreemanBrand experience company Freeman has acquired digital technology company Info Salons, a leading provider of registration and attendee database management solutions. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

With the acquisition, Freeman will benefit from Info Salons’ nearly 30 years of experience in the industry and its event technology solutions which aim to improve online and on-site registration processes and unlock attendee data and sales leads for show organizers. Going forward, Info Salons applications and tools will be fully integrated into the digital solutions offered by Freeman.

Richard Maranville, chief digital officer at Freeman, said, “We’re always looking for ways to simplify the event and show planning processes for our clients; and investing in leading digital technologies enables us to provide the robust capabilities show organizers need to thrive in the ever-evolving events industry. With the integration of Info Salons’ digital tools into our event management offerings, we’ll be better equipped to help our clients get the most out of their attendee data.”

USA, Dallas, TX & Australia, Surry Hills

Silver Lake Partners and Battery Ventures to acquire EDR from DMGT for $205M

Silver LakeSilver Lake and Battery Ventures have agreed to acquire EDR, a leading provider of real estate data and software-as-a-service, from the Daily Mail and General Trust plc for $205m. The investors areBattery Ventures global, growth-oriented firms focused on partnerships with market-leading technology companies. The transaction is expected to close in the coming weeks and is subject to
customary closing conditions.

EDR is a leader in property due-diligence and risk management technology and information. The company’s solutions enable clients — including environmental consultants and engineers, appraisers, and lenders — to manage real estate due diligence processes efficiently and effectively.

Joe Osnoss, Managing Director at Silver Lake, said, ”The real estate sector is continuing to evolve with the introduction of new technologies. EDR has a rich history of thought leadership in this area, and we plan to invest behind the company’s developing product roadmap to serve its important client ecosystem.”

Battery Ventures General Partner Scott Tobin added, ”We look forward to working closely with Chris Aronson and EDR’s management team. We believe that our investment will enable EDR to accelerate growth — including in the state-of-the-art Collateral360 SaaS platform — and extend its reputation as a leader in real estate data and software with a developing range of products and services.”

UK, London & USA, Shelton, CT

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