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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A Fusion Deal: Integer Research sold to Argus Media

ArgusInteger Research an independent provider of specialist market intelligence and analysis, consultancy services and conferences has has been sold to Argus Media, the global energy and commodity price reporting agency. Fusion Corporate Partners acted as corporate advisor for Integer Research. The Fusion team was led by Paul Kelly, Director at Fusion. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Integer provides the fertilizer, wire and cable, and emissions control markets with specialist economic and financial analysis, market forecasts, strategy, and benchmarking information, as well as global conferences.

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Paul Kelly

Speaking about the sale, Fusion’s Paul Kelly said, “I’ve known Integer Directors Tim Cheyne, and Oliver Hatfield for four years; I met their third partner, Philip Radbourne at the start of the process. They are a highly professional team with great industry knowledge and expertise. Integer is a great fit with Argus and they will do very well. I wish them every success”.

Integer Managing Director Tim Cheyne added, “This is a natural cultural and strategic fit for Integer and we are excited to build on Argus’ existing global expertise in commodity markets and leverage its technology and platform strengths to the benefit of our customers.”

Argus Media Chairman and Chief Executive Adrian Binks said, “Argus’ acquisition of Integer will expand the range and depth of services we offer to our customers. Integer has a unique product offering and this, combined with Argus’ global reach and scale, will offer users powerful market intelligence and insight.”

Argus first entered the global fertilizer markets with the acquisition of price reporting and events business FMB Consultants in 2011. A company sale project also managed by Fusion Corporate Partners. In 2014 Fusion sold Metal Pages to Argus.

UK, London

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Other Fusion Deals:

Media & Business Information

Exhibitions & Conferences

Business Support Services and Energy & Environmental Services

 

MORE FUSION DEALS

Blackstone acquires the NEC Group

BlackstonePrivate equity funds managed by Blackstone have acquired the National Exhibition Centre Group, a leading live events venue operator in the UK, from LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group.

Founded in 1976, the NEC has grown into the UK’s live events business of choice for organisers, exhibitors and visitors, playing host to over seven million guests and 750 events every year. The NEC includes Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre, the International Convention Centre, the Genting Arena and Arena Birmingham among its assets as well as caterer Amadeus and national ticketing agency The Ticket Factory.

The National Exhibition Centre hosts many of the largest exhibitions in the UK, including Crufts, the internationally acclaimed dog show, Spring Fair, the UK’s largest exhibition, and Grand Designs Live. The NEC is also due to host nine sports as part of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

LDC originally backed a management buyout of the Group in January 2015. Since then, it has supported a four-year transformation programme to enhance sites, facilities and customer experience and broaden the range of events across the Group’s portfolio, supported by significant capital investment.

Paul Thandi, Chief Executive of the NEC Group, said: “Blackstone’s track record in scaling companies, sector knowledge and unrivalled real estate capabilities, make them the ideal new partner for NEC Group to realise the next phase of our ambitious growth strategy. All of our teams and partners look forward to working closely with the world class team as we embark on becoming the definitive name in events and exhibitions, while continuing to focus on innovations and new customer experience offerings for all our customer groups.”

Lionel Assant, European Head of Private Equity at Blackstone, added: “Under the leadership of Paul Thandi, a best in class management team and the support of LDC, the NEC has transformed its main site into a leading leisure, entertainment and business destination, which continues to benefit from a diverse customer base. We have tremendous respect for what has been achieved; NEC Group is iconic and we are excited about our new partnership as we look to leverage our firm’s capabilities in support of the team.”

USA, New York, NY & UK, London

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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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SiriusXM to acquire music-streaming company Pandora

SiriusXMSatellite radio company SiriusXM will acquire music streaming service Pandora in a transaction valued at $3.5 billion. The proposed deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year, subject to the approval of Pandora stockholders.

The merger offers Sirius a major music-streaming asset as tens of millions of listeners turn to streaming apps in an increasingly crowded market, with Pandora enjoying the largest audio streaming audience in the U.S, according to industry estimates. Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music Unlimited, have hitherto posed stiff competition.

The transaction would combine SiriusXM’s 36 million subscribers in North America with Pandora’s more than 70 million monthly active users. The two companies are expected to have combined revenue of about $7 billion this year. Pandora’s stock rose more than 3 percent in afternoon trading when the deal was announced.

Sirius XM’s chief executive Jim Meyer said of the two companies, “Together, we will deliver even more of the best content on radio to our passionate and loyal listeners, and attract new listeners, across our two platforms.” He also said his goal is to create value through subscriptions, “No matter who comes into one of our trial tunnels, no matter where they come in, our goal ought to be that as they exit that trial, somewhere somehow, they are in a funnel which we’re monetizing.”

USA, New York, NY & Oakland, CA

Emerald Expositions acquires Total Tech Summit for US$28M

Emerald ExpositionsUS event producer Emerald Expositions has announced the acquisition of leading technology event Total Tech Summit and a group of complementary technology intelligence brands from EH Media for approximately $28 million in cash.

The acquired brands have delivered impressive organic growth in recent years, driven by increases in digital revenues, now representing approximately half of total revenues, as well as solid event revenue growth. These brands are strategically aligned with Emerald’s CEDIA Expo and Connecting Point Marketing Group (CPMG) businesses, and include:

Total Tech Summit: a premier hosted-buyer event serving the residential, commercial and security integrator markets;

CEPro: a leading media brand for custom technology integrators in the residential market and the media partner of Emerald’s CEDIA Expo trade show;

Commercial Integrator: a top information source for commercial technology integrators serving small and midsize businesses;

Security Sales & Integration: a leading media brand for residential and commercial security installation contractors; and

Campus Safety: a leading media brand serving security professionals responsible for schools and academic campuses with several events and intelligence products.

David Loechner, Emerald’s president and CEO, commented, “We are thrilled to welcome the EH Media team and their highly valuable brands and assets to Emerald. Ken Moyes has built an impressive group of interconnected, technology-oriented brands that are focused on the integration of audio, video, communications, IT, security and energy management products into buildings of all types. We see a tremendous opportunity to deliver continued strong organic growth in these businesses while also achieving synergies as we integrate these brands and assets into Emerald. We believe that this acquisition, once fully integrated, will not only strengthen our existing trade shows but also expand both their relevance and growth profile in several of our key end markets.”

USA, San Juan Capistrano, CA & Framingham, MA

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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