In a relatively quiet week for digital M&A, global tech major Google, Singaporean telecoms firm SingTel and touchscreen specialist Synaptics made the biggest headlines with acquisitions each in the $500 million range. Both Synaptics and SingTel looked to shore up their core businesses, while Google continues to break new ground with a focus on outer space. The strategic purchases are driving a healthy acquisitions market, providing dynamic trade for business transfer agents and proving that liquidity is not an issue for acquirers at the moment.
Google seeking expansions beyond planet earth
In a week when the US giant was linked with a share deal for Virgin’s space-tourism business, Google confirmed its growing interest in all things outer space by purchasing satellite start-up Skybox Imaging for $500 million. The company develops its own satellites that focus on delivering high-quality imagery as well as processing satellite-collected data for various clients. The purchase can be integral to several divisions of Google’s diverse businesses. Google Maps is one division that can certainly benefit, as Skybox’s satellites can keep its data up to date. The orbital machines could also be key in mapping future data for Google cars and other Big Data solutions. With Google already delivering satellite broadband to some emerging economies globally alongside a general desire to expand the company’s Internet capability, Skybox could prove pivotal in sourcing bandwidth in the years to come.
SingTel expands its digital advertising reach with two acquisitions
As more telecom firms begin to comprehend the value of digital advertising, a segment that has seen the strongest growth in adspend globally for the past five years, having a strong involvement in mobile and desktop marketing solutions is becoming key. As part of its strategy to enhance this offering, Singaporean telecoms firm SingTel made a double purchase. Through its subsidiary Amobee the company bought California-based Kontera for $150 million, which is a real-time digital content analysis platform that analysis data across mobile, web and social networks to enable brands to optimise results. The second deal saw the purchase of Adconion for $150 million, a digital advertising company specialising in online video, email and social ads. Both purchases are expected to add more expertise, technology and clients to Amobee, allowing it to drive a more expansive strategy of targeting Internet users with ads in an increasingly competitive and saturated online marketing space.
Synaptics outmanoeuvres Apple with display specialist purchase
Synaptics, a firm that specialises in manufacturing chips for touchscreens and touchpads, has expanded its core business by paying $475 million for Renesas SP Drivers, which specialises in manufacturing display chips for iPhones. Interestingly, the company was able to thwart interest from Apple, who was unable to agree terms with its display chip supplier. The acquisition should allow Synapsis to realise its long-sought goal to develop a single chip that can control both an LCD display and a touchscreen.
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