Deals of the week: Oracle clinches record purchase

Another week, another megadeal. It seems a week going by without a multi-billion-dollar purchase is a rarity these days, and software giant Oracle has provided the funds this week in its $5.3 billion purchase of Micros Systems. In other deals, both Opera and Monitise focused on enhancing their mobile offerings with fresh purchases. Interestingly, another week has passed without a major deal coming out of Asia, and especially China, suggesting that in the run-up to Alibaba’s IPO the regional giants are biding their time and waiting to see the feedback on the projected record-breaking public listing.

Oracle shoots for the sky with cloud-centric acquisition

The software giant Oracle has clearly set out its future market position with the purchase of Micros Systems, a provider of enterprise applications for hospitality and retail industries. The deal is worth $5.3 billion, with Oracle offering $68 a share for the Maryland-based company. Having watched largely from afar as the likes of Cisco, Amazon and IBM expanded their cloud services globally, Oracle has finally decided to commit to expansion in the segment with this major purchase. The company is set to enhance its offerings in the rapidly growing cloud-based services industry, as well as providing the database major with a bigger foothold in the retail and hospitality sector. Micros Systems is a manufacturer of point-of sale hardware and software that are used in commercial establishments such as hotels, restaurants, retail shops and casinos. The deal becomes Oracle’s second largest, behind the purchase of Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion in 2010.

Opera invests in the mobile segment

Search engines and browsers are beginning to tap into the huge potential available in mobile advertising, especially as enhancements in smartphone models and technical capabilities are allowing improved digital integration between browsing, video and other multimedia. Browser developer Opera is the latest to jump into the mobile business, paying $375 million for mobile video advertiser AdColony. The firm is known for optimising mobile video ads for low data connections, which fits in with Opera’s low-bandwidth browsers for mobiles, PCs and TVs.

Monetise expands mobile commerce

Mobile commerce is gaining traction as more consumers are driving trends such as sofa shopping and showrooming. This movement is providing opportunities for existing mobile platforms to strengthen their retailing offerings in tandem with existing e-commerce players. Mobile payment platform Monetise is looking to expand beyond payments and into the commerce side of operations, and has purchased Marko Media for $94 million to this end. The purchase will give Monetise access to and Last Second Tickets, both operated by Marko Media, which work with many large retailers in the UK including Amazon, Walmart and John Lewis. Monitise will integrate Markco Media into its Buy Anything mobile commerce product.

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