Exits of the week

In another busy round of acquisitions, three deals stood out from the pack, with a combined value of over $3.0 billion. All three were US-based, though there the similarities end. The headline grabber is certainly Facebook’s Oculus Rift purchase; the most fruitful sale is that of TravelClick; and the most secure sale was of Cyvera. Corporate finance continues to drive a healthy sale business market.

Facebook buys Oculus for $2.0 billion

The social network giant continues to make acquisition headlines in 2014 with another major purchase, this time snapping up virtual reality technology firm Oculus VR. As with WhatsApp, a large share of the deal was paid for in Facebook shares. Oculus has built up a strong following with its Rift virtual reality headset, but has hit a slowdown in progress as the physics behind the system are yet to be perfected. Facebook is certainly looking to the future with this purchase, with the headset itself not expected to be made available to the public until 2015. Nonetheless, more than 60,000 developer versions of the headset have been sold, with greater numbers restricted by a deficit of parts, and dozens of games already support the technology. Facebook’s eventual plan for the platform could range from anything as simple as social media interaction in a virtual world to a stand-alone gaming experience. Many in corporate finance will wonder if the tech giant is not finished for the year and will yet continue this-record breaking shopping spree.

TravelClick acquired for $930 million

Chicago private equity firm Thoma Bravo has bought the global provider of interactive distribution solutions and marketing services for the hotel and travel hospitality industries. When the business was initially put up for sale in early March, most balked at the hefty $800 price tag. Yet patience and smart business acumen clearly prevailed as the intelligence software firm went above initial asking price. Genstar Capital and Bain Capital Ventures were the early investors in the company and will therefore see most of the funds from sale. The company sells its software to 37,000 hoteliers worldwide and continues a trend of growing interest by equity firms in travel-based start-ups. It expects to see revenue upwards of $300 million in 2014.

Palo Alto Networks buys Cyvera for $200 million

Israel continues to flex its tech innovation muscles, notching up another exit for homegrown talent. Tel-Aviv-based Cyvera enables businesses to protect themselves from zero-day cyber attacks on Microsoft-based servers and endpoints. In a cybersphere increasingly vulnerable to various viruses and hack attacks, secure solutions for data protection are in demand among businesses and software/hardware specialists. US-based Palo Alto Networks, a developer of hardware firewall products, made the purchase in a bid to expand its antivirus offerings.

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