Archive for the ‘MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS’ Category

MICROSOFT BUYS NOKIA MOBILE PHONE BUSINESS WITH US GOV APPROVAL

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

US APPROVES MICROSOFT PURCHASE OF NOKIA’S MOBILE PHONE BUSINESS

WASHINGTON Mon Dec 2, 2013 3:24pm EST

A photo illustration shows the Microsoft logo displayed on a Nokia phone in Vienna September 3, 2013. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

A photo illustration shows the Microsoft logo displayed on a Nokia phone in Vienna September 3, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader

(Reuters) – U.S. antitrust regulators have approved Microsoft Corp’s deal to buy Nokia Corp’s mobile phone business, the Federal Trade Commission said on Monday.

The approval, which was expected, was dated November 29.

The next step will be for the companies to win approval in Europe for the proposed $7.3 billion transaction.

Two people familiar with the matter told Reuters on November 22 that the transaction was headed for unconditional approval in Brussels. The EU competition watchdog has set a December 4 deadline for its decision.

Nokia had in September agreed to sell its devices and services business and license its patents to Microsoft after failing to recover from a late start in the smartphone sector.

The purchase underscores Microsoft’s push into the competitive consumer devices market, where it faces fierce competition from market leader Samsung Electronics and Apple.

Nokia shareholders in mid-November gave a thumbs-up to the sale of what was once Finland’s biggest brand, at one point worth 4 percent of the national GDP.

CEY

Henry Sapiecha

black diamonds on white line

CONTRACT OF SALE OF APPLE ESTABLISHING THE COMPANY SELLS FOR $1.59M @ SOTHEBY’S NEW YORK

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

A brief three-page contract  establishing Apple has sold for $US1.59 million at Sotheby’s auction house in New York.

A phone bidder acquired the document, signed on April 1, 1976, by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. The price, which includes the buyer’s premium, soared past the estimated presale range of $US100,000 to $US150,000.

The contract was initially owned by Wayne, who met Jobs while working at Atari Inc. Wozniak, a friend of Jobs, worked at Hewlett-Packard Co. Jobs enlisted Wayne to persuade Wozniak to join Apple. His success in doing so earned Wayne a 10 per cent share in the new company.

Eleven days after signing the contract, Wayne withdrew from the partnership… The move is documented by a County of Santa Clara, California, statement and an amendment to the contract, both of which were included in the Sotheby’s lot. Wayne received $US800 for relinquishing his 10 per cent ownership of Apple, according to the document. He subsequently received an additional payment of $US1500, according to Sotheby’s.

Based on Apple’s market capitalisation today, Wayne’s 10 per cent stake would be valued at more than $US36 billion.

Jobs died at 56 on October 5.

In an October 7 interview with Bloomberg, Wayne, 77, called Wozniak and Jobs “intellectual giants”, but “also felt it was going to be something of a roller coaster”, adding, “If I’d stayed with them, I was going to wind up the richest man in the cemetery.”

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

EBAY SELLS SKYPE TO MICROSOFT & MICROSOFT ARE HAPPY

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

Think Microsoft’s biggest deal ever

is a mistake? Think again. Skype me…

On the surface Microsoft’s $8.5 billion deal to buy the Internet phone company Skype sounds loopy. But don’t be deceived: This just might be the smartest move Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has ever made.

It isn’t hard to see why you might think otherwise. In 2005 eBay acquired Skype for $2.6 billion. Failing to integrate the service into its e-tailing business, eBay in 2009 sold 70% of Skype for a little over $2 billion to a group made up of Marc Andreessen’s venture firm, the Canada Pension Plan system and Skype’s founders, among others; the valuation was little changed from the first time it sold. Ergo, the idea that Microsoft would pay $8.5 billion for the same company less than two years later sounds, uh, startling.

It doesn’t help that the company has a mediocre track record when it comes to acquisitions. Microsoft has closed just a handful of major deals–aQuantive, Great Plains Software, Navision, Hotmail–and none has changed the face of the company. Microsoft lacks a clear Internet strategy, and its online business operates in the red. Bing is gaining share, but even counting its venture with Yahoo it has only 30% of the domestic search business. Not least, Microsoft’s share price is unchanged over the last decade (despite impressive revenue growth), thanks to concerns that Windows and Office are threatened by mobile devices and Internet-based applications. With that backdrop, Microsoft’s willingness to pay nearly ten times 2010 revenues for Skype appears illogical or worse.

But I think it will prove to be genius. Here are three reasons this deal should turn out to be a huge success:

– It uses some of Microsoft’s mountain of offshore cash. Microsoft finished the March quarter with $50 billion in cash and short-term investments–$ 42 billion of that held outside the U.S. Like many American technology companies, Microsoft generates most of its revenues outside the country. Bringing it home would mean handing Uncle Sam a 35% cut. So the cash sits offshore, where it can’t be used to buy back stock, pay dividends, hire American workers or acquire U.S. startups. Apply a 35% discount to the $8.5 billion price tag–that’s what would happen if it sent the cash to Redmond–and the deal looks a lot more reasonable, at around $5.5 billion posttax. And Microsoft still has a lot more cash overseas than it does at home; expect more non-U.S. acquisitions in the months ahead.

– Microsoft gets one of the truly dominant Internet brands. There are only a handful–Google, Facebook, Netflix, Craigslist, Wikipedia, Twitter–but most aren’t for sale, and none belongs to Microsoft. Skype is the dominant player in Internet audio and video communications–people use “Skype” as a verb–and now Microsoft owns it.

– Ignore the pundits; this is an enterprise- software play. The knee-jerk reaction has been that Microsoft will need to up the revenue generated by Skype via more aggressive use of advertising and integration with gaming. But the deal is really about “unified communications,” in which Microsoft is competing with Cisco and others. The theory is that by adding Skype’s audio, video, conferencing and telepresence features to the mix Microsoft will offer an unbeatable combination of features that every enterprise will want. Microsoft sees unified communications as a multibillion-dollar business. Don’t be surprised to see Microsoft abandon its current unified communications branding–Microsoft Lync–and rechristen the product Skype for the Enterprise.

In one brilliant stroke Microsoft dipped into its growing overseas cash pile, bought an iconic brand and set the stage for another multibillion-dollar business. Worth every penny.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha