Tech’s largest acquisitions

Google, on Tuesday(22 May), finalised its buyout of Motorola Mobility for a sum of $12.5 billion, making it the largest acquisition by the online search giant to date, and one of the largest in the tech industry.

The second largest acquisition by Google was that of Internet ad serving service provider, DoubleClick, which was bought up for $3.1 billion in 2008. This was followed by Google’s acquition of YouTube for $1.65 billion in 2006.

Google’s 5 biggest acquitions

Company Acquired Amount Year
Google Motorola $12.5 billion 2011
Google DoubleClick $3.1 billion 2008
Google YouTube $1.65 billion 2006
Google AdMob $750 million 2009
Google ITA Software $676 million 2010

When looking at the broader tech acquisitions, the Google/Motorola deal sweeps past the most recent ‘largest’ acquisitions, including Microsoft’s acquisition of online voice and video IM, Skype in 2011 for $8.5 billion.

Hewlett Packard’s acquisition of enterprise software company, Autonomy in 2011 for $10.2 billion, was previously the biggest tech acquisition, over-shadowed only by AT&T’s bid for T-Mobile for $39 billion – a deal which was blocked and subsequently pulled.

Tech’s largest acquisitions*

Company Acquired Amount Year
AT&T T-Mobile $39.0 billion 2011
Google Motorola $12.5 billion 2011
Hewlett -Packard Autonomy $10.2 billion 2011
Microsoft Skype $8.5 billion 2011
Oracle Sun Microsystems $7.4 billion 2009
Western Digital Hitachi $4.8 billion 2011
Panasonic Sanyo $4.6 billion 2009
Google DoubleClick $3.1 billion 2008
eBay Skype $2.5 billion 2005
Google YouTube $1.65 billion 2006
eBay PayPal $1.5 billion 2002
Facebook Instagram $1.0 billion 2012
Google AdMob $750 million 2009
Google ITA Software $676 million 2010

* Table depicts largest acquisitions of note

Acquisitions in South Africa

One of the largest acquisition deals out of South Africa was the 2008 deal between Telkom and Vodafone, which saw Telkom selling a 15% stake in Vodacom to the UK mobile operator for a price-tag of R22.5 billion. This pushed Vodafone’s share-holding in Vodacom up from 50% to 65%.

In 2009, South Africa’s second-largest operator, MTN was in the process of a merger deal with India’s Bharti-Airtel at a value of $23 billion (R191.5 billion) – but the merger was canned as Bharti pulled out due to the South African government’s rejection of the proposed merger structure.

In 2011, Reunert purchased the business and net assets of ECN for R171,9 million; ECN Telecommunications now operates as Nashua ECN, a division of Reunert Limited.

Currently, Telkom and Korea’s KT Corp are in the process of finialising a deal which would see KT acquire a 20% stake in Telkom at R25.60 per new Telkom ordinary share – making the total value of the deal around $380 million** (R3.1 billion).

In other sectors of South Africa, more notable acquisitions taking place in recent times were the acquisition of a majority share of Massmart by US wholesale giant, Wal-Mart, for $2.4 billion (16.5 billion), and South African brewery, SABMiller buyouts.

The then-SAB acquired the U.S. Miller Brewing Company for $5 billion (R41.6 billion) in 2002 to form what is now known as SABMiller. The company then went on to buy up Australia’s Foster’s for $10.2 billion (R85 billion) in 2011.

** Reverse calculated using previous share sale point of R36.06
Conversions taken at 1 USD = 8.32763 ZAR

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