Acquisitions of the year – who bought whom in 2013

25 Dec 2013

Internet giant Yahoo! has had quite a busy year in terms of acquisitions, snapping up some 22 companies in the past 12 months. We take a look back not only at Yahoo!’s purchases, but some other deals of 2013.

In June, Yahoo! completed its US$1.1bn acquisition of Tumblr, enabling the blogging platform to deploy Yahoo!’s personalisation technology and search infrastructure to help its users discover creators, bloggers and content.

Yahoo! had also said it expects the acquisition to increase Yahoo!’s audience by 50pc to more than 1bn monthly visitors and to grow traffic by about 20pc.

Tumblr is now among news aggregation companies Summly and Rockmelt, social recommendation firms Alike and Jybe, automated video production company Qwiki and mobile gaming firm Loki Studios to be owned by Yahoo!

Jeff Bezos buys Washington Post

Also in the online sphere is Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of e-commerce titan, who acquired The Washington Post and its affiliated titles in August for US$250m.

The acquisition had been made purely by Bezos and has nothing to do with Amazon. In a letter to the employees of The Washington Post, Bezos said the newspaper’s values will remain the same, with the same leadership team, but in order to navigate a landscape transformed by digital, the newspaper will have to experiment.

Microsoft to acquire Nokia’s devices and services business

One company in the midst of transformation is Microsoft, which has been working to re-establish itself as a device and services provider, rather than a software firm.

In a move toward that direction, Microsoft revealed in September it is to acquire smartphone maker Nokia’s devices and services business for €5.4bn.

The transaction, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, has recently has been granted approval by the European Commission, which found the deal will not substantially harm competition.

Nokia, meanwhile, acquired Siemens’ 50pc stake in their joint venture, Nokia Siemens Networks, for about €1.7bn.

With the close of the acquisition in August, the Siemens name has been phased out from Nokia Siemens Networks’ company name and branding. The new name and brand is Nokia Solutions and Networks, also referred to as NSN.

Irish acquisitions of 2013

In June, mobile company Telefónica agreed to sell its O2 subsidiary in Ireland to Three’s owner Hutchison Whampoa for €850m.

Telefónica had reached an agreement with Three, the Irish subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa, to sell its 100pc stake in Telefónica Ireland, which trades under the O2 brand.

The transaction will be subject to approval from the Competition Authority of Ireland and once complete, the new O2/Three entity will command about 40pc of the Irish mobile telecoms market.

In other Irish acquisitions this past year, Telecoms player BT has acquired ESPN’s UK and Ireland TV channels business, giving it ownership of rights to major sporting events like the FA Cup, the UEFA Europa League, the Scottish Premier League and the German Bundesliga.

Transaction management software developer Openet has acquired policy management company Forkstream, a University College Dublin spin-out, for an undisclosed sum.

Also for undisclosed sums, online car rental platform CarTrawler acquired the online assets of the car rental broker Holiday Autos, and Dublin-based digital business consultancy Arekibo acquired digital media agency X Communications.

The acquisition comes as part of Arekibo’s longer-term strategy to launch into the UK market in 2014.

Then we have E-net, the fibre company responsible for running Ireland’s 94-town network of metropolitan area networks (MANs). A consortium of US telecoms investors has acquired the firm for undisclosed terms.

Handshake image via Shutterstock

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic