Deals done this past week

23 Aug 2010

An overview of the week in deals in the Irish technology sector, including Intel’s largest ever acquisition, with the purchase of McAfee.

Intel buys McAfee for US$7.7bn

Intel has agreed to purchase antivirus software specialist McAfee for US$7.68bn, making it the largest acquisition in Intel’s history.

Both companies’ boards of directors unanimously agreed to the deal, with Intel paying US$48 per share.

This is a 62pc premium of McAfee’s Wednesday closing price, which was just under US$30 a share.

With this purchase, Intel has now focused in the direction of security, stating that it would be “on par with its strategic focus areas in energy-efficient performance and Internet connectivity.”

Lycos sold for US$36m to Indian digital marketing firm

Search engine, internet portal and web service company Lycos has been sold by Daum Communications to Indian digital marketing firm Ybrant Digital for a reported US$36m following the signing of a stock purchase agreement.

Lycos, founded in 1994, was one of the original internet portals and search engines but its popularity waned in the late Nineties.

It was eventually sold off in 2004 to Korea-based Daum Communications having briefly become known as Terra Lycos following a purchase by Spanish company Terra Networks.

Facebook purchases Chai Labs

Facebook has bought out California-based search company Chai Labs. This follows a string of small company acquisitions for Facebook in recent months.

According to All Things Digital, “several sources” have claimed that Chai Labs was purchased for an estimated $10m.

The acquisition is said to have been more focused on obtaining the small company’s talent as opposed to getting the site itself.

Kerry start-up DentalSenders bought by US dental giant

One of the largest dental referral services firms in the US 1-800 DENTIST has acquired a niche advertising player in LA that was set up by two brothers from Ballyduff in Kerry, Ger and Tony McManus.

DentalSenders, which drives patient notifications from dentists via email and text, is emerging as a major niche advertising player in the US, and has struck key deals with major dental brands, including Philips Sonicare and Procter & Gamble (P&G).

It also struck an endorsement deal with the Academy of General Dentistry in the US, which will result in DentalSenders reaching a potential audience of over 35,000 dentists and 100 million dental patients.

“Each dentist who signs up to use our technology has, on average, 3,000 patients, which means our subscriber audience grows exponentially,” Tony McManus told in an interview two years ago.

Zynga makes fourth acquisition: Conduit Labs

Social gaming powerhouse Zynga has acquired Boston-based Conduit Labs in a talent grab that will also allow it to expand to a new gaming studio in one of the epicentres of technology in the US.

Established in 2007 and with relationships with over 100,000 artists, Conduit Labs is building the platform for online music gaming.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Conduit Labs’ CEO, Nabeel Hyatt, will become head of the new Boston studio.

Funded to close to US$9m by Charles River Ventures and Prism VentureWorks, Conduit has developed several free-to-play social games for the web.

“Boston is an epicentre for technology and has a strong talent market, making it an ideal location for us to expand operations,” said Mike Verdu, senior vice-president of games at Zynga.