Deals done this past week

1 Nov 2011

An overview of the week in deals in the Irish and global technology sector.

Sony buying Ericsson’s stake in Sony Ericsson

Sony will acquire Ericsson’s 50pc stake in Sony Ericsson, making the mobile handset business a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony, the companies have announced.

The transaction gives Sony an opportunity to rapidly integrate smartphones into its array of network-connected consumer electronics devices – including tablets, televisions and personal computers.

The transaction also provides Sony with a broad intellectual property (IP) cross-licensing agreement covering all products and services of Sony, as well as ownership of five patent families relating to wireless handset technology.

As part of the transaction, Ericsson will receive a cash consideration of €1.05bn.

IBM completes acquisition of Q1 Labs

Technology giant IBM has wrapped up its acquisition of Q1 Labs, a provider of advanced analytics to detect and flag suspicious or abnormal events. Financial terms were not disclosed.

IBM had announced it had entered a definitive agreement to acquire the Waltham, Massachusetts-based company on 4 October.

Q1 Labs CEO Brendan Hannigan will assume the role of general manager of IBM’s newly formed Security Systems Division.

“The ability to leverage analytics is becoming a competitive differentiator,” said Hannigan. “We’re fusing together IBM’s vast security expertise and analytics to drive security intelligence to clients and fundamentally alter the security marketplace.”

Q1 Labs will join the newly formed Security Systems division, which integrates IBM’s Tivoli, Rational and Information Management security software, appliances, lab offerings and services. 

Blogging giant Populis in finance software deal with Sage

Global blogging network Populis has signed a deal with financial software player Sage to upgrade from Sage 50 to Sage 200 to run the financial end of the business.

Populis is one of Europe’s fastest-growing digital media companies and European leader in the production of multilingual content on demand.

“We had experienced phenomenal growth since our establishment as a start-up company in 2004,” explains Derek Mernagh, group financial controller, Populis.  

“Part of the transition from start-up model to a corporation model was to upgrade the financial information system to grow with the business and for better analysis and reporting.” 

Populis’ cost/benefit study indicated that Sage 200 was offering the best features for an acceptable budget. Advent Processing Solutions, Populis’ solution provider and a Sage Business Partner, provided consultation, project management, installation, implementation, training and on-going support services for the project. 

Oracle to acquire RightNow Technologies

Hardware systems and enterprise software developer Oracle has entered into an agreement to acquire RightNow Technologies, Inc, a provider of cloud-based customer service.

Oracle would carry out the acquisition for US$43 per share or about US$1.5bn net of RightNow’s cash and debt.

RightNow’s Customer Service Cloud helps organisations deliver exceptional customer experiences across call centres, the web and social networks. Together, Oracle and RightNow can enable a superior customer experience at every contact and across every channel.

The board of directors of RightNow Technologies has unanimously approved the transaction, which is expected to close by late 2011 or early 2012, subject to RightNow stockholder approval, certain regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

Energia in clean energy and gas deal with 33 VECs across Ireland

Independent energy provider Energia has won a new dual-fuel energy supply contract to provide 33 city and county VECs around Ireland with gas and renewable electricity.

Energia is anticipating that the VECs will make a saving of 14,500 tonnes of CO2 each year by using the renewable energy it supplies.

The utility says it will be supplying a total of 28 gigawatts (GW) of “green” electricity and 18GW hours of gas each year. The VECs included are in Cavan, Carlow, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford and Wicklow.

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