The technology business week: Dell vote on buyout postponed, third of Irish firms not ready to meet SEPA deadline

22 Jul 2013

Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell

A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week.

Dell falls short – vote on buyout postponed as more voters needed

Michael Dell’s US$24.4bn Dell buyout attempt has floundered on the first lap and the crucial vote on the company’s future has been postponed until Wednesday in an attempt to win more voters to his side.  

In February, Dell revealed it plans to go private under a US$24.4bn transaction by founder Michael Dell and global tech investment firm Silver Lake and involving loans and financing from Microsoft and major investment banks.

However, billionaire investor and famed corporate raider Carl Icahn entered the fray, amassing 8.7pc of Dell stock and has won stockholders over to his side using the argument that Michael Dell’s proposed deal – which offers a 37pc premium at US$13.65 a share – undervalues Dell, the third largest computer maker on the planet.

Together with Southeastern Asset Management, Icahn’s side now holds close to 14pc of Dell.

Last Thursday, the crucial vote fell short of enough votes to conclude the deal despite winning backing from several large investors at the last minute. It is understood that Dell and Silver Lake fell short by 100m shares from the 735m shares they need in order for the buyout to pass.

One-third of firms not prepared to meet SEPA deadline

A third of CFOs (34pc) at Irish firms have not yet developed a strategy and are unsure of their level of preparedness to meet the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) deadline of 1 February 2014.

Furthermore, one in six businesses surveyed by PricewaterhouseCoopers said they are either not confident of meeting the deadline or don’t know if SEPA applied to their organisation.

SEPA is the project for a common European payments market and could accelerate the movement to e-commerce and electronic payments. Ninety per cent of all domestic clearing transactions within EU member states will have to be done in SEPA format from 1 February next year.

Hotel chain goes to the cloud: Jurys Inn invests €2m in major IT upgrade

Hotel chain Jurys Inn is investing €2m in new software and technology upgrades across its 32 hotels in Ireland, the UK and the Czech Republic.

The investment is part of a significant Jurys Inn hotel investment programme which has seen the group invest more than €34m in property and services upgrades over the past three years.

As part of the investment, the company is rolling out a cloud-based central property management and reservation system that will give Jurys Inn the capability to centrally view and manage a range of functions across its estate of UK, Ireland and European hotels.

Google Q2 revenues up 19pc to US$14bn

Internet giant Google has reported revenues of US$14bn for the second quarter, up 19pc on last year. The company reported a profit of US$3.23bn, up from US$2.79bn last year.

Google-owned sites generated revenues of US$8.8bn during the second quarter, up 18pc year-on-year. Partner sites generated revenues of US$3.1bn, up 7pc on last year. Other revenues from Google were US$1.05bn, up 8pc on last year.

The company’s revenues from outside the US totalled US$7.2bn, accounting for 55pc of total revenue.

Google’s hardware division Motorola Mobile reported revenues of US$998bn, accounting for 7pc of total revenue.

Mayer steadies Yahoo!’s ship, but needs to conquer the display ads wave

Just a year into the CEO job and Marissa Mayer’s efforts to breathe life into internet giant Yahoo! appear to be struggling, with a 12pc drop in display ad revenue and a 12pc decrease in ad prices signalling a tough transition.

Revenues were US$1.1bn for the second quarter, down 7pc from the same period last year, while net earnings were up 46pc on last year to US$331m and income from operations rose 150pc.

The company also accelerated its pace of innovation in the second quarter, including re-imagined desktop, mobile and tablet versions of Mail, Weather, Flickr, Search, Sports, News, and Yahoo! for iPhone and Android.

Apple in talks to buy Kinect sensor firm PrimeSense for US$280m

In what suggests a big bet on the potentially touchless future of computing, Apple is reportedly in talks to acquire Israel-based PrimeSense, the company that worked with Microsoft to develop the sensor in the first-generation Kinect controller.

According to Israel-based newspaper Calcalist, negotiations between Apple and PrimeSense took place in recent weeks.

A price tag in the region of US$280m has been suggested but negotiations have been described as in the “early stages.”

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