|Google Is the Deal-Making King |
By Trey Thoelcke 1 hour ago
There is no doubt that Google Inc. ( GOOG) has its finger in a lot of pies, as recent news that a subsidiary of the Internet search giant will operate an airfield in Silicon Valley attests. Bloomberg found that Google has executed more deals than any company in the world over the past three years. It edged out marketing and advertising firm WPP and tech giant Intel Corp. ( INTC), which came in second and third, respectively.
Google is cash rich, with $58.7 billion in the most recently reported quarter, and its mergers and acquisitions group is said to have expanded by at least 50% in the past two years. Google Ventures focuses on funding startups, while Google Capital backs later-stage companies. Google was involved with 127 deals in the past three years, at a total value of $17.6 billion. Intel, which was the top dealmaker in the previous three-year period, was involved in 121 deals.
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Recent Google deals include last month's agreement to purchase digital-thermostat maker Nest Labs for $3.2 billion, and the acquisition of robots company Boston Dynamics in December. Google also outflanked Facebook Inc. ( FB) and bought DeepMind Technologies, a London-based artificial intelligence developer, and mapping-software provider Waze.
Google Capital helped online questionnaire company SurveyMonkey raise about $444 million last year, and Google Ventures led a $361.2 million investment in app maker Uber Technologies.
Google bought the Motorola handset business or $12.4 billion in 2012, but agreed to sell it last month to Lenovo Group for $2.91 billion. In addition, Google shed Motorola's set-top box business for $2.24 billion last year.
Apple Inc. ( AAPL) is the only tech giant with more cash on its balance sheet than Google, but Bloomberg found that it only took part in 12 deals in the past three years. Both Blackstone Group L.P. ( BX) and General Electric Co. ( GE) had bigger total values to their deals of the past three years, at $62.3 billion and at $19.9 billion, respectively.