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   Strategies & Market TrendsSpeculating in Takeover Targets


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To: richardred who wrote (3558)1/23/2014 7:39:56 AM
From: richardred
   of 6147
 
Lenovo to buy IBM's server business in China's biggest tech M&A(Reuters) - Lenovo Group Ltd has agreed to buy IBM Corp's server business for $2.3 billion as the Chinese PC giant grabs another piece of the computing world in a long-awaited deal.

The acquisition comes nearly a decade after Beijing-based Lenovo bought International Business Machines's (IBM) loss-making ThinkPad business for $1.75 billion, eventually becoming the world leader in personal computers in 2012.

But with the PC business now under siege in the face of powerful smartphones and super-fast tablets, Lenovo is diversifying its revenue and remodeling itself as a force in mobile devices and data storage servers.

The acquisition of the IBM unit, still subject to approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), would lift Lenovo's market share in the server market to 14 percent from 2 percent currently, said Peter Hortensius, senior vice-president at Lenovo and president of its Think Business Group.

Before that happens, Lenovo has to turn the server unit around. The low-margin business - which sells less powerful and slower x86 servers than IBM's other higher-margin offerings - has posted seven quarters of losses as more clients switch to cloud storage from traditional infrastructure.

"We will do a variety of things, improve products, drive improved costs, and couple it with the scale we have and our PC business to improve go-to-market," Hortensius told Reuters on Thursday after the deal was announced.

Analysts say Lenovo will likely find it easier than IBM to sell the x86 servers to Chinese companies as Beijing tries to localize its IT purchases in the wake of revelations about U.S. surveillance.

Lenovo said it expects demand for computing power and recovery of global enterprise spending to further drive growth in the x86 server market.

Lenovo has agreed to pay $2.07 billion in cash and the rest with stock of the Hong Kong-listed PC maker, in a deal set to be China's biggest-ever technology M&A.

The deal surpasses Baidu Inc's $1.85 billion acquisition of 91 Wireless from NetDragon Websoft Inc last year, according to Thomson Reuters data, and underscores the growing clout of the country's technology firms as they look to expand overseas.

For IBM, the sale allows the company to focus on its decade-long shift to more profitable software and services.

"What the business is worth to IBM is no longer relevant. The only thing that matters is what it's worth to Lenovo," said Alberto Moel, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. "If Lenovo can improve the margins... that could offset any continued revenue shrinkage."

The unit posted a $26.4 million loss after tax for the 12 months ended December 31, compared with a $187 million profit in the 12 months ended March 2013.

The x86 unit has annual revenues of $4.6 billion, Lenovo told Reuters.

HIGHER VALUATIONS

Talks between IBM and Lenovo fell apart last year due to differences over pricing, with media reports at the time suggesting IBM wanted as much as $6 billion for the unit.

Analysts said the sale may have been accelerated by IBM's China woes and ongoing weakness in hardware sales, after the world's biggest technology services company reported a 23 percent drop in fourth-quarter revenue from China on Tuesday.

Lenovo's purchase of IBM's PC business in 2005 became the springboard for its leap to the top of global PC maker rankings, and the market is betting Lenovo will enjoy similar success with its latest acquisition, which is partly reflected in a 9.44 percent rise in its shares this year. The broader Hang Seng index is down 2.5 percent in the same period.

IBM's server business was the world's second-largest, with a 22.9 percent share of the $12.3 billion market in the third quarter of 2013, according to technology research firm Gartner.

Hewlett-Packard Co is the biggest player, while Lenovo does not appear in the top five.

"The acquisition presents a unique opportunity for the company to gain immediate scale and credibility in this market," Lenovo said in a statement on Thursday.

Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs Group advised Lenovo, the PC maker said.

reuters.com

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To: richardred who wrote (3512)1/23/2014 7:46:46 AM
From: richardred
   of 6147
 
Facebook data trial paves way for mobile ad network

ft.com

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (3476)1/23/2014 7:57:54 AM
From: richardred
   of 6147
 
Quick Carl Icahn is making his list and checking it twice. IMO splitting the company would do more damage than good .

Icahn Adds eBay to His Targets in TechnologyAs if taking on Apple wasn’t enough, the activist investor Carl C. Icahn has another big technology company in his sights: eBay.

EBay, the big e-commerce and online payments company, disclosed a small stake by Mr. Icahn as it released full-year and fourth-quarter results on Wednesday.

In the news release accompanying results, eBay said that Mr. Icahn had submitted a nonbinding proposal to spin off its PayPal business and that he had nominated two of his employees as candidates for eBay’s board. Mr. Icahn’s total position amounted to less than 1 percent of eBay, which has a market capitalization of more than $70 billion.

EBay said it “welcomes the opportunity to listen to the perspective of all of its shareholders, including Mr. Icahn,” and said his nominees would be passed on to the company’s corporate governance and nominating committee. But it also said “eBay has a world-class board” of directors “who have significant experience in technology and financial services.”

Among those on the eBay board are the venture capitalist Marc Andreessen; the Intuit founder Scott Cook; the chairman of the Ford Motor Company, William C. Ford Jr.; and Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay.

The company dismissed Mr. Icahn’s suggestion that PayPal be spun off. Though it acknowledged it had considered such a move, it said that the board “concluded that the company and its shareholders are best served by the current strategic direction of the company and does not believe that breaking up the company is the best way to maximize shareholder value.”

It’s not that eBay hasn’t spun off big units in the past. Just a few years ago, it sold Skype to Silver Lake Partners, which in turn sold it to Microsoft. But eBay’s chief executive, John Donahoe, has made the relationship between eBay’s e-commerce businesses and PayPal a core part of his strategy. EBay shares have soared 310 percent since the financial crisis.

“As part of eBay Inc., PayPal is able to leverage the company’s technology capabilities, commerce platforms and relationships with retailers, brands and large merchants worldwide,” the company said. “Payment is part of commerce, and as part of eBay, PayPal drives commerce innovation in payments at global scale, creating value for consumers, merchants and shareholders.”

In after-hours trading on Wednesday, shares were up 5 percent. It was not immediately clear how much of this was the result of Mr. Icahn’s presence in the stock, or the fact that eBay reported full-year revenue growth of 14 percent, a 9 percent increase in annual profit, and a new $5 billion share buyback plan.

dealbook.nytimes.com

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To: richardred who wrote (3602)1/23/2014 10:45:41 AM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 6147
 
Someone on Twitter yesterday suggested that Icahn is merely trolling.

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (3603)1/24/2014 10:46:42 AM
From: richardred
   of 6147
 
Glen: I can agree with that thought. Paypal is a bright spot and their building on it with the Braintreee acquisition last year. Global Payments had it response today. Interesting note: While working to 2.00 am last night. I heard Mike Shedlock talking to George Norry about the demise of big box retailers. I agree E-commerce in retail is the future, to a certain extent. IMO- All the companies wanting a piece of the E-commerce action is definitely moving out of the limelight now, and into the spotlight. Amazon might not have it's delivery drones up and running any time soon, but I'm fairly sure their robots will be running the warehouse.

Global Payments to Acquire PayPros, a Leading Integrated Payments Technology Company ATLANTA, Jan. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Global Payments Inc. ( GPN), one of the largest worldwide providers of payment solutions, announced today an agreement to acquire Payment Processing, Inc. (PayPros). PayPros, based in California, is an innovative provider of fully-integrated payment solutions for 58,000 small-to-medium sized merchants in the United States. PayPros delivers its products and services through a network of over 1,000 technology-based enterprise software partners to vertical markets that are complementary to the markets served by Accelerated Payment Technologies, Inc., a Global Payments company since October 2012.

(Logo: photos.prnewswire.com )

Global Payments' President and CEO Jeffrey S. Sloan said, "Our acquisition of PayPros will expand our direct distribution, add new vertical markets, accelerate growth in our largest geography and further enhance our existing integrated solutions business with the addition of PayPros' talented team."

Chuck Smith, Founder and CEO of PayPros, added, "I am very pleased to announce this partnership with Global Payments. This transaction is the culmination of nearly two decades of hard work and vision at PayPros. I am confident that Global Payments will be a fantastic partner for our customers and employees."

"We are very excited to be joining the Global Payments team. The strength of Global Payments' distribution combined with our differentiated service offering will accelerate value delivery to our partners and provide opportunities for growth over the long-term," said PayPros President, Eddie Myers.

Under the terms of the agreement and pending regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, Global Payments will pay $420 million in cash to acquire PayPros, inclusive of tax assets. The transaction is expected to close by the end of Global Payments' 2014 fiscal year. PayPros' calendar 2013 annual revenues are anticipated to be approximately $100 million. Global Payments will provide further details when the transaction closes.

Refinancing
Global Payments also announced that it plans to expand its current credit lines to support its ongoing capital deployment and growth strategies. The company expects this expansion to be completed in the company's fourth fiscal quarter of this year.

About Global Payments
Global Payments Inc. ( GPN) is a leading provider of payment processing services for merchants, value added resellers, financial institutions, government agencies, multi-national corporations and independent sales organizations located throughout North America, South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. Global Payments, a Fortune 1000 company, offers a comprehensive line of solutions and services for credit and debit cards, business-to-business purchasing cards, gift cards, electronic check conversion and check guarantee, verification and recovery including electronic check services, as well as terminal management. Visit www.globalpaymentsinc.com for more information about the company and its services.

About PayPros
PayPros is a payments technology company, dedicated to delivering innovative and profitable integrated payments solutions. Our belief is that payments should add value to software applications, resulting in better solutions for developers and their customers. It's what we mean by "Software Differentiation Through Payment Innovation." The PayPros Innovo technology platform is the backbone of this vision, delivering payment applications that support new technologies and allow for custom software solutions. This unique approach to payments is why–since 1995–more than 1,700 partners and 58,000 businesses have turned to PayPros.

This announcement and comments made by Global Payments' management may contain certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe-harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements that are not historical facts, including revenue and earnings estimates and management's expectations regarding future events and developments, are forward-looking statements and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Important factors that may cause actual events or results to differ materially from those anticipated by such forward-looking statements include the following: the effect on our results of operations of continued security enhancements to our processing system; foreign currency risks which become increasingly relevant as we expand internationally; the effect of current domestic and worldwide economic conditions, future performance and integration of acquisitions, and other risks detailed in our SEC filings, including the most recently filed Form 10-K. We undertake no obligation to revise any of these statements to reflect future circumstances or the occurrence of unanticipated events.

finance.yahoo.com

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To: richardred who wrote (3581)1/24/2014 11:14:54 AM
From: richardred
   of 6147
 
Added to SUP on weakness today (yield & upside earnings improvement potential). I Also added to VCLK on weakness today. Earnings event coming up soon for VCLK (Feb 11). I'm not expecting to much from VCLK near term earnings, but they just received 80 million cash from the sale of web sights. They are are high on my Takeover scale of those who are being hunted to create bigger scale,and competition elimination.

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To: Paul Senior who wrote (3360)1/26/2014 9:40:41 PM
From: richardred
   of 6147
 
FWIW I've been warming up even more on TDC again. Earnings event February 6, 2014.

SAP finance chief says could look at big acquisitions again - report
FRANKFURT Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:14am GMT





Financial Officer of German software group SAP Werner Brandt attends the company's balance sheet news conference in Frankfurt January 25, 2012.



(Reuters) - German business software maker SAP could start looking at large acquisition targets again, particularly among cloud computing firms, its finance chief was quoted as saying by weekly Euro am Sonntag.

"We could look at almost any size," SAP's Chief Financial Officer Werner Brandt was quoted as saying. Brandt, who will retire in May, declined to name any potential targets.

SAP on Tuesday pushed back its profit target by two years as it waits for subscription revenue from cloud computing to gather pace and invests more in the business to keep up with a fast-growing market.

uk.reuters.com

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To: richardred who wrote (3559)1/27/2014 7:27:45 AM
From: richardred
   of 6147
 
Google not even resting after Nest.

Google to buy artificial intelligence company DeepMind



2 hours ago







.View photo


A Google logo is seen at the entrance to the company's offices in Toronto September 5, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Helgren



(Reuters) - Google Inc said on Sunday it had agreed to acquire privately held artificial intelligence company DeepMind Technologies Ltd.

Technology news website Re/code, which reported news of the deal earlier, said the price was $400 million, without disclosing where it got the information.

A Google spokesman declined to comment on the price. DeepMind representatives could not be immediately reached for comment.

Founded in London in 2012 by Demis Hassabis, Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman, DeepMind uses general-purpose learning algorithms for applications such as simulations, e-commerce and games, according to its website.

Google, which is working on projects including self-driving cars and robots, has become increasingly focused on artificial intelligence in recent years.

In 2012, it hired Ray Kurzweil, considered one of the leading minds in the field, and in May it announced a partnership with NASA and several universities to launch the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab.
finance.yahoo.com

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (3312)1/27/2014 7:49:54 AM
From: richardred
   of 6147
 
Just maybe some is carry that thought now.

— Richard - richardred (@rreding1) January 22, 2014 ">http://<a href="http://Acclaimed Hedge Fund Manager Takes Big Stake in RadioShack Corporation Stock (RSH): t.co via @themotleyfool

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To: richardred who wrote (3577)1/27/2014 8:02:55 AM
From: richardred
   of 6147
 
This cable bid has a better chance.

Liberty Global to Buy Dutch Cable Provider Ziggohttp://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/01/27/liberty-global-to-buy-dutch-cable-provider-ziggo/

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