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13 Biggest Tech Acquisitions of 2016 Valued Over $613Bn

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Generally, 2016 was busy for the IT/telecoms market, as the world witnessed some mergers and acquisitions.

At the home front, Thursday, January 7, 2016, MTN Nigeria completed the acquisition of Visafone, the only surviving Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) network in Nigeria’s telecommunications industry.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek chronicles other acquisitions that will further shape the IT industry across even at the global market.

The year resulted in $612.9 billion in global tech deals, according to Dealogic, which made it the second best year for acquisitions. It nearly kept up the pace of record-setting 2015, where the market recorded $691.4 billion in tech transactions across the world.

So what were the biggest deals of 2016? These were the top 13:

MTN Acquires Visafone
MTN Nigeria on Thursday, January 7, 2016 announced the acquisition of Visafone, the only surviving Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) network in Nigeria’s telecommunications industry. The acquisition of Visafone was in line with a continued commitment by MTN to improve the quality of broadband services for its subscribers.

The acquisition, which sought to leverage resources for service enhancement, according to MTN, was also reflective of the company’s concerted efforts to deepen the growth and roll out of broadband services across the country. The amount was undisclosed.

Interswitch Acquires Vanso
In a move that further sealed its place as a payments master in the African continent, Interswitch acquired Vanso for a total value of ₦15 billion (in stock and cash) which amounted to about $50 million.

Qualcomm Buys NXP Semiconductors
Qualcomm wasn’t messing around when it announced that it would pay $47 billion for NXP Semiconductors. Slowed smartphone growth was what inspired Qualcomm to make a bid for the biggest chip supplier in the automotive field. The deal was the largest in the chip industry’s history.

Softbank Buys ARM Holdings
$31.6 billion is what it cost Softbank to acquire chip designer ARM Holdings. The UK-based company is a big force in mobile technology and its microprocessors are used in phones from Samsung and Apple. But Softbank said it was their Internet of Things business that excited them the most.

Microsoft Buys LinkedIn
$26.2 billion is what Microsoft paid to have the professional social network join its ranks. LinkedIn’s stock struggled earlier in the year after it neglected to meet investors’ sky-high expectations and Microsoft recognized this as a good time to make an offer. They’re hoping that there will be synergies with Microsoft’s other enterprise businesses.

Analog Buys Linear Technology
Chipmakers dominated the mega mergers space and Linear Technology is set to be acquired for $14.8 billion.  The two will form a joint effort in making analog chips, which process things like light and sound and convert them into electronic signals. The deal will also help Analog compete with Texas Instruments, the biggest analog chip vender.

Quintiles Transactional Buys IMS Health
Quintiles Transactional paid $14.7 billion (including debt) to acquire healthcare technology provider IMS Health. The Connecticut-based data company analyzes electronic records and sells the insights to drugmakers. The two businesses will combine forces to aid in research and data services for the pharmaceutical industry.

Oracle Buys NetSuite
Oracle paid $9.5 billion to buy NetSuite, an attempt to boost its enterprise cloud offerings. NetSuite helps businesses manage a variety of services, including accounting, e-commerce and customer relations. Oracle has been slow to develop Internet-based tools and is hoping that the acquisition will accelerate their growth in this category.

Samsung Buys Harman
Samsung Electronics announced in November that it would pay $8.9 billion (including debt) for Harman International Industries. The goal is to boost Samsung’s automotive technology, where Harman has been innovative. In addition to its popular speakers, Harman has developed navigation systems for connected cars.

Mico Focus Buys Hewlett Packard Enterprise (software)
In 2015, Hewlett-Packard split into two companies. And in 2016, HP divided up even more. UK-based Micro Focus unveiled its plans to buy the software assets of HPE for $8.8 billion. Through the deal, the enterprise software company will be inheriting HPE’s big data and security businesses.

Tencent Buys (most of) Supercell
Tencent paid $8.6 billion for 84% of Supercell. The Chinese investment company bought a controlling stake in the Finnish maker of hit games like Clash of Clans, betting that it will continue to recreate this viral success. The deal valued Supercell above $10 billion.

Computer Sciences Corp (CSC) Buys HPE (enterprise services)
Another chunk of HP’s business got separated in 2016. Computer Sciences Corp (CSC) is paying $8.3 billion (including debt) for its IT services business. HPE shareholders will still own 50% of the merged companies.

Didi Chuxing Buys Uber China
After a bitter rivalry, few expected Uber to throw in the towel on its Chinese business and sell to Didi. But $7 billion was what it took for Uber to walk away and focus on the parts of the world where it excels. Many suspect that Uber did this to clean up its balance sheet ahead of an eventual IPO.

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world.

So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Infinix Mobility ‘ZERO 5’ Unveiled in Nigeria

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By peter oluka

Infinix mobility, Africa’s leading technology brand, today in Nigeria, unveiled its flagship model for 2017 ‘Infinix Zero 5’.

The Infinix Zero 5 enjoyed a global reception, as it was earlier unveiled at the weekend in Dubai which hosted celebrities, partners, media and bloggers from different countries the brand operates.

Infinix first unveiled the Zero series 5 years ago in Nigeria and today, the brand is at the top of the league with cutting edge technology built into the new Infinix Zero 5. The Highly anticipated smartphone represents Phone photography, style and speed all in one smartphone. The infinix Zero 5 features Dual rear cameras, optical zoom, 6GB RAM, 16MP selfie camera and much more.

Speaking at the device Launch in Lagos,Benjamin Jiang, global head of Infinix,  said: “The Zero series at large has been our flagship product globally by virtue of its innovative features and validates our R&D prowess. It has witnessed brilliant performance in key global markets such as Africa. Our vision is to take smartphone photography to a level where it bridges the gap between amateur and professional photography. With its innovative design, incredible dual camera, 2x Optical Zoom and overall performance, the Infinix Zero 5 bridges the narrowing gap between smartphone and tablet, and we believe our new device speaks to the middle class consumer demand in the Dual-camera smartphone segment”.

The Zero 5 smartphone is Infinix’s most high-end and technologically-advanced product to date. The Chinese Company will target a new generation of consumers and firmly believes that the Zero 5’s innovative design and features- particularly the camera- will shock the industry and offer Best-in-Class product in the smartphone sector.

Using Android’s Nought operating platform, the Zero 5 boasts an optical zoom dual camera and massive 16MP front-cameras, rear fingerprints scanner and protective screen features.

The Zero 5’s rear dual camera uses both a 12MP wide angle lens and a 13MP telephoto lens, with a 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom, and an f/2.0 aperture. There is also a special Portrait Master Mode that uses and RGBW sensor and multi-frame noise reduction technology to assist users in capturing the perfect hero shot.

But the jaw-dropping feature of the Zero 5 is unquestionably the front camera, or an Infinix has dubbed it, ‘Selfie Camera’. The selfie cam is a mega 16MP four-in-one camera with a LED flash to boost. In a market where the selfie is king and Instagram reigns supreme, Infinix expects the 16MP front camera to take things to a new level and become a must-have accessory for selfie lovers.

About Infinix: Infinix is a premium smartphone brand from TRANSSION Holdings designed for young generations who desire to live a smart lifestyle. Founded in 2012, Infinix is committed to building cutting-edge technology and fashionably designed dynamic mobile devices to create globally-focused intelligent life experiences through a merging of fashion + technology. Through daily interactions these intuitive products become part of a lifestyle that represents trend-setting and intelligent experiences for young people around the world.

Infinix currently promotes four product lines: ZERO, NOTE, S, and HOT in a global marketplace reaching countries in Europe, Africa, Latin America, Middle East and Asia.

With the brand spirit of challenging the norms, Infinix smart devices are designed specifically for young people who want to stand out, reach out and in sync with the world.

 

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How and Why 95 Per Cent of SMEs Die- Elumelu

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Tony Elumelu, chairman of Heirs Holdings

Tony Elumelu, chairman of Heirs Holdings, has said multiple taxations and levies kill 95 percent of small and medium scale businesses in Nigeria.

 

Elumelu made this statement while speaking at the Lagos Business School Alumni Association 2017 Alumni Day in Lagos.

 

He said five percent of the small businesses that survived after one year was a big disincentive to the nation in terms of employment creation.

 

The entrepreneur said multiple business regulation, multiple taxation and inconsistent government policies affect SMEs competitiveness and their ability to attract capital in their investment climate.

 

He said despite the multiple taxation, Nigeria remains the lowest in the world with 10 percent tax contribution to gross domestic product (GDP).

 

“It seems we have a big problem, because, with high taxation and multiple levies, it is expected we should have very high tax revenue,’’ he said.

 

He said the government should find out the reason for the discrepancy between desired growth and development.

 

He urged the government to create a more conducive environment that would encourage survival of SMEs in order to reduce the unemployment rate.

 

“Government doesn’t create jobs, it is the right enabling environment for SMEs that create jobs.”

 

He urged the government to streamline all taxation and levies across the three tiers of government to avoid the collapse of SMEs.

 

Taiwo Oyedele, head of tax and corporate advisory services, PwC Nigeria, called for the amendment of the constitution to ensure coordination among the three tiers of government and their agencies.

 

Oyedele said the multiplicity of government agencies with the same work function was becoming worrisome.

 

“You don’t need tax incentives for people to do business, we just need to remove the disincentives,” he said.

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NDDC Chairman Seeks the Use of ICT to Re-position Niger Delta

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Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN), Chairman, Governing Board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has reiterated its commitment to re-position the region through the development of Information Communication Technology (ICT).

He stated this when Mr Bayo Onanuga, Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), and other management staff visited him on Friday in Abuja.

He said the commission had a programme whereby five optic cables were given to the region to increase internet access.

“You don’t need to be a university graduate to be an ICT guru.

“If we create ICT in the region, it will boost our economy, he said.

The chairman said the commission was also looking at the area of sport, young boys and girls could be engaged competitively.

“Today, sport is a huge industry. What one footballer earns is what a local government makes.

“It is an area that we must engage our young girls and boys competitively,” he added.

Ndoma-Egba commended the effort of the board in the development of the region so far.

“We are committed to doing things right, that is why we have the concept of the four Rs, Restructuring of the balance sheet, Reform of governance protocols, Restore the NDDC’s core mandate, and Reaffirm the Commission’s collective commitment to do what is right.’’

According to the chairman, the commission is being funded largely from proceeds from oil.

“Someday, we don’t know when but the oil will finish. If it thus finishes, Technology will make it less important.

“Today, people are talking of electric cars, while fuel pumps in some places in the world are being replaced by electric and gas pumps.

“So, we must begin to contemplate developing the region beyond oil, and to do so we have to envisage a frame work that can drive development beyond oil,” he said.

Ndoma-Egba said that the commission would set up a development bank that would guarantee development in the Niger Delta region.

According him, the advantage of the development bank is to drive big projects being embarked upon by the bank.

He said the board inherited more than 10,000 contracts, and cancelled more than N200 billion worth of contracts, because they lacked manpower.

“You see one person doing more than 50 projects, so we are trying to streamline to see that everything is balanced,” he said.

The chairman said the commission was a regional development agency that guarantees transparency, which calls for synergy to share responsibility with other stakeholders in the region.

Ndoma-Egba also pledged that the commission would continue its collaboration with NAN, adding that there was no doubt NAN was keeping up with technological trend in the world.

He urged NAN to continue to collaborate with the commission in its efforts to develop the region.

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