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13 Biggest Tech Acquisitions of 2016 Valued Over $613Bn

peter oluka

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.