Consolidation Galore: Tech Data, AppSmart, Intel, Rackspace Get In on the Action



Xerox, T-Mobile and Ribbon Communications are working through different stages of the M&A process.

Ribbon is moving forward with its plans to buy ECI Telecom Group, while T-Mobile is fighting regulatory opposition to its Sprint purchase and Xerox is locked in a struggle to buy HP.

Our latest M&A roundup is highly diverse in nature and features more than just vendors. December treated us to another master agent acquisition by the same company, and a top distributor came under the reign of a private equity firm. And that wasn’t the only private equity story; LogMeIn announced plans to go private.

Slide through the 12 images below to see the top channel-impacting M&A of the last two months.

Missed the previous M&A gallery? We published one in November.

Women in the Channel

The B2B marketplace acquired a third master agent.

North Carolina-based Converged Network Services Group (CNSG), announced in December that it has joined AppSmart. The deal expands AppSmart's geographical footprint and gives it new supplier partnerships.

WTG and, more recently Telegration, had already integrated into the AppSmart brand.

Learn more about AppSmart's endgame.
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Tech Data

A private equity firm bought the distributor for about $5.4 billion.

Apollo Global Management purchased Tech Data, which will move away from public shareholding. One analyst said the transaction "is not surprising" and could lead to new subscription-focused offerings.

“This investment of funds managed by one of the world’s leading global alternative investment managers will afford us additional resources to accelerate our ability to bring to market the technology products and solutions the world needs to connect, grow and advance," Tech Data CEO Rich Hume said.

Read Lynn Haber's story.
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Ribbon Communications

Ribbon Communications wants to become a "powerful, leading edge solutions provider" after acquiring ECI Telecom Group.

Ribbon executives said ECI will help expand their company's optical networking expertise and deepen relationships with carriers globally.

The cash and stock transaction totals up to $460 million, with Ribbon taking on about approximately $500 million in debt, according to Bloomberg. Ribbon's chief marketing officer said channel integration details are not yet available.

Learn more about Ribbon.
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The data backup and recovery provider purchased 5nine to give MSP partners a deeper tool set.

5nine provides cloud management and security offerings associated with  Microsoft Hyper-V and Azure. Acronis executives said the goal is to integrate 5nine into the Acronis Cyber Platform and ultimately simplify cloud service orchestration.

Acronis had recently completed a $147 million investment round led by Goldman Sachs.

Read the story on Channel Futures.
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Not long after buying Jive, LogMeIn announced plans to go private.

Francisco Partners and Evergreen Coast Capital said they would buy the company for $4.3 billion. The deal will close in the middle of 2020 and take LogMeIn off the public stock exchange. LogMeIn‘s president and CEO assured partners that the transaction "will have no immediate impact on our relationship with you."

Edward Gately has the scoop.
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The carrier's CEO plans to step down when (and if) his company's merger with Sprint clears the necessary legal hurdles.

John Legere said he will resign and give way to T-Mobile’s president and chief operating officer, but it's contingent upon how the company fares in the lawsuit it faces from a group of state attorneys general. The case will host closing arguments on Jan. 15.

Legere's revelation surfaced a month before T-Mobile officially launched its 5G network.

Read more about Legere's plans.
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We're told Rackspace's latest purchase helps it cash in on AWS growth.

The cloud provider announced plans to buy AWS premier consulting partner named Onica. Rackspace channel chief Lisa McLin said adding Onica will give partners a broader portfolio and a higher level of technical expertise. Onica launched in 2014.

Check out Kelly Teal's reporting on the subject.
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The printing and workspace solutions provider shared many a headline with HP last month.

Xerox in November confirmed a CNBC report that it offered to buy HP for $22 a share (about $33.5 billion). However, the HP board of directors unanimously shot down the proposal, prompting Xerox's CEO to publicly characterize their rejection as lacking "mutual diligence." Xerox further lobbied for the acquisition in December and early January, but its efforts thus far have not led to a deal.

See the latest update to the Xerox-HP drama.
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Palo Alto

Palo Alto Networks bought a provider of zero-trust cloud security to bolster its cloud-native security platform.

The $150 million purchase of Aporeto officially wrapped up in late December. It joined a long list of vendors – including Twistlock – that Palo Alto bought to integrate into its Prisma Cloud suite. 

Read about the Aporeto acquisition.
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Intel shelled out about $2 billion to buy the AI chipmaker Habana Labs.

Habana, which is based in Israel, develops "programmable deep learning accelerators for the data center." It will keep its brand, but its presence in the Intel stable will give Intel a big boost as it enters the AI silicon market.

Lauren Horwitz covered the story for Channel Futures.
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Shape Security will officially join F5 Networks this quarter.

The new face on F5's proverbial block provides solutions for application security and fraud prevention. F5 is poised to benefit in multiple ways, including growth in its software subscription mix. Executives said they are eager to introduce their channel partners to Shape, which also sells indirectly.

Get details on the transaction from Edward Gately.
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Buying Opengear will cost Digi International $140 million.

The IoT companies are coming together to take advantage "complementary" products and a shared passion for the IT network market. A Digi executive said the company's past acquisition of Accelerated set a good example of a deal that almost doubled the portfolio for partners.

Get details about the Opengear acquisition.

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