The biggest enterprise technology M&A deals of 2021

The first three months of 2021 saw three billion-dollar-plus acquisitions in hardware, software, and services, and plenty of other merger activity in professional services.

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Koch Industries takes full control of Infor

ERP vendor Infor was already 70%–owned by Koch Industries, a privately held industrial conglomerate with interests in minerals, manufacturing, chemicals and commodities. In February 2020 it agreed to buy the remaining stake in Infor from founding investor Golden Gate Capital. Koch Industries plans to make Infor a standalone subsidiary operating under its current management. Infor’s development of industry-specific cloud suites could receive a boost from its closer ties with the industry giant. Infor had previously been ramping up for what had been expected to be a significant IPO.

Moody’s buys Regulatory DataCorp for $700 million

Regulatory DataCorp offers a range of risk intelligence and compliance screening services for enterprises, including anti-money-laundering, know-your-customer and due-diligence solutions. In February 2020 credit rating agency Moody’s acquired it for $700 million.

Visa acquires Plaid Technologies for $5.3 billion

Plaid Technologies started up as an API platform that enabled app developers such as Betterment and Venmo to build mobile apps with which consumers can access their accounts at traditional financial institutions. Later, it added a layer of analytics to the data it provided. In January 2020 it became a subsidiary of Visa, where it will operate as an independent business unit.

Insight Partners buys Veeam for around $5 billion

Backup software vendor Veeam is now under U.S. control. Investment fund Insight Partners has acquired the company, founded by Russians Andrei Baronov and Ratmir Timashev and headquartered in Switzerland. Insight will move its headquarters to the U.S. and install chairman Bill Largent as CEO, replacing Baronov. The new owner plans to invest more in Veeam’s hybrid cloud strategy and international expansion, while the company’s Americanization could open up the U.S. government market too.

ServiceNow buys Passage AI

ServiceNow has been building AI assistance into its Now Platform for workflow management for a while, but when it comes to natural language processing that language has all too often been English. With its January 2020 acquisition of Passage AI, ServiceNow will add multilingual conversational capabilities to its chatbots, potentially opening up new markets for its users.

AMN Healthcare buys Stratus Video for $475 million

In the light of the subsequent spread of coronavirus, AMN Healthcare’s January 2020 acquisition of a service provider offering video-based language interpretation for the healthcare industry looks prescient. Stratus Video offers federally mandated language interpretation services over remote video link to help medical professionals communicate with patients with limited English.

F5 Networks buys Shape Security for around $1 billion

F5 Networks’ $1 billion acquisition of Shape Security, completed in January 2020, will beef up the protection of its application delivery network business. Shape offers fraud protection for web and mobile applications by analyzing the flow of data into them, and F5 already plays a role in handling that data in many enterprises.

Hitachi buys Hitachi High-Technologies for $4.9 billion

We’ll mention this one here because there was so much money involved, but chances are you barely noticed the change after this deal closed in January 2020. Japanese conglomerate Hitachi is taking its holding in industrial equipment maker Hitachi High-Tech from 51.73% to 100% and dropping three syllables from its name. The subsidiary makes semiconductor manufacturing equipment — the machines that make the chips for servers — but Hitachi’s main focus here is improving the profitability of the subsidiary’s other business line, medical equipment, through the use of the parent company’s experience in AI and data analytics.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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