It's official: after more than a year of rumors, AOL has finally managed to find a buyer for Bebo, the social networking website it purchased in 2008 for a whopping $850m.
The buyer: financial firm Criterion Capital Partners. The price: word on the street is that it didn't exceed
$10m, and may have been as low as $2.5m.
After serving as the subject of rumors, the struggling mobile device company has a new owner, HP. The tech giant paid $1.2bn for the company that invented the smartphone.
Not only was HP not one on the list of companies thought to be looking closely at a Palm acquisition, but one might even question why HP was interested in Palm in the first place. The answer: HP has big goals in the mobile arena, and thinks Palm's technology and expertise can help it achieve them.
In mid-December 2009 the ShareASale affiliate network announced the winners of its 2009 Performance Awards.
The "Exceptional Affiliate" prize went to a promising affiliate
marketing company operating out of Cambridge, Massachusetts:
StyleFeeder. A month later, the site was bought by Time Inc., the largest magazine publisher in the U.S.
Oracle's pending acquisition of Sun Microsystems apparently has some
users of MySQL worried. MySQL, of course, is the open source database
owned by Sun and offered freely under a GNU General Public License.
It's the most popular open source RDBMS in the world, and is used with popular
products like WordPress and on major websites like Facebook and
Although reports of the acquisition had been circling since last week, Nokia made it official today: it has acquired London and Helsinki-based mobile travel startup Dopplr for an undisclosed amount. According to rumors, the acquisition price is somewhere between €10 million and €15 million.
Dopplr, which currently has seven employees, will join Nokia's services division. According to Nokia's press release, "The acquisition does not change the current Dopplr service which is available at
Dopplr.com and on platforms where Dopplr is integrated".
If M&A activity is a good indicator of the health of the economy, there's hope for a recovery, at least in tech. Newsworthy acquisitions are becoming more frequent and yesterday saw a billion-dollar deal with Adobe's announcement that it is purchasing business optimization software provider Omniture.
The deal, which is valued at $1.8bn, was hailed by Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen as "a game changer for both Adobe and our customers". And it better be, as Adobe's offer of $21.50 per share for Omniture stock represents a 24% premium to Omniture's closing price on Tuesday.
More M&A: publicly-traded software company Intuit is acquiring personal finance upstart Mint.com for $170m. Mint.com, which launched at TechCrunch40 in 2007 and had raised nearly $32m from investors, has over 1.5m users and tracks more than $50bn in assets for its users.
Mint.com is simple: it allows users to aggregate data for their bank, credit and investment accounts and track those accounts through a single interface. Through this, Mint.com can help users identify areas for savings (it claims to have found over $300m in potential savings for its users) and promote financial services that users may be interested in.
At this time a year ago, the global economy was imploding. We were in uncharted territory. Banks were on the brink. Lending dried up. Private equity was sitting tight. The wheels of the financial markets had stopped moving.
Flash forward to today. While there's still lots of debate about what the future holds and there's good reason to believe that we're not out of the woods yet, in some industries executives are feeling more confident. In the tech and media worlds, there are signs of life in the M&A markets.
By most accounts, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg really likes Twitter. And as the 20-something CEO of a company that has raised over $750m, it's only natural that he'd want it, literally. There's just one problem: when Facebook tried acquiring Twitter earlier in the year, it was turned down. The reason: Twitter didn't buy into the $15bn valuation Facebook was basing its share price on as part of the proposed deal.
So Facebook has finally done what many do when rejected: you settle for your second choice. And it this case, that means FriendFeed, which it acquired yesterday.
As reported before, Microsoft has been looking to sell digital agency Razorfish, a business it acquired through its $6bn purchase of ad services holding company aQuantive in 2007.
Yesterday, it announced a deal: Publicis Groupe, the world's second largest media agency, will be buying Razorfish for $530m in cash and Publicis Groupe treasury shares.