Michael Dell has confirmed that the has no intention to asset strip EMC and flog off small bits of it.
Reuters had reported that the company could sell off $10bn of assets to reduce the $49.5bn of debt it will be taking on to fund the acquisition.
Logically this would mean Perot Systems, Dell’s own service arm, acquired for $3.9bn in 2009, Quest, which it bought for $2.7bn in 2012; and SonicWall, which it reportedly acquired in 2012 for $1.2bn would be logical sales. Dell’s Equalogic service must also be in doubt given that it overlaps with EMC’s SAN portfolio.
However Dell appeared to deny this.
When asked if he would sell off EMC assets where there was found to be comparable Dell products, Dell said:
“The portfolios of products are highly complementary. There are some overlaps in storage, but Dell product lines and EMC storage product lines are somewhat different. We are going from seven to nine [product lines], which is not a problem, and we’ll continue to enhance them.”
Of course he was not talking about VMware. Dell confirmed that the company has no plans to tie in VMware with Dell.
“We believe in choice and openness. VMware will remain an independent public company. We are not going to disadvantage VMware partners in respect to their relationship with VMware,” he said.
Japan’s Nintendo Co announced that it is delaying the much-awaited launch of its videogame service for smartphones by a few months to March 2016, disappointing gaming fans as well as investors who drove its shares down by more than 10 percent.
Under a strategy announced by its previous chief executive, who died of cancer earlier this year, Nintendo had said it would introduce its first smartphone games by the end of 2015. Fans and investors had hoped it would include its best-selling videogame franchise Mario in the first lineup.
Chief Executive Tatsumi Kimishima, a former banker who succeeded Satoru Iwata, said the delay would help Nintendo concentrate on selling its existing consoles and game software during the year-end holiday season.
“The year-end is traditionally our peak season for sales,” told a packed news conference, when asked about the delay. “This way, we’d be able to introduce our new applications after the holiday season is over.”
He avoided commenting on whether Mario would come to smartphones, instead introducing a new social networking service-style application called “Miitomo” which would be available in March.
The news knocked Nintendo’s shares down more than 10 percent in morning trade, erasing earlier gains. DeNA Co, Nintendo’s mobile gaming partner, fell as much as 19 percent.
Kimishima must avoid cannibalizing traditional console sales at the same time as pushing aggressively into the rapidly growing mobile gaming segment. On Wednesday, Nintendo reported a weaker-than-expected operating profit for the July-September quarter on tepid sales of game software.
“This (move into mobile gaming) is a sea change for them and there may be some growing pains like this along the way,” said Gavin Parry, managing director of Hong Kong-based brokerage Parry International Trade.
Former CEO Iwata, credited with broadening the appeal of videogames, died of cancer in July just months after deciding to enter mobile gaming despite years of resisting investor calls for such a move.
Oracle and Intel have teamed up to fight IBM in the server space, trying to convince Power System users to instead run their Oracle Database on Oracle Engineered Systems, powered by Intel Xeons.
The dastardly scheme, dubbed Exa Your Power, was unveiled at the Oracle Openworld conference in San Francisco, where Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and Oracle CEO Mark Hurd took to the stage for a bit of mutual back-slapping.
Hurd said thousands of computers are currently running Oracle technology on IBM systems, which are “large and costly. We think you can do better than this.” He added that switching to an Oracle-Intel architecture would offer up to 15 times the current performance offered by IBM.
Intel and Oracle will carry out a free proof-of-concept migration model to test customers’ database and application performance, and show firms how much better their Oracle database workloads would perform if they migrated away from IBM Power Systems onto an Intel-Oracle stack.
IT services provider CSC said it recently migrated an Oracle Database for a major insurance provider from IBM Power 7 to an Exadata X5 engineered system as a proof of concept, and found that the insurer’s Siebel application ran up to 10 times faster and its ETL processes ran up to 12 times faster on Exadata.
The anti-IBM stance is an interesting way to kick off this year’s OpenWorld show considering that IBM is a major sponsor of the show.
“IBM is proud to be a Grande sponsor at Oracle OpenWorld and will have a significant presence at this year’s event. Join us for a great lineup of activities and learn how IBM and Oracle can help you get more value out of your Oracle investments,” IBM gushed ahead of the event. #awkward.
Long-term partners Oracle and Intel have also teamed up to improve the performance of cloud systems via a new joint initiative dubbed Project Apollo.
Krzanich said Apollo is a “scaled version of Oracle’s cloud datacentre that can be used as the foundation for hardware and software optimisation, specifically to enhance your Oracle Cloud experience”.
Intel senior VP Doug Fisher and president of Oracle Product Development
Thomas Kurian spearheaded the project. Fisher explained that the firms decided to get a team together in a lab with the aim of reducing the complexity and improving the performance of cloud-based environments.
“We gave them state of the art software from Oracle and state of the art platforms with Intel architecture, which has a Xeon super SKU in it, allowing them to optimise with the latest and greatest technology.”
Fisher said that the lab team, consisting of Intel and Oracle engineers, spun up 1,500 VMMs, and started tuning the workload, managing to improve performance by 50 percent and reduce the variance of how long it takes to complete the workload by 10 times down to three percent. The aim of these efforts is to let customers deliver SLAs with higher levels of predictability.
Intel and Oracle will also produce and share blueprints of all the learning from the labs team to customers, so they can take the architecture configurations and deploy these in their own environment.
Retail foreign exchange trading has grown rapidly in recent years, but the image has been of a lone trader in front of a computer screen. Smartphones, owned by around half the world’s adults, are changing that.
Mobile trading makes up about 60 percent of transactions, up from 10 percent four years ago, at London-based broker Trade 212, whose app has been downloaded over a million times. More than a fifth of clients trade only on smartphones or tablets.
“We are seeing a big number of clients who are not only mobile first, but mobile only,” said Ivan Ashminov, Trade 212′s co-founder.
Like others, Trade 212 offers demo accounts allowing users, largely male and mostly aged between 25 and 45, to practise with fake money. Many have no previous trading experience, Ashminov said.
Faheem Bismal, a 32-year-old father of two from Glasgow, sold his chain of convenience stores and restaurants two years ago to focus on property investment and trading currencies. He trades on broker FXCM’s smartphone app on the school run and in bed before he turns out the light.
When he only traded on his desktop and could not check the market when he was out and about, he was less successful, Bismal said. But he warns that the ease and accessibility of trading apps can be dangerous.
“I see guys sitting on their phones just tapping away, being in and out of the market within seconds or minutes … and losing all their money. If you’re going to use the app you have to use it very sensibly.”
In 2013, the Bank for International Settlements estimated the value of retail currency trading at about $185 billion a day, or 3.5 percent of the market. Industry analysis website Finance Magnates reckons that figure is now closer to $320 billion. Smartphones, it seems, are helping drive growth.
Almost 40 percent of trading at IG, one of the world’s biggest retail FX platforms, is done on mobile devices, up from around 20 percent three years ago. In April, the firm became the first to offer a trading app on the Apple Watch, which vibrates when a user-set price is reached.
Now, the party seems to be ending, according to data analyzed by Reuters: Five of the 12 U.S.-based tech companies that went public this year, or 42 percent, priced their shares at a valuation below or nearly the same as their private market value, compared to 24 percent of the 29 that went public in 2014.
“People are no longer out of their minds with valuations and expectations,” said Adam Marcus, managing partner at OpenView Venture Partners in Boston.
A recent example is Pure Storage , whose IPO earlier this month gave the data storage company a $3.1 billion market cap that almost matched its valuation in the private market.
The shift in the investing climate comes as payments company Square filed this week for its own IPO later this year, becoming one of the most prominent of the so-called “unicorns,” or private companies valued at more than $1 billion, to try to go public.
Even when valuations increase, they are growing by a smaller amount, according to the data, which was provided by Ipreo, a market intelligence company, and Pitchbook, a venture capital, private equity and M&A data provider, and analyzed by Reuters. Among the companies that saw their values grow in an IPO in 2014, the median increase from their value in the private market was 61 percent. Some companies saw increases of three-, four- and even five-fold.
So far this year, that gain is 32 percent. The data excludes eight companies that went public in 2014 because there was insufficient information to calculate their pre-IPO valuations.
The shrinking difference affects every corner of the pre-IPO market, compelling some companies to delay or withdraw their public-offering plans, bankers and industry analysts said.
And some late-stage investors – while they will still get paid – may see smaller returns than they gambled on. Those who invested in rounds with an eye on a 30 or 40 percent return will more likely get a return similar to the S&P 500 over the past year – about 8 percent, sources said.
According to interviews with bankers, venture capitalists and late-stage investors, this shift in the venture investing climate is just getting underway and likely to accelerate.
It is also an about-face from the last few years, when hot tech companies found no shortage of investors for their private financing and experienced massive valuations, and then demanded an even higher market cap in an IPO.
But now the public market is less willing to play along, venture capitalists said.
To be sure, some delays in going public can be attributed to the surge in funding from late stage investors, allowing tech startups to stay private longer.
As their valuations grew in the private market, a big increase in the value of their shares in an IPO became harder to achieve.
A valuation drop in an IPO doesn’t necessarily dim the long-term prospects of a company. Hortonworks’ stock is up more than 34 percent from the IPO price, for instance, after its valuation took a 40 percent cut in its public offering last year.
But lower valuations in the public market raise questions about the future of the nearly 150 companies that have filed confidential IPOs, according to estimates by some investors.
There is not enough market demand, they say, to support so many deals. In a confidential IPO, reserved for companies with less than $1 billion in revenue, companies file a draft registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission that is for non-public review.
Ex Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has purchased a 4 percent stake in Twitter Inc, according to his spokesman, making him the third-biggest individual shareholder in the social media company.
Ballmer’s stake is worth more than $800 million based on Twitter’s $21 billion market value. Only co-founder Evan Williams and Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal have greater stakes among individual investors.
Friday Ballmer tweeted from a non-verified account that he built up his stake over the past several months.
His tweet lauded Twitter’s new ‘Moments’ feature, which curates the best tweets of the day, and Dorsey’s appointment as permanent CEO last week.
“Good job @twitter, @twittermoments innovation, @jack Ceo, leaner, more focused,” the tweet said. “Glad I bought 4% past few months.”
Twitter declined to comment. Ballmer himself did not return requests for comment.
Ballmer, who bought the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team after retiring as Microsoft CEO in February 2014, has a personal fortune of about $21.5 billion, making him the 35th richest person in the world, according to Forbes magazine.
Ballmer now owns more of Twitter than co-founder and CEO Dorsey, who has a 3.2 percent stake, according to Thomson Reuters data. Williams is the largest individual shareholder with about 7.5 percent, followed by Alwaleed with about 5.2 percent.
Like @alwaleedbinT move too,” Ballmer’s tweet said. Alwaleed and his investment firm, Kingdom Holding Co 4280.SE, said earlier this month they had raised their stake in Twitter to more than 5 percent.
Ballmer’s investment is a sign that Twitter’s efforts to revive growth under Dorsey is being appreciated, Monness, Crespi, Hardt, & Co Inc analyst James Cakmak said.
“I think it’s just another point of evidence that the step that they are taking to redirect the business toward growth is resonating,” Cakmak said.
Twitter has made several new announcements since Dorsey, who also served as CEO in 2008, returned on a permanent basis last week. On Tuesday, Twitter said it will lay off about 8 percent of its workforce and on Wednesday, it hired Google Inc executive Omid Kordestani as executive chairman.
FBN Securities analyst Shebly Seyrafi said Ballmer’s stake could be indicative of widespread confidence in Dorsey and his strategy.
HP CEO Meg Whitman has criticized Dell’s acquisition of EMC, saying that the firms will be overridden by debt and that the deal will be disruptive to customers.
Dell announced the purchase of EMC on Monday, which at $67bn is the largest technology merger of all time, topping Avago Technologies’ $37bn offer for Raspberry Pi chipmaker Broadcom in May.
Whitman welcomed the news of the buyout, and said in an open memo to employees that the deal shows HP as ‘two years ahead’ of its competitors.
I wanted to take a quick moment to tell you why I (and you should too) believe this is a good thing for Hewlett Packard Enterprise and an opportunity for us to seize the moment,” Whitman said.
“This is validation for the strategy that we have laid out and I am not surprised that others would try to emulate it. But, the reality is that we are two years ahead of the game and it will be difficult for others to catch up.”
Whitman’s first point of attack is the amount of debt that the deal incurs, noting that to pay back the combined $50bn of debt, Dell will need to cough up roughly $2.5bn a year in interest, “which will keep them from better serving their customers”.
Her next argument is that, given the size and scope of the merger, it will serve as an “enormous distraction” to employees at the two firms.
“This will be a massive undertaking and an enormous distraction for employees and their management team as two very different cultures come together, leadership teams shift and an entirely new strategy is developed,” Whitman said.
That isn’t all that puts HP ahead of its competitors, according to Whitman, who also claimed that the deal will create confusion among customers who “simply will not know if the products they are buying today from either company will be supported in 18 months”.
Steering clear of mentioning HP’s own Autonomy acquisition, which didn’t quite go to plan, Whitman concluded: “All of this at the very moment when we have completed our journey to create two new, focused companies.
“We’re organised, we have a strong balance sheet and our innovation engine is humming. So get out in front of your customers and your partners. Tell them our story. Take advantage of this moment.”
Dell, unsurprisingly, had a more positive attitude about its record-breaking buyout of EMC, saying that the deal will transform it into an enterprise behemoth with a focus on next-generation IT, including hybrid cloud and converged infrastructure.
“The combination of Dell and EMC creates an enterprise solutions powerhouse bringing our customers industry-leading innovation across their entire technology environment,” Michael Dell said.
“Our new company will be exceptionally well positioned for growth in the most strategic areas of next-generation IT, including digital transformation, software-defined data centres, converged infrastructure, hybrid cloud, mobile and security.”
Dell Inc, the world’s third largest personal computer maker, is holding discussions to acquire data storage company EMC Corp, a person familiar with the matter said, in what could be one of the biggest technology deals ever.
A deal could be an option for EMC, under pressure from activist investor Elliott Management Corp to spin off majority-owned VMware Inc.
The terms being discussed were not known, but if the deal goes through it would top Avago Technologies’ $37 billion offer for Broadcom. EMC has a market value of about $50 billion.
Dell is also in talks with banks to finance an all-cash offer for EMC, the person told Reuters on condition of anonymity as the talks were confidential.
Dell spokesman David Flink and EMC spokesman Dave Farmer declined to comment.
A deal could further strengthen Dell’s presence among corporate clients at a time when founder Michael Dell has been trying to transform the company he founded in 1984 into a complete provider of enterprise computing services such as Hewlett-Packard Co and IBM.
The talks come two years after Michael Dell and private-equity firm Silver Lake took Dell private for $24.9 billion, ending its decades-long run as one of the world’s largest publicly traded PC makers.
In August, Re/code reported that EMC was contemplating a takeover by VMware. The Wall Street Journal reported last year that EMC was exploring options and had held talks with Dell and HP.
Google, which has now transitioned into holding company Alphabet Inc, is in talks with messaging startup Symphony Communication Services LLC for a round of fundraising, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Symphony’s chat service allows financial firms, corporate customers and individuals to put all of their digital communications on one centralized platform.
The talks are ongoing and no terms are finalized yet, the source added.
The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, reported earlier on Monday that Google invested in a new round of funding for Symphony that values the company at about $650 million.
The service is backed by Goldman Sachs Group Inc and other big Wall Street banks.
Goldman led a group of 14 banks including Bank of America Corp, Citigroup Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co in making a $66 million investment in Symphony last October, when Symphony was set up. Symphony spokeswoman Samantha Singh declined to comment.
Many on Wall Street think of Symphony as a rival to Bloomberg LP and Thomson Reuters Corp, which provide messaging and information services for bankers, traders and investors.
Those terminals can cost tens of thousands of dollars per year for each customer.
Symphony is available to businesses with more than 50 users for $15 per user per month. Smaller businesses and individuals can use the tool for free.
“It’s likely some jobs will be impacted by this [cost-cutting] process, but it’s premature to talk about details,” said Sprint spokesman David Tovar in a telephone interview on Friday.
In addition to 31,000 workers, the company also employs about 30,000 contractor employees, he said. Sprint, with 57.7 million customers, fell to the nation’s fourth largest wireless carrier in August, behind T-Mobile.
The cost-cutting plan of $2 billion to $2.5 billion was described in an internal memo to employees, sent by new chief financial officer Tarek Robbiati. “We just want to make sure employees know what’s happening,” he said.
Robbiati’s memo was first reported by The Wall Street Journal last week.
The memo was distributed a few days after Sprint said it would not participate in an auction of low-frequency wireless spectrum. But Tovar contended that the two announcements are not connected with any sudden changes in Sprint’s long-term restructuring plan, which CEO Marcelo Claure has described many times since taking over a year ago.
“We have plenty of spectrum, the most of any other U.S. company, and we don’t need to participate in the auction,” Tovar added. “We’re going full speed ahead on our network plan and the decision not to participate in the auction has nothing to do with what you’re hearing about cost reductions.”
The phone, called Priv, will also include BlackBerry security and productivity tools, Chairman and CEO John Chen told investors last week.
The move suggests that Chen still can’t decide whether BlackBerry should focus on the more profitable enterprise mobile device and application management software sector, or remain a loss-making phone maker with one foot still in the cut-throat consumer electronics market.
On Friday, BlackBerry reported revenue of $490 million for the three months to Aug. 29, down from $916 million a year earlier. The company scraped up a net income of $51 million with an accounting manipulation, revaluing debentures to the tune of $228 million. Gross margin was down, however, while fixed selling costs remained largely unchanged from a year earlier.
Software licensing revenue jumped 33 percent, however, suggesting that BlackBerry’s mobile device and application management business, supplemented after the quarter ended with the $425-million acquisition of Good Technology, is on the up.
The company added 2,400 enterprise software licensees during the quarter, but 60 percent of these were cross-platform licenses, meaning that BlackBerry’s software will be used to manage the security of phones from other vendors.
Sales of its own phones dropped precipitously: It recognized revenue from shipment of just 800,000 phones running BlackBerry OS in the quarter, down from 2.1 million a year earlier.
Mobile payment provider Square Inc plans to file for an “imminent” initial public offering, according to a source familiar with the situation, potentially putting it an a position to be a public company by the end-of-year holiday season.
Square, which has pioneered the use of instant payments over smartphones, is one of the most richly valued companies in Silicon Valley, worth an estimated $6 billion based on its most recent round of funding.
Fortune reported that Square would file for an IPO in the next two weeks. A spokesman for Square declined comment.
Market turmoil of the type seen in August, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 588 points in a single day, could derail IPO plans.
Square has become one of the most scrutinized start-ups in Silicon Valley. Many venture capitalists have privately questioned whether it is really worth the $6 billion valuation. The doubters have cited heavy competition and tight margins in the payments business.
An IPO will provide a quick answer to that question, as well as guidance for many of the other private start-up companies dubbed “unicorns,” meaning their valuation is $1 billion or more. CB Insights, a venture-capital tracker, says more than 130 such companies now exist.
Overall, the climate for venture-backed IPOs has weakened this year, with just 44 venture-backed companies listing on public markets in the first half of the year, according to the National Venture Capital Association. That compares with 66 in the first half of 2014.
Earlier this year, Square had filed for a “confidential” IPO, which lets companies with under $1 billion in annual revenue file registration documents and go through a Securities and Exchange Commission review without public scrutiny. After the review, if the company wishes to continue with an IPO, it makes a public filing.
Goldman Sachs will serve as lead underwriter, with Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase also participating, Fortune reported.
Citrix Systems Inc , the U.S. cloud computing fim targeted by activist hedge fund Elliott Management, is making a last-ditched effor to sell itself as a whole before it embarks on asset sales, according to people familiar with the matter.
Citrix, which had attracted the interest of private equity investors before it agreed in July to give Elliott a seat on its board of directors, is having new conversations with buyout firms, the people said this week.
The company, which has a market capitalization of $11.6 billion, has also reached out to other technology firms to solicit interest, including Dell Inc, the computer maker that was taken private two years ago by its founder Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners LP, the people added.
Citrix announced in July it would explore strategic alternatives for its GoTo family of products, including videoconferencing and desktop sharing service GoToMeeting. However, a sale process for these assets has not started yet because Citrix wants to see if it can still sell itself at a satisfactory valuation, according to the sources.
If Citrix does not sell itself in its entirety, it will not just seek to sell or spin off its GoTo products, but it will also explore options for other assets down the line, according to the sources.
The sources asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. Citrix, Dell and Silver Lake declined to comment.
Based in Santa Clara, California, Citrix provides communications software and networking solutions for businesses. It reported net income of $251.7 million in 2014, down from $339.5 million in 2013.
Oracle Corp’s sales declined more than expected in the first quarter, hurt by a strong dollar and a continued drop in licensed software sales and the company warned revenue could fall in the current quarter even on a constant currency basis.
Like its rivals such as SAP, IBM Corp and Microsoft Corp , Oracle is striving to boost Internet-based software sales to head off fast-growing competitors such as Salesforce.com Inc.
But, analysts have said Oracle’s cloud software business has not been growing fast enough to make up for declines in the 38-year-old company’s licensed software business due to reasons ranging from slow customer adoption to tough competition.
Oracle’s revenue declined 1.7 percent to $8.45 billion in the quarter ended Aug. 31, missing analysts estimates for the third quarter in a row.
The company said sales increased 7 percent on a constant currency basis. However, it forecast revenue to range between a fall of 2 percent to growth of 1 percent in the current quarter.
“On an apples-to-apples basis, that’s disappointing. It’s pretty clearly below consensus even at the top end,” Wedbush Securities Inc analyst Steve Koenig said.
Oracle’s shares fell as much as 2.8 percent in extended trading on Wednesday.
The company’s net income declined 20 percent to $1.75 billion in the first quarter. Excluding items, it earned 53 cents per share, more than analysts’ estimate of 52 cents.
Sales of Oracle’s cloud-computing software and platform service rose 34 percent to $451 million. Sales of traditional software licenses fell 16 percent to $1.51 billion.
Wall Street was expecting cloud-based sales to increase 35 percent and licensed software sales to decline 17 percent, according to RBC Capital Markets.
“In the foreseeable future the database business continues to be a dark cloud over the company’s head,” FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives said.
Cloud-based software sales account for a small portion of Oracles’ total revenue as they are subscription based, which promise a steady revenue stream but with lower margins.
Fundamentally, all of Oracle’s software will be available on the cloud by the OpenWorld conference at the end of October, Co-Chief Executive Mark Hurd said on a call with analysts.
Ives said Oracle needs to make acquisitions to fuel growth in its cloud business and convince investors who are skeptical of a turnaround.
The company, which has grown throughoutn Europe and gained a 10 percent share of the Northern European e-commerce market, said it had partnered with around 10 U.S. merchants so far.
Sweden-based Klarna, founded in 2005 and backed by investors such as Sequoia Capital and Atomico, is now planning for rapid expansion in the United States, where it will take on rivals such as PayPal and Stripe.
“I would be disappointed if we didn’t have hundreds of merchants on the platform doing millions of transactions as early as in 2016,” Klarna North America CEO Brian Billingsley, told Reuters.
Klarna’s services allow online consumers to buy goods by entering easy-to-remember details such as an e-mail address and zip code. It also lets consumers pay after delivery with Klarna assuming the risk in the interim and paying the retailer immediately.
Klarna, which had net sales of $319 million last year, said it was currently seeing “significant growth” in its core markets in the Nordics and Germany.
Asked how much the group could grow in 2016, Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski said it was to early to tell as the U.S business was still in its infancy.
“There is definitely a potential to quickly reach half a billion dollars in revenue in a very short period of time,” he said.
Klarna said the company would double in size if it was to capture half a percentage of the U.S market.
“And while of course our ambitions are much higher than half a percentage, it is definitely an interesting reflection of how extremely big the market is,” Siemiatkowski said.