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Deal Analysis: Microsoft connects with LinkedIn with $26bn acquisition

Analysts: Scott Denne, Sheryl Kingstone

No longer able to rely on the dominance of Windows to guarantee its position in enterprise software, Microsoft makes the largest ever acquisition of an internet company with its purchase of LinkedIn – bumping Facebook's $19bn purchase of WhatsApp from the top slot. Microsoft aims to integrate LinkedIn's member identities and depth of data across its suite of productivity and business-process applications, providing it with a differentiator to sustain its market position.

The 451 Take

CEO Satya Nadella has taken strides to make Microsoft a 'mobile first, cloud first' company in his two-plus years heading the software giant. The acquisition of LinkedIn marks his most substantial move yet, and not just in terms of the price tag. Many cloud software offerings from major enterprise software companies are little more than hosted versions of legacy products. By integrating LinkedIn, Microsoft will bring potential features, functionality and benefits to its software that take advantage of the shared infrastructure and connectivity that are unique to cloud offerings, and enable Microsoft's products to benefit from LinkedIn's network effects, which will make it challenging for competitors to match.

Read the full Deal Analysis here! 
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Tech M&A Outlook for 2016

After pushing M&A spending to a 15-year high last year, a record number of tech acquirers have indicated they will be stepping out of the market in 2016. For the first time in the nine editions of the M&A Leaders’ Survey from 451 Research and Morrison & Foerster, the number of respondents forecasting an uptick in acquisition activity only slightly exceeded the number indicating they would cut back on their shopping.

Join 451 Research and Morrison & Foerster for an in-depth look at not only forecasts for M&A activity and valuations, but also the outlook for tech IPOs this year and in coming years.

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M&A
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Tech M&A Outlook for 2016

Will 2016 produce more unicorns or unicorpses? Our latest M&A Leaders Survey, conducted jointly between 451 Research & Morrison Foerster, has uncovered a number of tech M&A and valuation trends.  Join us on Thursday, November 12 for insight into today’s high stakes marketplace, and learn what’s in store for 2016.



>> Learn more about our tech M&A research here <<

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M&A
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Proposed Dell-EMC merger leaves customers divided

Proposed Dell-EMC merger leaves customers divided
Analysts: Dan Harrington, Michelle Bailey, Simon Robinson


Almost all of the attention paid to the record-setting $63bn deal by Dell to acquire EMC yesterday focused on financial details. But what really matters is how their customers react to this news, and whether they believe Dell can meet their organizational needs long-term. In general, customer perception is encouraging: 31% of IT decision-makers describe the acquisition as a positive move, compared to 20% that see it in a negative light. Dell customers are particularly positive about the deal; however, there are strong concerns among the EMC customer base. More than 40% of EMC-only customers (those that currently buy no products from Dell but do buy from EMC) have a negative impression of the acquisition, compared to just 15% of Dell customers. These findings are based on the opinions of 447 enterprise IT decision-makers – part of 451 Research's Voice of the Enterprise community – polled less than 24 hours after the announcement.
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Deal Analysis: In massive play for storage and more, Dell bets $63.1bn on EMC to reshape IT landscape

Deal Analysis: In massive play for storage and more, Dell bets $63.1bn on EMC to reshape IT landscape

Analysts: Brenon Daly, Simon Robinson, John Abbott, Christian Renaud, Scott Crawford, William Fellows, Alan Pelz-Sharpe, Katy Ring, Matt Aslett, Chris Hazelton

Announcing the largest tech deal since the Internet bubble burst, Dell plans to pay approximately $63.1bn for EMC. The debt-laden combination would create a sprawling IT giant with multibillion-dollar businesses in many of the primary enterprise technology markets, including storage, information security, IT services, servers and PCs. (For context, Dell-EMC would be larger than Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (post-split), NetApp, Juniper Networks and Symantec combined.) Dell's bold transformational transaction is not coming cheap, however. The company is valuing EMC significantly more richly than it valued itself when it went private two and a half years ago.

Further, Dell's relatively pricey bulking up comes at a time when a number of rival enterprise IT vendors are slimming down. More to the point, several of these competitors are unwinding earlier blockbuster acquisitions they made in hopes of staying more relevant in a shifting IT market. The arrival of the public cloud has siphoned off billions of dollars that once flowed unimpeded to Dell, EMC and other first-generation technology firms. However, IT customers increasingly lack the appetite to buy, install and manage dozens of 'piece parts' and mold them into a cohesive whole. As a result, we can look at the combination of Dell and EMC as essential if the traditional IT model is to survive the onslaught from public cloud providers, most notably Amazon Web Services.

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