I just had the pleasure of presenting on the topic of “Unusual Buyers” at our Q3 Global Tech M&A Report - what a quarter! If you haven’t seen the report, be sure to take a look at our website www.corumgroup.com.
In my report, we talked about some unusual non-tech buyers, including the recent Monsanto purchase of the Climate Corporation, the sale of Blackberry potentially to Fairfax, and the purchase of Mindshift by Best Buy. While these may be not seem the most logical buyers, there were reasons why they were the top bidders.
Monsanto can now map global weather patterns and modify seed by region to increase yields for the season. Hope it works because Monsanto paid almost $1 Billion. Fairfax might seem like an odd non-tech candidate, just trying to keep jobs in the Toronto area. However, as we opined on CNBC in June of 2011, the patents at Rim are worth a fortune in today’s hyper-competitive global mobile market.
For Best Buy, who has been under fire for their retail strategy, it is a way to re-invent. This is same as it was for Brother Corporation, known for sewing machines and printers in Japan, who bought our client Nefsis, provider of remote collaboration software.
Corum’s recent sale of Inubit to Bosch in Germany is a perfect example of the trend involving the “Internet of Things” – everything connected. Bosch is a $50 Billion company with 300,000 employees who make everything from shock absorbers to washing machines. Bosch’s goal is to maintain their position in the high end of their markets by putting intelligence in every device so we know when it is worn out, needs lubrication, a regular check-up, etc. It’s a smart move by Bosch, but no one would have thought of initially putting them on the top list, or even the “B” list of buyers.
There are disruptive trends, strategic imperatives and global expansion needs that are widening the world of buyers, some of them very unusual and not directly in tech. Thus, it is critical that today’s tech company owner do a thorough global search, leave no stone unturned, go to the “B” list and beyond sometimes in their quest to achieve optimal value for their firm. This is the most important transaction of your life – do it right.