In keeping with our mission to provide comprehensive advertising analysis, MediaRadar puts together a report of the most important mergers and acquisitions news each week. Stay in the loop, whether you sell advertising space or focus on business development.
This week, two large tech companies go their separate ways, Fiverr makes a move to compete with LinkedIn’s latest offering, and Coca-Cola grabs a larger slice of the proverbial sports drink pie with its acquisition of Bodyarmor.
VMWare Splits Off From Dell
Cloud computing and virtualization technology company VMware has split from Dell.
Dell shed its 81% stake in VMware (owned since 2016), creating an independent company with a stock market value of almost $64 billion. The two companies will continue to maintain close ties—Dell CEO Michael Dell and private equity partner Silver Lake Partners still hold a majority stake. But the move to separate operations allows Dell and VMware to expand their respective technologies with new partners.
Dell intends to strengthen the company’s leadership in technology infrastructure and corporate contracts, expand data management tools with cloud and 5G technology, and modernize its mobile infrastructure and customer experience in the “do-from-anywhere” economy.
Fiverr Acquires Freelance Management Software Company Stoke Talent
Fiverr has acquired Stoke Talent, a software company which lets companies manage their freelance teams.
The $95 million deal is largely a response to LinkedIn launching a competitive freelance platform, Service Marketplace.
Fiverr intends to integrate its freelance onboarding features with Stoke’s payment and budgeting platform. Following the acquisition, Stoke will continue to operate independently, but freelancers hired through Fiverr can be onboarded and paid through Stoke.
The relationship makes Fiverr more central to how those companies employ and pay freelancers overall, even if they aren’t originally sourced via Fiverr. Approximately 4 million customers in 160 countries have used Fiverr to engage with freelancers spanning over 500 categories.
LinkedIn currently has some 2 million freelancers registered, but has an established, much larger platform to back the new marketplace; the platform boasts 800 million users and a strong presence in professional networking and job-hunting markets, making it a formidable competitor in the freelance marketplace.
Coca-Cola Acquires Competing Sports Drink Bodyarmor
The Coca-Cola Company announced that it has acquired full ownership of sports drink maker Bodyarmor for $5.6 billion; it’s the largest brand acquisition in the company’s history.
The acquisition will help the soft drink giant take on PepsiCo in the sports drink category. The latter’s Gatorade currently owns nearly 70% market share, compared to just 14% for Powerade.
By branding itself as a healthier sports drink, Bodyarmor has overtaken Coke’s Powerade as the second-largest player in the category. The acquisition is a natural next step for the company: since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Coke has been revamping its portfolio and killing off drinks that were not selling well, like the Coca-Cola Plus Energy drink in North America.
In Other News
Other deals and developments are taking place:
- AerCap Holdings, an Irish aircraft leasing company, has completed its acquisition of GE’s Capital Aviation Services (GECAS). The deal is worth $23 billion in cash and $1 billion in AerCap notes, giving GE approximately 46% stake in AerCap.
- Hyatt Hotels Corp. signed a deal to acquire Apple Leisure Group, a resort company backed by KKR & Co, for $2.7 billion in cash. The move adds roughly 33,000 rooms across 100 hotels and resorts to the Hyatt portfolio, including popular all-inclusive properties under brands such as Secrets Resorts and Dreams Resorts.
- Rogers Corporation announced that it will be acquired by DuPont de Nemours, Inc. in an all-cash transaction valued at $5.2 billion.
- ViacomCBS announced that it is acquiring a majority stake in Spanish-language content producer Fox TeleColombia & Estudios TeleMexico from The Walt Disney Company.
- Sustainable shoemaker Allbirds Inc. debuted as a public company on Wednesday after pricing its shares at $15 apiece and raising $303 million. The stock price surged 90% and closed at $28.64, giving the company a valuation of roughly $4.1 billion.