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M&A Report: VMWare, Northstar and Merck In the News

M&A Report: VMWare, Northstar and Merck In the News

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, software giant VMWare makes another multibillion dollar acquisition, Northstar Travel Group adds new B2B travel brands to its portfolio and Merck acquires Versum Materials. 

VMWare Invests in Cyber Security With Carbon Black Acquisition

The software company VMWare has completed its acquisition of cyber-security company Carbon Black for approximately $2.1 billion. 

The deal runs in tandem with VMware’s recent acquisition of Pivotal for $2.7 billion. These two major acquisitions address separate aspects of VMWare’s overall business strategy. 

Pivotal, a cloud-native platform provider, brings in a new developer platform to make it easier for developers to write, test, and deploy applications. Carbon Black provides the security backbone to ensure clients’ applications are protected. 

Dell Technologies is a majority shareholder of VMWare, which provides cloud computing and virtualization software and services.  

Northstar Travel Group Adds New B2B Travel Sites 

Travel industry B2B information and marketing solutions leader, Northstar Travel Group, has announced its acquisition of travAlliance, a marketing services, digital media, event and information company that serves the North American retail travel market. 

The acquisition includes travAlliance’s media brands:, Agent at Home, Travel Agent Academy, and Agent Studio. 

Northstar Travel Group President Bob Sullivan commented: “The travAlliancemedia portfolio is a perfect strategic fit with Nortstar’s core information and marketing services brands serving the retail travel industry.” 

Northstar already owns brands several notable travel brands including Travel Weekly, TravelAgeWest, Business Travel News, and Web in Travel. 

Merck Completes $6 Billion Acquisition of Specialty Materials Supplier

Merck Group has completed its acquisition of Versum Materials Inc. for $6.4 billion. 

Versum is a specialty materials supplier that manufactures chemical-mechanical polishes, semiconductor materials, and provides delivery systems and services for the semiconductor industry. 

The Arizona-based company reports annual sales of approximately $1.4 billion and employs a staff of 2,300 across 14 major facilities in Asia and North America. 

The company’s addition to Merck is expected to create a leading electronic materials player focused on the semiconductor and display industries. The acquisition will also allow Merck to better benefit from long-term growth trends in the electronic materials industry.

In Other News

These are some other notable deals and developments from the past week: 

  • Pernod Richard, global producer of wines and spirits has acquired Castle Brands Inc. through an offer of $1.27 per share price of outstanding  common stock. 
  • Popchips announced that it has been acquired by former KIND Snacks investor VMG Partners. VMG Partners is a private equity firm specializing in building iconic brands in consumer staples categories such as food and beverage, personal care and beauty. 
  • Digital publisher Group Nine Media announced that it is acquiring women’s lifestyle publisher POPSUGAR, Inc. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but according to the Wall Street Journal, the deal values POPSUGAR at more than $300 million. 
  • Apple announced that it has acquired UK-based visual effects company, iKinema. The purchase has been consistent with Apple’s past acquisitions of small companies with 3D graphics and augmented reality technologies. 
  • Food delivery service company Postmates Inc. recently announced that it is delaying its initial public offering due to market conditions. Chief among them? The fact that Silicon Valley startups have largely fallen flat on the stock market this year: Lyft has seen its valuation trimmed in half, Uber’s stock plunged over 25 percent since its IPO, and WeWork has postponed it indefinitely.