Google / Zingku

Google's quest for devotees in the booming world of mobile online services continues with its purchase of a startup company that streamlines sharing pictures, messages and more via smart phones.
The news comes as the leading Internet search firm vies with Yahoo, Microsoft and America Online to win the loyalty of people accessing the Internet on the move.
"Google has acquired certain assets and technology of Zingku," the California-based firm said Friday in reply to an AFP inquiry.
Google added that it expects the acquisition to help it "provide people worldwide with direct access to Google applications, and ultimately the information they want and need, right from their mobile devices."
Zingku's website says it launched in 2005 after its founders "noticed that teenage/twenty something's and their friends were engaging in rich media conversations drawing upon the full reach of mobile text messaging."
Zingku says its technology makes it easy to share messages, pictures, "mobile flyers," or other creations using mobile devices, according to the firm.
"Our service integrates your mobile phone with a personalized web site so that you can easily move (zing) things back and forth between the web and your mobile as well as...connect with friends," Zingku's website says.
Zingku will not register new members while the deal is pending and informed existing users that they can cancel their accounts or have them transferred to Google.

(c) AFP


Boursorama / OnVista

Boursorama annonce l'acquisition de 77,4% du capital d'OnVista AG, propriétaire de http://www.onvista.de/, leader allemand de l'information financière sur internet.
Dans un communiqué, la filiale de la Société générale précise qu'elle lancera une offre publique d'achat sur le solde du capital pour retirer le titre de la cote, après l'approbation de la prise de contrôle par les autorités anti-trusts allemandes.
Cette participation de 77,4% sera acquise auprès des dirigeants de l'entreprise et de la famille Burda, en numéraire, pour un prix de 20,6 euros par action, ce qui valorise OnVista à 138 millions (dont 10 millions de trésorerie).
Le portail allemand d'informations financières (1,04 million de visiteurs uniques et 72 millions de pages vues par mois) a réalisé en 2006 un chiffre d'affaires de 14,1 millions d'euros, en progression de 45% sur un an et a enregistré un résultat net de 1,6 million.
Au premier semestre 2007, OnVista a réalisé un chiffre d'affaires de 11,3 millions avec un résultat net de 1,9 million.
Boursorama est présent en Allemagne depuis 1997 à travers sa succursale de courtage en ligne Fimatex, qui est plus particulièrement active sur les warrants et les produits dérivés.
"La combinaison des activités de Fimatex et d'OnVista permettra au nouvel ensemble d'accélérer son développement sur le segment de l'épargne en ligne dans ce pays", souligne le groupe dans un communiqué.
Créé en 1995, Boursorama est l'un des principaux acteurs de l'épargne en ligne en Europe avec quelque 3,2 millions d'ordres exécutés au 30 juin 2007, 557.300 comptes en direct et un encours total de 13,4 milliards d'euros à fin juin 2007.
En dehors de la France et de l'Allemagne, Boursorama est également n°2 au Royaume-Uni sous les marques Self Trade et n°3 en Espagne, également sous la marque Self Trade.

Caisse d'Epargne / Meilleurtaux.com

Caisse Nationale des Caisses d'Epargne (CNCE), the listed French bank, announced the acquisition of a 50.14% stake in French Internet and e-commerce company Meilleurtaux.

The company will acquire 50.14% of the shares via the Oterom Holding vehicle at a price of EUR 14 per share. The vendors are Ventech, Galileo Partners and Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners. Christophe Cremer, founder and head of Meilleurtaux is also selling part of its share. He will also transfer a 7% stake in Meilleurtaux to Oterom in exchange of a 14% stake in the vehicle.

Once the acquisition is completed, French insurers Macif and Maif will acquire a 17% stake each in the Oterom Holding, and 5% for Nexity. CNCE will retain a 47% stake in the vehicle, which will hold about 57% of Meilleurtaux. CNCE said that it also plans to launch a public offer for the remainder of the shares at a price of EUR 14 per share.

(c) Mergermarket


NetScout / Network General Corp.

NetScout Systems, Inc. an industry pacesetter for advanced network and service assurance solutions, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Network General Corporation, in a combined cash, stock, and debt transaction currently valued at approximately USD 205m. The acquisition, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed by early November. Network General employees will become NetScout employees, and the newly combined entity will be headquartered in Westford, Massachusetts. NetScout believes that for the full year of fiscal 2009 the combined company will approximately double NetScout's current revenue rate, and that the transaction will be accretive for fiscal year 2009 on a non-GAAP basis and accretive on a GAAP basis by the end of fiscal 2009. The combined company will have a larger and more diversified customer base supported by a larger sales force and a planned doubling of R&D spending. Faster revenue growth is expected to be achieved through a broader, integrated product portfolio which will provide customers greater efficiency and value. It is anticipated that there will be significant cost savings realized across the combined company, improving operating margins and earnings per share.

The acquisition furthers NetScout's vision of providing superior network-based performance management based on a KPI (key performance indicator)/Flow/Packet paradigm. The new, extended portfolio will directly benefit both customer sets by increasing the value of the NetScout solutions available to them while protecting their existing investments. NetScout customers will benefit from the addition of best-of-breed expert packet analysis and data mining, and Network General customers will benefit from best-of-breed real-time monitoring and rapid top-down troubleshooting. For all customers, this will translate into meaningful reductions in their MTTR (mean time to restore) metrics, while reducing the training and skills required to manage complex network-based operations.

The acquisition will accelerate NetScout's recently announced entry into the Wireless Service Provider segment. This segment is currently dominated by several large competitors, whose solutions have relied on deep packet analysis versus NetScout's superior real time monitoring and reporting. With the addition of Network General's leading technology, NetScout will be able to offer the best solution across a broad spectrum of performance monitoring and troubleshooting requirements.

NetScout is making the acquisition, valued at approximately USD 205m (based on the closing price of NetScout common stock on 19 September 2007), with a combination of six million shares of NetScout stock, USD 50m of cash and USD 100m of debt financing. NetScout anticipates obtaining the debt financing either from affiliates of Silver Lake and TPG or from third party financing sources. After completion of the acquisition, Silver Lake and TPG will become NetScout shareholders and representatives of Silver Lake and TPG are expected to join the NetScout Board. The transaction is slated to close in early November subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.


Yahoo! / Zimbra

Yahoo! Inc., a leading global Internet company, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Zimbra, Inc., a leader in next generation e-mail and collaboration software. Under the terms of the agreement, Yahoo! will acquire Zimbra for approximately USD 350 million.

The acquisition of Zimbra will help Yahoo! to expand its presence in universities, businesses and through ISPs by enabling organizations to host e-mail on or off premises with their own domain. Zimbra's offerings include rich, AJAX-based e-mail, calendar, and contact management features that can be used both on and offline. Their open platform enhances the user experience by enabling creative mash-ups called Zimlets that tie in valuable Web services to e-mail, and can be tailored to fit the needs of every customer.

Yahoo! Mail celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and continues to be one of the world's most popular Web mail services with 250 million(1) users worldwide. The service provides people with more ways to connect to their friends and online contacts and is fully integrated with Yahoo!'s many other popular services to make it easy to access all the Internet services people need.

Following the acquisition, Zimbra will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yahoo!. Satish Dharmaraj will continue to lead the Zimbra team based in Yahoo!'s Sunnyvale headquarters and will report to Brad Garlinghouse. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval. It is expected that the transaction will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2007.

(c) mergermarket.com