M&A Trend Continues
9:05 AM -- Hardly a week goes by now without news of an acquisition in the Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) space, the latest being that of German revenue assurance specialist Optel Informatik by mobile interconnect and financial clearing solutions provider MACH for an undisclosed sum. (See MACH Buys SPIT Firm Optel Informatik.)
OK, so Optel Informatik is hardly a household name, even though it counts Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) and E-Plus Service GmbH & Co. KG among its customers. But MACH's purchase of the German specialist fits in with the current trend for the purchase of back-office operations and business support capabilities that, in recent weeks, has included major deals involving Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Telcordia Technologies Inc. (See Ericsson Signals New M&A Era, Amdocs to Buy Bridgewater for $215M and Ericsson to Buy Telcordia.)
This isn't exactly a new trend -- there was similar action in 2010. (See Ericsson Buys Mobile SPIT Specialist, M&A Fires Up the SPIT Sector and SPIT Vendors Indulge in M&A Action.)
Now, though, I think we can expect a spate of deals involving more big names -- I wouldn't be surprised to see the likes of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) (which is thumping the communications sector tub again), Nokia Networks , Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Tekelec get involved in the M&A action, while I can see Comverse Inc. (Nasdaq: CNSI) finding a new home in the not too distant future.
Policy control, real-time charging and data analytics appear to be particularly hot areas as the vendor community looks for ways to build up resources that can help the mobile operators manage and make money from smartphone traffic.
Keep your eyes on the SPIT sector, because it's likely to be active, and informative, for the rest of 2011.
— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading