Publicly listed cloud services and Microsoft licensing specialist distributor Rhipe could be the latest local technology company to find itself in acquisition talks.
So far, the distributor isn’t giving any hints other than entering a trading halt on 29 June, citing only an impending announcement in relation to "a control transaction involving the company", with the halt set to lift no later than 1 July.
At least one potential purchaser has been brought to light, care of the AFR's Street Talk rumour column, which pointed to Crayon, a player that occupies a similar market space to Rhipe and has the potential cash to splash in the market.
Accordingly, the Norwegian headquartered software licensing and cloud distributor has been talking to investors, saying it was pursuing an acquisition that it said would “cement Crayon’s position as a global leader in direct and indirect software cloud licensing, cloud services, data and AI [artificial intelligence] and software cloud economics”.
Such an acquisition would also fit in with Crayon’s recent activity in the Australian market, which has seen the purchase of Sydney-based Oracle specialist Navicle last year, along with Winc’s software licensing business.
What transpires between now and when the trading halt lifts remains to be seen and there could well be other companies vying for the Rhipe business in hopes to sharpen up their cloud and licensing play. Or perhaps not.
In May, Rhipe hedged its bets on the cyber security market with the acquisition of emt Distribution, paying A$11 million cash upfront for the security’s specialist’s Australian and Asian businesses, with its Middle East business also included in the line-up.
Emt CEO Richard Rundle also joined Rhipe to oversee the new division, alongside the expansion of the distributor's security offering to its existing small- to medium-sized (SMB)-focused customers.
According to recent numbers from analyst firm, GlobalData there were 8,823 M&A deals during the first quarter of 2021 with a combined transaction value of US$878 billion — an increase of 48 per cent when compared to the same quarter last year.
The most notable themes that drove deals in the majority of sectors during the quarter include connectivity, big data, cloud, COVID-19, cyber security, digital banking and digitalisation.