The Biggest M&A of February-March

This wrap of channel-impacting M&A activity from February and March includes CenturyLink-Level 3, Windstream-EarthLink, HPE-Nimble Storage, Verizon-XO Communications, Palo Alto Networks-LightCyber, NetFortris-Fonality, Arris-Broadcom, Tech Data-Avnet, Extreme-Avaya-Brocade

Channel Partners

April 12, 2017

  • The Biggest M&A of February-March

    The M&A frenzy that started the year slowed a bit in February and March, but was still rife with news about some of the biggest channel-impacting merger and acquisition announcements from the past year: CenturyLink-Level, Windstream-EarthLink and Verizon-XO. (Hint: Two of those deals closed.)

    Extreme Networks and HPE made huge moves last month, and Tech Data closed its own groundbreaking acquisition of another distribution giant’s technology business.

    And that’s not all. Click through our gallery to catch up on what you might’ve missed in the last two months.

    Looking for more M&A? Click here to see what was happening in January.

    Follow executive editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

  • Biggest M&A of February-March: CenturyLink-Level 3


    CenturyLink and Level 3 Communications shareholders overwhelmingly approved all proposals related to the merger of the two companies.


    At a special meeting of CenturyLink’s shareholders, more than 96 percent of the votes cast supported the proposal to issue CenturyLink common stock to Level 3 stockholders in connection with the proposed merger.

    Read more about the merger and comments from rival Windstream’s CEO, which says the tie-up poses both an opportunity and threat to his company.

  • Biggest M&A of February-March: Extreme Networks-Brocade-Avaya


    What a month for Extreme Networks.


    The company said it is buying Brocade’s data-center networking unit for $55 million. That came less than three weeks after agreeing to buy Avaya’s networking business for $100 million. Avaya is going through chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, so more bids could come in.


    Get details on Extreme Networks’ acquisition plan.

  • Biggest M&A of February-March: HPE-Nimble


    Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced its intent to acquire predictive all-flash and hybrid-flash storage solution vendor Nimble Storage for about $1 billion.


    According to HPE, Nimble’s portfolio of predictive flash products for the small and medium-size business (SMB) market complements HPE’s scalable, midrange to high-end 3PAR solutions and MSA products, positioning the company to provide storage to business customers across the board.

    Learn more about the acquisition.

  • Biggest M&A of February-March: Verizon-XO


    Verizon completed its $1.8 billion purchase of XO Communications’ fiber-optic network business. XO initially will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon, according to Janet Schijns, vice president of channel sales for Verizon Business Markets.


    Verizon Business Markets is a recently created unit that came about as a result of the XO acquisition.

    Read further about the XO integration and the launch of the Business Markets unit.

  • Biggest M&A of February-March: Windstream-EarthLink


    Windstream’s acquisition of EarthLink closed in February. Windstream named EarthLink’s Olen Scott as the combined company’s new channel chief just after the $1.1 billion merger wrapped. The Arkansas-based communications giant cut 164 jobs to accommodate the alignment and said it would cut more.

    Get details on Windstream’s channel approach following the purchase and related job cuts.

  • Biggest M&A of February-March: Tech Data-Avnet Technology


    Tech Data wrapped its acquisition of Avnet Technology Solutions in a distribution agreement of gigantic proportions.


    The Clearwater, Florida-based company says its $2.6 billion purchase of Avnet’s Technology Solutions division gives it “unmatched capabilities and the most diverse solutions from the data center to the living room.”


    Learn more about Tech Data’s purchase.

  • Biggest M&A of February-March: Arris-Broadcom-Ruckus


    Following the close of its $5.9 billion acquisition of Brocade Communications Systems, Broadcom will sell the company’s Ruckus Wireless and ICX Switch business to Arris for $800 million, plus the additional cost of unvested employee stock awards.


    Arris plans to establish a dedicated business unit within the company focused on wireless networking and wired switching technology to address “evolving and emerging needs across a number of vertical markets.”


    Read about Broadcom’s plans.

  • Biggest M&A of February-March: NetFortris-Fonality


    NetFortris, a provider of secure cloud-based communication services, acquired Fonality, a provider of UCaaS communications software for SMEs and SMBs.


    The combined company will have operating centers in three countries and provide services to more than 11,000 customers and 300,000 end users in 41 countries.

    Learn about the channel impact of NetFortris’ acquisition.

  • Biggest M&A of February-March: Palo Alto-LightCyber


    Palo Alto Networks announced its completed acquisition of the privately held security company, LightCyber. The acquisition cost $105 million in cash.


    Palo Alto says it will continue to offer the LightCyber products and support existing customer implementations while it engineers the technology into the Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Security Platform by the end of the calendar year.

    Read Palo Alto’s announcement about the acquisition.

  • The Biggest M&A of February-March

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