HCL To Acquire Mortgage BPO Firm Urban Fulfillment Services For $30 Mn


HCL Technologies today announced an agreement to acquire Urban Fulfillment Services, a provider of mortgage business process & fulfilment services.

UFS is a Limited Liability Company incorporated in USA, founded in 2002. With over 350highly skilled professionals, UFS operates out of 3 centres in the US, engaged in providing mortgage business process and fulfilment services to its customers.

“The acquisition of Urban Fulfillment Services strengthens HCL’s capabilities in mortgage BPO services, loan fulfillment and debt servicing space,” saidAnoop Tiwari, Corporate Vice President and Global Head – Business Services, HCL Technologies.“Combining UFS’ talent and client portfolio with HCL’s deep industry expertise and business acumen, offers us the unique opportunity to provide platform–based services on our own platform, driving transformation through robotics process automation.”

“The synergies between UFS’ client focused and efficient business processing services and HCL’s technology leadership and financial strength will create an unparalleled competitor and leading provider of state-of-the-art services to the enterprise customers,” said Charles S. Sanders, CEO of Urban Lending Solutions. “I am very excited about joining the HCL team and being part of such a capable and progressive company that will deliver the highest level of services to the industry.”

HCL will be acquiring 100% stake in UFS. The total cash consideration for this transaction is up to $30 million, including contingent payments subject to certain financial milestones.Mortgage servicing is a regulated activity in USA and the transaction would require regulatory approvals for obtaining the licenses.

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Riverbed To Acquire Cloud-based WiFi Firm Xirrus


Riverbed Technology Friday announced to acquire California based WiFi networks firm Xirrus,. This acquisition of the privately-held company will help Riverbed expand its SD-WAN (software-defined wide area network) and cloud networking solutions.

Besides these solutions the company will also continue to offer Xirrus as a stand-alone enterprise WLAN solution.

“Xirrus is a strategic acquisition for Riverbed, providing us with a leading enterprise-grade Wi-Fi solution, and enhancing SteelConnect to deliver an unmatched SD-WAN offering that will help further fuel our growth in this hot market,” said Jerry M. Kennelly, Riverbed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

The company plans to offer Xirrus solutions through its robust partner ecosystem. The acquisition of Thousand Oaks, California-based Xirrus is expected to close in April 2017.

With this acquisition, Riverbed’s flagship SD-WAN solution SteelConnect is expected to get a shot in the arm. By adding Xirrus, the power of policy-based orchestration by SteelConnect will be further extended to the wireless edge.

“Legacy approaches to network management have become completely untenable. IT must move beyond the days of managing individual network devices using arcane CLI commands and scripts and instead move to software-defined approaches that are based on global policies, automation and orchestration,” said Paul O’Farrell, Senior Vice President of the Riverbed SteelConnect, SteelHead and SteelFusion Business Unit.

Xirrus is recognized by Gartner in the “Visionaries” quadrant of the Magic Quadrant for the most recent Wired and Wireless LAN Access Infrastructure report. With solutions deployed on tens of thousands of networks and hundreds of thousands of cloud instances, Xirrus customers include some of the best known global companies and recognized brand names, including Microsoft, University of Mississippi, Liverpool Football Club and Paul Hastings Law Firm.

“Together with Riverbed, we embrace a tremendous opportunity to create the world’s first SD-WAN solution that covers the core to the edge of the network,” said Shane Buckley, CEO of Xirrus.

In January 2016, Riverbed acquired Ocedo Networks, a leading SD-WAN provider to accelerate the delivery of its next-gen networking solutions, and launched SteelConnect as an early access offering in April 2016, which included “one-click” connectivity to AWS.

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CA Technologies Completes Acquisition of Veracode


CA Technologies today announced it has completed the acquisition of Veracode, a leader in securing web, mobile and third-party applications across the software development lifecycle. The acquisition establishes CA Technologies as a leader in the Secure DevOps market, bridges its Security business with its broad DevOps portfolio and adds to its growing SaaS business.

With the completion of the transaction, Bob Brennan, former chief executive officer, is now general manager of the Veracode business in the company’s product development organization reporting to Ayman Sayed, CA president and chief product officer.

“We provide over 1400 small and large enterprise customers the security they need to confidently innovate with the web and mobile applications they build, buy and assemble, as well as the components they integrate into their environments,” Brennan said.

“By joining forces with CA Technologies, we will continue to better address growing security concerns, and enable them to accelerate delivery of secure software applications that can create new business value.”

Under the terms of the agreement, the transaction is valued at approximately $614 million in cash.

“The acquisition establishes CA Technologies as a leader in the Secure DevOps market, bridges its Security business with its broad DevOps portfolio and adds to its growing SaaS business,” CA Technologies had said in a statement.

CA will provide detail regarding the acquisition’s impact to guidance when it reports fourth quarter earnings in May.

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Airtel Sells 10.3% Stake In Bharti Infratel To KKR & CPPIB For Rs 6194 Crore


Bharti Airtel today said it has sold 10.3% stake in its tower arm Bharti Infratel to a consortium for Rs 1694 crore. The consortium is advised by KKR and Canada Pension Plan Investment Borad (CPPIB) and the shares were sold at Rs 325 each.

Bharti Airtel will primarily use the proceeds from this sale to reduce its debt. Following the closure of this transaction, Bharti Airtel’s equity holding in Bharti Infratel stands at 61.7%, and that of KKR and CPPIB at 10.3%.

Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Airtel, said, “This investment by a consortium of marquee long-term investors underlines the confidence of the global investors in India’s growth story and the government’s Digital India initiative in particular. It further reinforces the positive outlook for the telecom infrastructure sector. The long-term investment horizon of the investors aligns well with the capital needs and business cycles of Bharti Infratel.”

This transaction makes it KKR’s second investment in Bharti Infratel. Previously, the funds managed by KKR had invested in the infrastructure firm  during the period 2008 to 2015. Post this transaction, the stake held by KKR and CPPIB (combined) will be the single largest public shareholder block.

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After Telenor, Airtel Now Acquires Tikona For Rs 1600 Crore


While Reliance Jio is busy blaming Bharti Airtel on multiple fronts, be on PoIs or over the ‘misleading’ ad of ‘fastest network’ in the country, the Sunil Mittal-led firm is steadily plugging its gaps to retain its supremacy in the Indian 4G market.The latest development on that front was the acquisition of Tikona today.

Airtel acquired Tikona’s 4G business for Rs 1600 crore in cash and debt and the said deal will be closed in two months time.

The services provider today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Tikona Digital Networks (“Tikona”) to acquire Tikona’s 4G Business including the Broadband Wireless Access (“BWA”) spectrum and 350 sites, in five telecom circles.

Airtel had acquired Telenor India exactly a month back, on 23 February.

Tikona currently has 20 MHz spectrum in the 2300 MHz band in Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West), Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh circles. Airtel plans to roll-out high speed 4G services on the newly acquired spectrum in the five circles immediately after the closure of the transaction.

As per the agreement, the acquisition of the 4G business in Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West) and Himachal Pradesh will be undertaken by Airtel, while in the Rajasthan circle, it will be accomplished through Airtel’s subsidiary Bharti Hexacom Limited. Post-acquisition, the combined spectrum holding of Airtel in these five circles will be within the spectrum caps prescribed by the Government.

The proposed acquisition will enable Airtel to fill BWA spectrum gaps in the 2300 MHz band in Rajasthan, UP (East) and UP (West), thereby securing a pan India footprint in the band. The deal will significantly bolster Airtel’s spectrum position in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, taking its overall BWA spectrum holding to 30 MHz each in these circles. Post completion of the deal, Airtel will have 30 MHz in the 2300 MHz band in 13 circles giving it tremendous advantage to handle the surging data demand.

“Airtel’s continued focus on strengthening its 4G capabilities across multiple spectrum bands will be complemented with the BWA spectrum acquisition from Tikona. We believe that combining our capacities in TD-LTE and FD-LTE will further bolster our network, and help us provide unmatched high-speed wireless broadband experience to our customers. We remain committed to our vision of leading India’s digital revolution by offering world-class and affordable telecom services through a robust spectrum portfolio spread across multiple bands,” said Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel.

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Vodafone Merges With Idea, Owns Lion’s Share

vodafone idea merger

Vodafone and Idea officially announced their merger on Monday. With this merger the the British telecom major will have 45.1% stake whereas the Aditya Birla Group will be having 26% and other Idea shareholders will own the remaining 28.9%.

In a seemingly complicated merger, the official statement says, the Aditya Birla Group can acquire up to another 9.5% stake from Vodafone to equalise the stakes with each other.

“If the Aditya Birla Group does not equalise its stake, Vodafone will reduce its holding in order to equalise its ownership with that of the Aditya Birla Group. Until equalisation is achieved, the additional shares held by Vodafone will be restricted and votes will be exercised jointly under the terms of the shareholders’ agreement,” the statement added.

The companies have not decided the new name of the combined entity but it said it will be decided soon.

On management structure, the statement said the Aditya Birla Group will have the sole right to appoint the Chairman and Kumar Mangalam Birla becomes the new Chairman. Vodafone retains the right to appoint a CFO where as both the entities will choose a CEO as well as the COO.

In total, the Board of the combined entity will be having 12 directors including three directors appointed by each of the party, and six independent directors.

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Prysm Acquires Enterprise Automation Solution Firm Kaybus


Cloud based digital canvas solution provider Prysm on Thursday acquired Kaybus, a company that develops secure, cloud-based knowledge automation software for enterprises. This acquisition would help the company to offer more enhanced and secure enterprise-grade application Suite.

“We are very pleased to announce that both the Kaybus technology and the entire Kaybus team are now joining the Prysm family,” said Amit Jain, CEO of Prysm. “The enterprise-grade quality that our customers have come to expect from us will be further enhanced by this acquisition, and we are working quickly to incorporate the many advantages that Kaybus brings to our application suite.”

The company said the integration of the Kaybus development team and technology into its application suite is already underway and all Kaybus employees, based primarily in California and India, have already joined the firm.

Post integration, the company believes, its application suite for enterprises would add a number of enhancements. A wide range of mission-critical enhancements from the acquisition are expected to benefit end users and application administrators across four key areas:

· Security enhancements – New configuration options and flexible tools for administrators will help ensure adherence to strict enterprise security standards
· Enhanced language flexibility – New user interfaces and documentation in local languages will encourage adoption among end users during global implementations
· Robust search functionality – Enhanced search enables specific content searches across Prysm projects and workspaces, using criteria filters to quickly find data and information
· Enterprise-grade and secure single sign-on – Streamlined approach saves administration time as users leverage sign-on without sacrificing security

“This is a strategic technology acquisition for Prysm,” explained Ira M. Weinstein, senior analyst and partner at Wainhouse Research. “The Prysm environment excels at helping users create and collaborate across various types of content, and integrating the Kaybus technology into its portfolio will make that content searchable, more easily accessible, and more valuable to Prysm customers.”

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Intel Acquires Automotive Tech Firm And Tesla Partner Mobileye For $14.7 Bn


Intel on Monday announced its acquiring Israel based automotive technology firm Mobileye, that used to be a partner of Tesla, for $14.7 billion which would propel the US based chip maker’s ambition to develop driver-less solutions for automakers.

Mobileye develops solutions and components for autonomous vehicles and has around 660 employees. The transaction is expected to be closed by December this year.

Intel estimates the driver-less and autonomous car industry would be worth $70 billion by 2030 and this acquisition of Mobileye is a step in the right direction.

“This acquisition is a great step forward for our shareholders, the automotive industry and consumers,” said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO. “Intel provides critical foundational technologies for autonomous driving including plotting the car’s path and making real-time driving decisions. Mobileye brings the industry’s best automotive-grade computer vision and strong momentum with automakers and suppliers. Together, we can accelerate the future of autonomous driving with improved performance in a cloud-to-car solution at a lower cost for automakers.”

Post acquisition, the combined entity will consist of Mobileye and Intel’s Automated Driving Group, will be headquartered in Israel and led by Prof. Amnon Shashua, Mobileye’s CoFounder, Chairman and CTO. Intel Senior Vice President Doug Davis will oversee the combined organization’s engagement across Intel’s business groups and will report to Prof. Amnon Shashua after the transaction’s closing.

Intel said the combined organization will support both companies’ existing production programs and build upon relationships with automotive OEMs, Tier-1 suppliers and semiconductor partners to develop advanced driving assist, highly autonomous and fully autonomous driving programs.

Mobileye supplies technology solution to global automakers for their autonomous vehicles. The company was an early partner of autonomous luxury car maker Tesla but both the companies parted their way last year when the driver of the Tesla S car died in an accident when it was being driven hands-free. The Israeli firm had alleged that Tesla was not driving as per its safety guidelines.

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In Africa Airtel Merges With Millicom For Ghana Market


Bharti Airtel today said it has merged with Millicom in Africa to jointly run the business in Ghana market. Millicom that offers telecom services in Ghana under Tigo brand will, after the merger, be jointly owned by the Airtel-Millicom entity with equal ownership and governance rights.

At present Millicom or Tigo commands little over 17% market share in Ghana and the Airtel said that after the merger the combined entity would serve nearly 10 million customers of which 5.6 million are data customers.

Airtel in a statement said the entity’s revenue would be around $300 million and it offers coverage of around 80% of Ghana’s population.

“The agreement highlights our commitment to the Ghana market and our customers. The coming together of the two entities will benefit customers, who can now enjoy an extensive combined network and a wider range of affordable and innovative products and services. It will further strengthen our position in the market and offer huge benefits arising out of synergies in operations, resulting in better experience for the customers,” said Raghunath Mandava, MD and CEO, Airtel Africa.

By integrating the two networks, the combined business is expected to provide Ghanaian customers with a major boost in both rural and urban network coverage – in turn translating into better voice quality, high speed data services and reinforced network stability and resilience.

With the combined fibre footprint and increased number of data centres, enterprise customers – including both large corporations and SMEs – would have access to a diverse portfolio of world-class solutions. Mobile Financial Services will also be greatly enhanced with combined agent networks and platforms.

Mohamed Dabbour, Executive Vice President, Millicom Africa, said: “In a highly fragmented telecom market, this deal represents a major milestone for our business in Ghana. The combination of Tigo and Airtel will create an operator that will be able to offer Ghanaian consumers and businesses a state of the art network with high speed mobile data coverage. This transaction underlines confidence in the Ghanaian economy, and provides the opportunity to develop nationwide digital infrastructure and services in Ghana.”

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Route Mobile Sells 10% Stake To Shrem Group For $23 Mn


Route Mobile, a messaging and voice platform firm, has sold 10% stake to real estate firm Shrem Group to raise $23 million or close to Rs 155 crore taking the company’s valuation to $230 million.

“We are looking forward to collaborate closely with the investor to create a global messaging giant based out of India, allowing us to offer greater value for our clients across all regions,” said Route Mobile group CEO Rajdip Gupta.

The group is planning to enter in to new geographies to expand its business and also mulling an entry into the digital payment industry.

“On-boarding of a global investor not only establishes the untapped potential of growth in the messaging industry as a whole but is a testimony to Route Mobile’s strategy and vision in particular. It opens up opportunities within our investor’s network for business development in selected overseas geographies,” Gupta added.

It had acquired Cellent Technologies and Defero Mobile in 2016 with the vision to expand global presence in the Asia Pacific region, Europe and the Middle East.

Route Mobile had last year expressed to go public and list in both the Indian stock exchanges – BSE and NSE, however no decision has been taken on the same.

Shrem Group who bought 10% stake in Route Mobile is a privately-owned family business founded by brothers Nitan and Hitesh Chhatwal.  The firm has a vested interest in real estate, finance, hospitality and healthcare. Previous investments include Perfect Engine Component Pvt. Ltd, which manufactures steel and valves used by the auto industry as well as Nanavati Hospitals based out of Mumbai.

“Capitalising on the Route Mobile Group is a step in Shrem Group’s strategy to further diversify into new age business. We feel Route Mobile’s business model is rather unique and has great potential,” said Nitan Chhatwal, Founder of Shrem Group.

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