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Seismic Week in Acquisitions: Tech Data, Docker Enterprise, Carbonite

It has been a huge week for acquisitions in tech, with announcements of definitive agreements for Tech Data Corp. to go private, Mirantis to pick up Docker's Enterprise Platform business and OpenText to buy Carbonite Inc.

The deal impacting the most channel companies is Tech Data. Loosely speaking, Apollo Global Management Inc. is buying Tech Data for $5.4 billion, a 24.5 percent premium to Tech Data's share price as of mid-October. Technically, the acquisition is being engineered by "an affiliate of funds managed by affiliates of Apollo."

Rumors have been widespread about a coming acquisition for the distribution giant, as acknowledged in the news release Wednesday about the deal, which declared Oct. 15 as "the last trading day prior to published market speculation regarding a potential transaction involving the company."

Assuming no better offers come forward in the go-shop period through Dec. 9, and that the agreement passes regulatory muster, the deal is expected to close in the first half of 2020.

Existing channel partners can probably expect little to change in the short term. Tech Data CEO Rich Hume would stay on and company headquarters would remain in Clearwater, Fla. Executives from Tech Data and Apollo both affirmed the commitment to Tech Data partners and to the business in general. They positioned the deal as a way for Tech Data, free of quarterly financial reporting pressures, to focus on long-term growth.

Container technology pioneer Docker Inc. is selling a part of its business to Mirantis for an undisclosed amount. The deal, also announced Wednesday, involves the Docker Enterprise Platform business, employees and enterprise customers.

Mirantis, known for its Kubernetes K8s-as-a-service, will get the Docker Enterprise Platform technology, including Docker Enterprise Engine, Docker Trusted Registry, Docker Unified Control Plane and the Docker CLI.

In a blog post, Mirantis CEO and co-founder Adrian Ionel said Mirantis will be able to enhance the Docker technologies with its K8s-as-a-Service technology. However, the move leaves out the Docker Swarm container orchestration technology.

Mirantis "currently expects to support Swarm for at least two years, depending on customer input into the roadmap," Ionel said. "Mirantis is also evaluating options for making the transition to Kubernetes easier for Swarm users."

As a company, Docker will now focus on Docker Desktop and Docker Hub.

Earlier in the week, OpenText on announced an agreement to acquire Carbonite Inc. for $1.42 billion in another deal that had been reported publicly as being in the works. The deal amounts to a 78 percent premium on Carbonite's "unaffected closing stock price on September 5, 2019, the last trading day before a media report was published speculating about a potential sale process," the companies said in a statement.

Carbonite specializes in data protection and security, while OpenText is focused on enterprise information management.

OpenText CEO & CTO Mark J. Barrenechea positioned the pending acquisition as strengthening OpenText in cloud platforms and giving the company new routes to markets via Carbonite's "SMB/prosumer channel and products."

The companies expect the transaction to close within 90 days.

Posted by Scott Bekker on November 14, 2019