M&A Journal: Who’s Buying Limelight?

August 1st, 2011 by · 1 Comment

A short time ago, Dan Rayburn posted an article indicating that something big is about to happen over at Limelight Networks (NASDAQ:LLNW, news, filings) with the likeliest outcome being an acquisition by the likes of Verizon or perhaps MicroSoft.  Certainly such rumors have come and go regularly over the past few years, but Dan has rarely been wrong when he makes these calls.  So, let’s do a few quick takes on those potential acquirers and a few others:

Verizon: As Dan says, this one makes sense on many levels.  After their purchase of Terremark, adding in Limelight as the CDN piece would certainly fill out their content offerings quite nicely.  And of course, there’s no doubt they could pull it off financially and I suspect that like with Terremark we wouldn’t hear a peep from regulators either.

MicroSoft: After Skype I’ll believe almost anything.  But buying Limelight?  While they certainly could, I sincerely doubt it… Though I’ll bet Akamai wouldn’t mind competing against MicroSoft’s version of speed and adaptability.

CenturyLink:  After its purchases of Qwest and Savvis, content delivery and some additional managed services just might fit very well.  Now, they have indicated they aren’t likely to do a big deal for a while, but honestly this wouldn’t be that big.  And unlike Verizon, they don’t already have a foothold in this sector and therefore might gain more rapidly by buying an existing player.

NTT: Japan’s telecommunications giant has been doing a lot of buying in the cloud space this year already, and while they offer CDN services they don’t have a big presence yet in content.  Purchasing a global CDN to go with their Tier 1 internet backbone and managed/cloud services seems like a very believable step.

Teliasonera: Same reasoning as NTT, but thinking about their presence in the gaming sector as a segway to a full blown CDN.

Google: Nope, just they don’t need it.

Comcast or TW Cable: Seems like a longshot, but they have more to gain from buying content delivery capabilities than they ever did buying a fiber network – another recurring rumor.  But unlikely, I’ll admit it.

Level 3: Nope, they’re tightly focused on Global Crossing and simply won’t jeopardize that.

FT/BT/DT/Reliance/Tata: Not looking in this direction right now as far as I can tell.

Cisco:  Haha, just kidding.

Any other candidates out there who might be interested?  Leave a comment below!
Google: Nope, just they don’t need it.

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Categories: Content Distribution · Mergers and Acquisitions

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