M&A In 2015: Data Center and Cloud Edition

December 29th, 2015 by · Leave a Comment

Yesterday we looked back at the network M&A transactions of 2015.  Today let's look at the data center world, from colo to the cloud.  There was quite a lot of activity, how much of it do you remember?

The biggest deals this year on the colo side were by the biggest pure players.  Over in Europe, Telecity made plans to buy Interxion only to have Equinix swoop in and buy Telecity itself for some $3.6B and then went to Japan and bought Bit-Isle.  Meanwhile, Digital Realty Trust decided to take on interconnection with the purchase of Telx for some $1.9B.

But there were other meaningful deals by pure colo providers as well.  CyrusOne moved into the northeast with the purchase of Cervalis.  QTS struck with the acquisition of Carpathia.  Netrality acquired its way into Houston.  Cologix landed in New Jersey with plans to acquire Net Access. TierPoint bouught out Florida's CXP Data Centers, while vXchnge bought a set of data centers from Sungard.  In the UK, VIRTUS moved into Slough with the purchase of InfinitySDC's facility there.  And Viawest acquired iNetU to help flesh out its cloud portfolio..

The word on network operators in colo and the cloud was that they spent 2015 looking to get out.  But while CenturyLink, Verizon, and AT&T were all tied to such rumors, only Windstream followed through by selling its data center business to TierPoint.  All other transactions by network operators actually went the other way.  NTT bought e-shelter over in Europe and PT. Cyber CSF in Indonesia.  Zayo bought Latisys to greatly expand its own efforts, while Lightower dipped a toe in with the purchase of ColocationZone out in Chicago.

But the area with perhaps the most focused consolidation activity that got the least press was cloud communications.  Mitel continued rolling up assets by acquiring Maviner in the Spring.  ShoreTel, which turned down Mitel last year, made its own move by acquiring Corvisa.  Vonage struck again with a deal for iCore.  Onvoy made two purchases, taking out Broadvox and Layered Communications.  Momentum Telecom moved in on Alteva and Impact and TNCI joined forces, while 8x8 went to the UK and acquired DXI and X5 Solutions bought NovaTel.  On the vendor side, Broadsoft bought both Leonid and Japan's PBXL.  The deals weren't large in most cases but what we are seeing in the world we once called VoIP is a land grab phase, as everyone seeks scale in a business that is becoming better understood.  There will be more in 2016 to be sure.

What there wasn't a lot of was movement by the large pure cloud providers.  They made some technology and talent acquisitions that I won't attempt to enumerate, but Amazon is still Amazon, Google is still Google, and the same for IBM/Softlayer, Rackspace, and on down the line.  They seem to have what they want at this point.  The Dell/EMC mega-tech merger loomed large, but that's a different space that I'll let others cover.

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Categories: Cloud Computing · Datacenter · Mergers and Acquisitions · Unified Communications

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