Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Merger and Acquisition Targets

Mergers and acquisitions are always fun to speculate on. In this industry it seems like a week doesn't go by where some M&A activity is happening. With the recent Equinix acquisition of Switch and Data I have to wonder if more data center industry acquisitions will happen before the end of the year. Both Google and Cisco have said that shopping sprees will continue to gain speed in 2010.

thedeal.com had a Barron's article summary that intrigued me today about M&A speculation. The article points to 10 technology companies that are potential takeover candidates, including several that I have thought of:
  1. Riverbed (RVBD | $1.53B market cap): major competitor to Cisco's WAN Optimization and Application Acceleration products. I've always thought Cisco would buy them, but perhaps HP is better suited.
  2. NetApp (NTAP | $9.63B market cap): another possible target for Cisco. Otherwise maybe HP or Dell?
  3. F5 Networks (FFIV | $3.73B market cap): No idea; maybe HP or EMC
  4. Brocade (BRCD | $3.69B market cap): seems like HP is the lead candidate... if not, maybe EMC or IBM
and others.... Check out the complete article and list here.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Switch and Data Shareholder Investigation

There was an interesting development in the Equinix acquisition of Switch and Data late this last week. Kendall Law Group announced a shareholder investigation into Switch and Data Board of Directors in connection with the proposed acquisition by Equinix.

Their release states:
"Kendall Law Group’s investigation concerns whether the consideration to be paid to shareholders below the fair or inherent value of the Company and whether the directors and may have breached their fiduciary duties by not acting in the shareholders’ best interests in connection with the sale process."
Kendall is a national law firm and are either very large, or sue-happy, because there were 8 other investigation or class-action lawsuits announced last week according to their site.

The law offices of Howard G. Smith are apparently investigating as well.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Iowa Now Second Largest Wind Producer

The Wall Street Journal reports that Iowa has become the second largest producer of wind power in the U.S.. Tax breaks, cost recovery assurance and few zoning regulations for wind turbines are cited as reasons for the ranking.

At the end of the second quarter of 2009, Iowa had 3,043 megawatts of total wind capacity, compared with 8,361 megawatts in Texas and 2,787 megawatts in California, according to the wind-energy association. The article continues by saying that Iowa is flat landscape and lies in an enviable position on the grid - close to load centers like Chicago and Milwaukee.

Power transmission is now the road block to continued success in Iowa. Roya Stanley, Director of the Iowa Office of Energy Independence said "While we still have some room on the grid in the state, it will be critical to have agreement regionally for further transmission build-out."

The WSJ also has a very interesting article on Five Technologies that Could Change the Energy Picture. It discusses space-based solar power, advanced car batteries, utility storage, carbon capture and storage, and next-generation biofuels.