Cisco Continues Its Shopping Spree, Buys Chinese Set-top Box Business

Cisco Systems (s CSCO) is going shopping again: It is buying the set-top box business of DVN Holdings, a company that is listed in Hong Kong and has major IPTV-related operations in China. Cisco recently announced its decision to buy video hardware maker Tandberg and 4G wireless hardware maker Starent for roughly $3 billion each. In comparison, this is a tiny deal: Cisco will pay up to $44.5 million for the set-top box business of DVN, the company said in a press release today. Approximately $17.5 million will be paid up-front, with an additional maximum amount of $27 million to be paid over four years based on the achievement of specific sales milestones. Cisco is a major player in the set-top box market in the U.S., thanks to its successful acquisition of Scientific Atlanta. By buying DVN’s set-top box business, Cisco is extending its reach into China, one of the key overseas markets it has earmarked for growth.

4 Places Google Could Put Its Money, But Shouldn’t

money in handGoogle (s goog) said this week it might buy a big company “every year or two,” targeting “some accelerant that it would provide for revenue, some major, major user base that we did not currently have access to.” What’s surprising isn’t that Google is thinking this way, but that it’s admitting it so publicly. In the sometimes feverish world of M&A (and right now is one of those times), those are rousing words. Read More about 4 Places Google Could Put Its Money, But Shouldn’t

The Rebound Begins: Cleantech Gets More Cash in Q2

Cleantech investment is on the rise again, according to two reports released this week, hitting $1.2 billion in the second quarter. “Cleantech venture investment has rebounded moderately after free-falling for two consecutive quarters,” said Brian Fan, senior director of research for the Cleantech Group, in a press release. Other signs of recovery include more mergers and acquisitions, as well as increased solar tax equity, he said.

The Cleantech Group, which tracks deals in North America, Europe, China and India, said Wednesday that cash was distributed among more companies, too: 94 compared with 82 in the first quarter. Meanwhile, Greentech Media put the number of deals in the second quarter at 85 vs. 59 in the first.
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Exelon’s Power Play for NRG Could Create Nuclear Giant

Exelon’s (s exc) unsolicited $6 billion bid for its smaller rival NRG Energy (s nrg) may have been prompted by short-term concerns about raising capital and cash flow, but the longer-term outcome could reshape the nuclear industry’s landscape.
Nuclear power makes up only 5 percent of NRG’s power-generation capacity (vs. 46 percent for natural gas and 33 percent for coal). But the company has been gearing up for greater nuclear capacity for some time. In September 2007, it submitted the first application in 29 years to build a nuclear plant in the U.S.
Exelon, which at $19 billion in revenue last year was three times as large as NRG, owns 10 nuclear stations and 17 reactors, and is the largest player in the U.S. and the third largest in the world. Buying NRG will add to that total and give it enough resources and economies of scale to leverage even more plants in coming years.
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100 M&A Deals. 100 Startup Lessons

Our friend Steven Nielsen over at PartnerUp , the online network that helps entrepreneurs find co-founders, sent us a handy index he has compiled of all the major mergers and acquisitions of Web startups that took place in 2007.
Check it out: Steve’s List of 2007 Startup M&A.
Many of these deals have been written about here, or at the mother ship, GigaOM. (For example: Club Penguin by Disney, also here; Photobucket by Fox Interactive; and StumbleUpon by eBay). Steve includes links to many other useful stories on each deal.
This is a list to print out and post on your wall, not least because of one observation Steve makes about last year’s deal making:

An interesting trend that we’ve noticed [is] that smaller acquisitions in the $5-20 Million range are happening much more frequently than in the past. This is likely because acquirers are snapping up startups before they raise substantial capital, making the acquisitions much less costly and providing the ability to do more deals.

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