The biggest tech deals in H1, plus Novacap banks on shifting ad trends

Trive Capital-backed EarthLink acquires internet provider One Ring Networks.

Good morning dealmakers, thank goodness it’s Friday!

It’s Obey Martin Manayiti here with the Wire.

We are capping off the week with a highlight of a couple of the biggest private equity tech deals so far this year.

I also have a story about Novacap capitalizing on shifting ad trends with its recent Cadent acquisition.

But let’s start with this morning’s deal news.

More connection
EarthLink, a portfolio company of Trive Capital, has acquired One Ring Networks, an Athens, Texas-based fixed wireless provider of voice and data services.

EarthLink, which is headquartered in Atlanta, is an internet provider to homes and small businesses.

This acquisition will allow the company to expand its business platform capabilities and portfolio of products and services including high-speed business internet, according to Trive Capital.

“EarthLink and One Ring are highly complementary businesses and together will provide ultra-reliable, high-speed internet services to businesses and consumers nationwide,” said Shravan Thadani, Trive Capital partner. “Significant advances in FWA technology support One Ring’s offering and will enable EarthLink to take its business services capabilities to the next level for its customers.”

Shifting ad trends
The move from advertising on traditional linear TV to more digital methods attracted Novacap to acquire Cadent, a provider of converged TV advertising, in a deal announced earlier in August. I interviewed Samuel Nasso, a principal at Novacap, to discuss the deal and the opportunities the Montreal-based PE firm has identified in the advertising space.

Cadent is the fourth investment under Novacap’s TMT VI Fund. It also resulted in the exit of Lee Equity Partners, which acquired Cadent in 2013.

The advertising industry represents a huge market in the US, with billions of dollars spent on ads.

But as new technologies emerge, change is underway. “Currently, there’s a significant shift from traditional linear TV to more digital methods,” Nasso said. “Yet, live TV, including sports, news, and reality shows, will continue to capture significant audience attention, ensuring its lasting relevance.”

The market highly values the digital and connected TV space due to its rapid growth, said Nasso. “However, it’s overlooking the significance of traditional TV, which still holds the majority of TV budgets. Cadent offers the benefits of both digital and traditional TV.”

Big tech deals
As people reflect on H1 and try to forecast what could be in store for private equity during the second half, I decided to highlight some of the biggest tech deals of the year so far.

Back in April, I covered some of the deals in this story about Why private equity firms still love enterprise software but since then, more tech deals have come to the market.
I have highlights of some of the biggest deals, in dollar value, below:

Silver Lake, in partnership with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, bought Qualtrics for $12.5 billion in an all-cash transaction. The deal closed in June. Co-headquartered in Provo, Utah, and Seattle, Qualtrics is a cloud-native software provider that aims to help organizations identify and resolve points of friction across digital and human touch points.

In February, Thoma Bravo completed its $8 billon take-private acquisition of Coupa Software, a San Mateo, California-based business spend management platform that aims to unify processes across supply chain, procurement and finance functions. The transaction included a minority investment from a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

In May, Advent International and British Columbia Investment Management Corp closed their $6.4 billion take-private buyout of Maxar Technologies, a geospatial intelligence company. Maxar Technologies aims to help government and commercial customers “monitor, understand and navigate” the changing planet; deliver global broadband communications; and explore and advance the use of space, according to the company.

Blackstone in June closed its $4.6 billion take-private buyout of Cvent Holding Corp, a Tysons Corner, Virginia-based meetings, events and hospitality technology provider. The seller was Vista Equity Partners.

Austin-based Vista has had a busy year on the market. In February the firm closed the $4.6 billion acquisition of KnowBe4, a cybersecurity awareness training provider. This month, Vista completed the sale of Apptio, a Bellevue, Washington based provider of software that aims to help companies manage their IT costs, to IBM in a $4.6 billion deal.

On that note, that’s it for me today.

I will be back with the newsletter on Monday.

Have a nice weekend.