J2 Global has announced it closed eight acquisitions in December as the Internet software and service provider further expands its global reach.
The acquisitions: Scene (doing business as Ookla) of Seattle; Newrise Corp. of Coconut Creek, Fla.; Arion IT Limited of Ireland; Technology Partners in Glastonbury, Conn.; Quantum RBS Inc. of Canada; Comendo Security A/S of Denmark; Stay Secure of Sweden, and TestudoData of Mount Vernon, Wash.
Specific terms of the deals were not disclosed. Seven of the acquisitions will join J2’s cloud services division, the Hollywood company’s primary revenue stream that includes online faxing, data backup, email marketing and other business communications systems.
Ookla, the largest of the eight deals and the only acquisition that was previously announced, has joined J2’s digital media group, which includes Web publishers such as PCMag.com, IGN.com and AskMen.com.
Chief Executive Hemi Zucker said J2 now has more employees working abroad than in the United States. The company, whose latest employee count was at 1,500, has expanded to 12 offices worldwide, including ones in Copenhagen, Denmark and Stockholm, Sweden.
That kind of global reach is what’s driving J2’s mass acquisition plan, which has accelerated in recent years. With a market cap of $2.9 billion, J2 has made more than 100 acquisitions since it launched in 1995. But with bigger firms already netted, J2 is now eyeing smaller players. It acquired 29 companies last year – some were publicized, others unannounced – and 24 companies in 2013.
One benefit that comes with the bite-size buys, whose additions Zucker said were non-material to the company’s revenue, is that J2 can have outposts in countries where businesses want to keep their data in servers within their borders – and their legal jurisdictions.
“When we buy a small company in Iceland, for example, we can now go to multinational companies and say we can keep your data in one of ‘X’ countries,” Zucker said. “It’s unique. Nobody offers that.”
The M&A check-off list does not include backup storage provider Carbonite, which said last month that it received an unsolicited takeover bid from J2 at $15 a share. The $415 million cash offer, shared through letters filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, was J2’s second attempt to acquire the Boston firm, of which J2 owns 9.9 percent. The bid is scheduled to expire on Jan. 26.
J2 shares fell 99 cents, or 1.6 percent, to close at $60.26 Monday on the Nasdaq stock market.
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