President Vladimir Putin approved a proposition for VTB Bank along with three notable oligarchs—Vladimir Potanin of Interros, Alexey Mordashov of Severstal, and Lukoil’s Vagit Alekperov—to acquire the Russian operations of Yandex in a transaction valued at $7 billion (£5.6 billion). Despite this, the transaction has hit a snag due to the apparent oversight of the apprehensions of Yandex’s global shareholders. This might compel the tech giant to present an alternative proposal to the president for approval, currently leaving the deal in uncertainty.
Renowned as Russia’s premier technology enterprise, Yandex offers an extensive array of products and services, most famously including the country’s top search engine, alongside a spectrum of other technological and internet-focused enterprises.
Wendel, the French investment firm, announced on July 27th 2023 that it had entered exclusive negotiations to acquire a controlling share of Scalian, the engineering consultancy, at an enterprise value of €965 million (£829.53 billion). This transaction marks the first takeover by Wendel since Laurent Mignon assumed the role of CEO in 2022. Previously, Mignon had unveiled a strategy to establish an asset management division within the family-controlled group. The deal involved Wendel committing up to approximately €550 million in equity, gaining a majority stake, in partnership with Scalian’s management team.
Scalian delivers information technology consulting services designed to streamline digital transformation and enhance project management and operational efficiency for businesses. It provides expertise in quality management consulting, big data management, artificial intelligence strategies, and IT infrastructure evaluations, catering to sectors such as automotive, banking, finance, and energy. The firm assists organisations in adapting their IT systems to align with operational requirements seamlessly.
BioNTech SE, a biotechnology firm based in Germany, completed their acquisition of InstaDeep, an AI startup operating out of the UK, on July 31st 2023 in a transaction worth approximately £562 million, marking its largest deal to date. The vaccine manufacturer aims to leverage InstaDeep’s advanced machine learning capabilities to enhance its drug development pipeline, particularly in crafting personalised therapies for individual cancer patients.
InstaDeep has developed a platform that specialises in enhancing talent retention and delivering training. This platform harnesses a range of AI-driven solutions, including advanced pattern recognition, GPU-powered analytics, autonomous decision-making systems, machine learning, and predictive analytics to refine decision-making processes. By deploying these technologies, businesses can boost operational efficiency in areas such as manufacturing, logistics, mobility, and energy, leading to an improved return on investment.
Lutech Advanced Solutions
Lutech, supported by its financial backer Apax Partners, successfully completed a leveraged buyout of Atos’s Italian operations for €466.66 million (£412.01 million) on March 31th 2023. This strategic move positions Lutech to integrate the acquired entity into its existing framework, establishing itself as a top-tier provider in the market. The merger is aimed at expanding Lutech’s portfolio, allowing it to deliver a broader spectrum of offerings to its clientele.
Lutech specialises in information technology services that cater to various industries by enhancing cloud capabilities. It provides an array of services, such as Digital Workplace solutions, Computer Vision technology, cybersecurity measures, cloud services, and high-performance computing options, equipping clients with the necessary tools for digital transformation.
On July 6th 2023, Builder.ai secured $250 million (£197.33 million) in a Series D financing round led by Qatar Investment Authority. The investment round also saw contributions from Microsoft, Insight Partners, Ion Pacific, Jungle Ventures, Epiq Capital, and ICONIQ Capital. This influx of capital will be used towards furthering the company’s objective of enabling companies worldwide to create software without the need for specialised technical skills.
The company has created a platform aimed at assisting customers in the creation and management of their software initiatives. Leveraging human-enhanced AI, this platform equips large companies, small firms, and individual entrepreneurs with the tools to develop, maintain, or expand their software by connecting them with a network of specialised professionals worldwide and utilising reusable components.
“In the wake of AI’s accelerated integration into European markets, I foresee a spike in demand for roles such as AI system architects, data scientists, and AI ethics compliance officers. These professionals will be crucial in navigating the complexities of AI implementation across various sectors, including healthcare, finance, and automotive industries. The AI landscape is primed for those who can blend sophisticated AI innovations with sector-specific expertise to revolutionise and streamline the future of business operations.”
– Tyler Huskins, Advanced Technology Executive Search Specialist