A mere two business days into the new year and the first acquisition of note in the HR Technology space has already been announced. Yesterday morning Bedford Funding – the private equity firm that acquired Authoria in 2008 has announced that they have acquired North Carolina-based PeopleClick for $100m in cash and will merge the firm with Authoria. The new firm is called Peopleclick Authoria and will be run by Charles Jones, the founder and general managing partner of Bedford Funding.
I’ll leave the formal analysis of the deal to the analysts (BTW, Jason Corsello has a great post here – http://humancapitalist.com/?p=725), but the deal does raise a few questions in my mind:
1. Will this deal set off a new wave of M&A activity in the HR technology space?
2. With a combined $360m in newly raised cash, will either SuccessFactors or Taleo respond by purchasing a company? If so, who?
3. Did Bedford spend too much given the current state of the market – considering 14 months ago they bought Authoria for $63m.
4. Who picks these company names? Peopleclick Authoria? I would have suggested at least some creativity – Peoplethoria or Authoriclick come to mind right now.
Its clear that desired outcomes of this meger may take some time to realize, it will create some interesting opportunity in the short fun. Meanwhile the speculation is swirling as to who will be bought next and by whom.
Who do you think will be the next to fall?