M&A Recap: Microsoft and YAMMER, Nokia’s Patents

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is said to be in discussions to acquire Yammer, which is a major supplier of enterprise social networking sites. The price tag could be more than $1 billion, and Yammer would likely be added to an extensive list of Microsoft solutions (Lync, SharePoint, and Skype) which allow businesses to collaborate. Yammer rival Jive Software (NASDAQ:JIVE), is also a center of merger and acquisition chatter; its shares are soaring Thursday on word that the former might be snapped up by Microsoft.

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Quest Software (NASDAQ:QSFT) shares pop on the news that it has received a purchase bid of $25.50 per share, from a ‘strategic bidder’. The offer is well above that of Insight Venture ($23) and even surpasses Wednesday’s close of $23.81. The new bid emerges almost two weeks after the reported talks with Dell fell flat; Quest stipulates that the terms of a merger agreement “have been fully negotiated”, however Insight Venture is thought to maintain “certain matching rights” related to its offer.

Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDSA) hasn’t given up on its £1.12 billion ($1.74 billion) bid for Cove Energy, as it extends its deadline for the latter’s shareholders to support its offer rather than that of PTT’s £1.22 billion. A sticking point might be Cove’s and Anadarko’s (NYSE:APC) recent new finds of natural gas deposits in Mozambique, which could raise hopes of higher offers.

Beleaguered Nokia (NYSE:NOK) announces that it is amenable to selling a portion of portfolio of some 30,000 patents, to help raise needed cash. Some of the patents have enabled the firm to collect royalties from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), and include several innovations that are critical to three to four gigabyte networks and smartphone user interfaces. In the meantime, Nokia reports that it’s purchasing Scalado, a Swedish developer of imaging technologies that are employed in more than one billion devices.

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