People seem to love predictions so I’m going to make a few business predictions I can see happening in the next year or so. First is the one that gave me the idea of writing this post; Google buying Adobe. Imagine 2 of our favorite Silicon Valley brands combining and giving us on- and off-line version of Dreamweaver & Photoshop powered Adobe AIR and supported by Google’s ever exanding super computer network. Granted this is possible without the 2 companies combining, but where’s the fun in that. A third, significantly less likely player in this combiniation would be Apple. Adobe & Google both seem to have extraodinary tight relationships with Apple. Google CEO Eric Schmidt is on Apple’s Board of Directors and Adobe is consistently the first to take advantage of the full power of Apple hardware. A hardware/software combination involving all 3 companies would instantly be THE force in the tech industry.
Next we move to banking. Once Bank of America completes its deal purchasing LaSalle Bank from ABN Amro, making it a major player in the Chicagoland area, it will no longer be able to make significant deposit purchases in America because it will be bumping up against the 10% limit. Bank of America will turn its vision overseas, starting with the previously rumored to soon be a Bank of America target, and new ABN Amro parent company, Barclays. Buying Barclays after Barclays purchases ABN Amro, the deal which made LaSalle available for purchase, will help Bank of America’s presence in Europe and South America. In addition Bank of America will push organic growth within the States in an attempt to truly become the first and only nationwide, coast to coast, in every major and mid sized city, bank, or in other words the Bank of America.
AT&T & Vodafone – How does AT&T continue to grow following combining the companies once know as PacWest, Ameritech, SBC, BellSouth, Cingular, AT&T Wireless, AT&T, and soon to be Dobson/Cellular One, among others? It buys the largest GSM carrier in the World, Vodafone. Vodafone has a market capitalization of about $160 billion, meaning it could be purchased for under $200 Billion. The great part of the deal is it would give AT&T control over the 45% of Verizon Wireless currently owned by Vodafone. The Feds would never let AT&T keep that portion, but in a pre-arranged deal with a private equity firm AT&T could sell the Verizon Wireless stake, currently valued at around $65 Billion, for $80 Billion or so, cutting the actual Vodafone purchase price to somewhere in the neighborhood of $120 Billion. Who would be interested in 45% of VZW? How about KKR and/or Blackstone who seem to be buing everything. Or the Goldman Sachs/Texas Pacific consortium which recently puchased fellow CDMA carrier Alltel for $27 Billion? This would give GS/TP more leverage in it attempt to get VZW to buy the CDMA assets, probably raising the price to over $115 Billion.