Autonomy in £234m cloud acquisition

Steve Dinneen
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Autonomy yesterday crashed into the cloud computing market with the £234m acquisition of Iron Mountain’s digital archiving business.

The deal adds six petabytes – a million billion bytes – of data and 6,000 clients to Autonomy’s total customer base of more than 25,000 users.

Autonomy said annual cost synergies should hit £25m over the first year and add 15 per cent to earnings from 2012.

While analysts have welcomed the acquisition – a Goldman Sachs note called it a “positive step” at a “reasonable valuation” – some commentators were disappointed at the lack of a big name deal.

Autonomy is sitting on an acquisition war chest of almost £700m, with investors keen to see a big-money purchase.

Companies are increasingly seeking to switch to cloud platforms, in which data and applications are stored on remote servers and accessed over the web. They offer increased flexibility and reduce capital expenditure on hardware.

Autonomy saw its shares surge seven per cent in early trading yesterday, before they dropped back to end up around 2.7 per cent higher at 1,780p.

Chief executive Mike Lynch said the acquisition “makes Autonomy the cloud platform of choice,” adding he had been eyeing Iron Mountain “for a long time”.