UK’s WANdisco buys out Silicon Valley company

SHEFFIELD-BORN software company WANdisco yesterday announced it had bought out Silicon Valley data firm AltoStor, as the recently-listed UK outfit makes an aggressive move into the lucrative and fast-growing “Big Data” market.

“It’s a real coup for the business,” chief executive David Richards told City A.M., revealing that WANdisco beat “a much bigger, established Silicon Valley company that wanted [AltoStor]” to the deal.

The $5.1m (£3.2m) transaction is made up mostly in WANdisco shares, giving AltoStor’s owners 2.5 per cent of the Aim-listed company.

Richards pointed to the growth opportunities that the deal offers WANdisco, whose shares have more than doubled in value since June’s initial public offering.

“We are buying intellectual property, we are not buying revenue,” he said. “This is a company from the high street of Silicon Valley and its the most exciting acquisition I’ve made.” AltoStor’s technology, Hadoop, is a data-driven software platform used by many of the US’s big technology companies such as Yahoo, Facebook and Amazon.

WANdisco has outlined its intention to shift from its current collaboration software business, which allows clients such as HP and Barclays to work together, to Big Data, software which enables companies to handle vast amounts of information.

The market is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years, with spending increasing from $5bn to $50bn between 2012 and 2017.

Panmure Gordon analysts called yesterday’s acquisition “a watershed deal”, upping WANdisco’s price target from 460p to 537p. The company’s shares rose 4.3 per cent yesterday.

WANdisco has promised to spend more money on acquisitions to further its development in the Big Data market. Its June flotation raised around £16m.