Industry duo plot tech takeovers
Friday, November 13, 2020
Two well-known industry CEOs have raised millions of dollars for a new acquisition venture that plans to buy up technology companies.
Guy Gecht, the long-standing former chief executive of EFI, and Jeff Clarke, the former Kodak CEO, are now co-CEOs at E.Merge Technology Acquisition Corp.
Clarke is also currently chief financial officer.
The business operates out of an office in Palo Alto in California’s silicon valley.
E.Merge is described as “a blank cheque company formed for the purpose of effecting a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, reorganisation or similar business combination with one or more businesses”.
Over the summer E.Merge raised $600m (£538.6m) via an initial public offering of 52,200,000 $10 shares and a subsequent 7.8m units.
The securities are listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
“Our management team is comprised of industry experts, whom we believe are well-positioned to identify and evaluate businesses within the technology sector that would benefit from their experience of leading public companies. We believe our management team offers extensive experience in growing and operating companies, as well as a deep network of contacts in the technology sector,” the firm stated.
E.Merge said that fundamental technology change, particularly in the business arena, had opened up new opportunities, and the pace of change had ramped up because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We believe that the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the speed of this change, locked out obsolete economic sectors, and highlighted vulnerabilities in the legacy business models of incumbents, while providing fuel to transformative business models aligned with the new norm.
“We believe that post Covid-19, technology companies which both leverage and catalyse these changes will take the lead in further accelerating the digital trend. Technology will expand into new frontiers, render incumbents obsolete, and reward those who seek opportunities to be fully aligned with tomorrow’s technology landscape rather than continue investing in the status quo.”
The firm’s chairman is Steven Singh, who was previously CEO of travel booking tech firm Concur Technologies, which was acquired by SAP in 2014. He went on to become president of SAP’s business networks and applications operation before leaving in 2017.
One of the firm's areas of interest is artificial intelligence (AI), something Gecht flagged as important for the printing industry back in 2017.