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VMWare's recent M&A shopping spree was foreshadowed in data

6 months ago by Jon Marino in M&A

When there are mega M&A deals, the evidence is often telegraphed in hiring data - and Palo Alto-based VMWare's ($NYSE:VMW) most recent set of acquisitions was no different. 

It bought not only Silicon Valley-based Pivotal Software ($NYSE:PVTL) - VMWare also acquired, on Thursday August 22, Massachusetts cybersecurity firm Carbon Black ($NASDAQ:CBLK), bringing its one-day'M&A tally to $4.8 billion. 

First up: Pivotal Software. The cloud platform slashed jobs more than 42% beginning four months ago, suggesting that is when the deal talks picked up. Since the company's April 2018 IPO (which, has since been a disappointment for investors), 146 staffers - the most recent job posting tally - is the least employees Pivotal has listed on its hiring websites since going public. 

Carbon Black jobs fell - just not as drastically. The company had as many as 130 job postings online as of July 2018, but that fell to 77 by August. Further, over the last three months, job postings dipped 17%. 

VMWare also trimmed job postings leading up to its two big deals. Although buyers aren't typically cutting as many roles as their targets, it is common to see a potential buyer reduce postings in weeks leading up to a major deal - and VMWare did two this week. The company reduced job postings 10% over the last month. 

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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Jon Marino

Jon Marino is Thinknum's finance editor, covering the impacts of alternative data on public companies and investors. Prior to joining Thinknum, Jon worked in the ...

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