No Love For Russians

Grind for November 3rd, 2018
“Wear your heart on your skin in this life.”
– Sylvia Plath

Business Talk

The Headline

IBM acquires Red Hat for $34 billion

The Grind

In its biggest acquisition yet, tech giant IBM agreed to purchase Red Hat Inc. for $34 billion.

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty hopes the acquisition will make IBM more competitive as customers increasingly seek to use multiple cloud providers and hybrid software.

Red Hat is a Raleigh-based software and services company that specializes in the sort of tech that helps companies bridge different platforms.

Red Hat is the primary provider of Linux to corporations. Last year, the company reported $2.9 billion in revenue.

The Details

“For IBM, Red Hat’s Linux and other software assets represent an opportunity to sell products to corporate software developers who are building complex applications that can run on both cloud-computing platforms such as AWS and Azure as well as in-house data centers,” reports The Wall Street Journal.

IBM will pay $190 per share for Red Hat, a figure that is more than 60% higher than the company’s closing stock price as of last Friday.

After nearly six years of falling revenue, IBM will be forced to pay for the acquisition using debt and cash. The company had just $14.7 billion in cash on hand at the end of Q3.

Rometty insists the deal will create a boost in free cash flow and in revenue within the year, and intends to retain all of Red Hat’s 12,600+ employees.

Standing Firm

The Headline

Latvia passes law to limit the use of Russian language in schools

The Grind

As it celebrates the 100th anniversary of its founding as an independent country, the tiny nation of Latvia passed a law that will preserve its culture by liming the use of Russian as a language of instruction in public schools.

The change is a further dismantling of a bilingual education system left over from Latvia’s years as an unwilling member of the Soviet Union.

In 2004, Latvia passed a law requiring 60% of classes be taught in Latvian.

In 2012, Latvians overwhelmingly voted against making Russia the second official language.

The Implication

Many Latvians are keen to protect themselves from cultural assimilation by Mother Russia, which dominated it and its neighbors for centuries.

And with a population of just 2 million (compared to Russia’s 142 million), Latvia is wise to take action before it is too late.

Moscow rejected the law as “odious” and Latvia’s sizable Russian population insists the law is discriminatory.

“I hope we will find a good way in our state without violence – and without the need to ask help from any foreign country,” says Elizabete Krivcova, a pro-Russian activist involved in a lawsuit to stop the government from implementing the law.

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