Google eyes alliances with private equity

Google, actively on the lookout for acquisitions, is for the first time considering forging alliances with private-equity firms to help it structure deals.

Buyout firms can assist an acquirer by providing needed financing or advice on how a target could be restructured or carved up after a deal closes. While Google may invest cash to get a return on the investment, it may also take part in a deal to acquire an asset, said Don Harrison, mergers and acquisitions chief.

What sort of companies is it interested in buying?

“We apply something called the toothbrush test, which is we ask ourselves, ‘Is this something people use once or twice a day and does it solve a problem?’ ” Harrison said in an interview at the Bloomberg Next Big Thing Summit in Half Moon Bay, Calif.

— Bloomberg News

cloud computing
Adobe profit benefits from shift to Web

Adobe Systems, the graphic-design-software maker, reported a fiscal second-quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates as subscribers signed up for cloud-computing services at a faster clip.

Profit excluding some items for the period through May was 36 cents a share, San Jose-based Adobe said in a statement. That beat the average estimate of 34 cents that analysts had projected.

Chief executive Shantanu Narayen is in the midst of a drive to sell more of Adobe’s design tools as a subscription service via the Web.

— Bloomberg News