London, UK – 11 March 2019. The latest M&A market reports from international technology mergers and acquisitions advisor, Hampleton Partners, on the Enterprise Software and IT & Business Services sectors show consistent growth in transaction volume, multiples and valuations, with Enterprise Software M&A disclosed deal value achieving a whopping $182.2 billion in 2018 – a five-year high.
In the second half of 2018, M&A volume in the Enterprise Software sector also reached its highest level in five years: a total of 629 deals were recorded, representing an increase of 35 per cent since the low of 465 deals in 2H2013. The figure included deals from large strategic players such as Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, Adobe and SAP.
Miro Parizek, founder, Hampleton Partners, said:
“We are witnessing a land grab for innovative software and IT companies. On the one hand, verticals such as healthtech and fintech are experiencing rapid growth and are compelled to update and adapt their systems, software and processes simply to keep up the pace and survive in the face of their competition. On the other hand, large strategic and legacy players are pursuing a comeback to the market, acquiring innovative, horizontally applicable software to remain relevant and versatile.
“As the record-high valuations and volumes show, this competition for tech and talent is driving-up M&A valuations to a peak.”
Blockbuster deals included IBM spending $33.4 billion all-cash on open-source software provider Red Hat. IBM is keen to boost its position in the hybrid cloud market and Red Hat’s version of the open-source Linux operating system will provide IBM with a steady stream of revenue as more companies move off-premise.
Meanwhile, Broadcom acquired CA Technologies, a leading IT management software vendor, for $18.9 billion, a premium of approximately 20 per cent over the closing price of CA Technologies’ stock in July 2018. The deal is expected to drive Broadcom’s long-term adjusted EBITDA margins above 55 per cent.
IT & Business Services M&A
Hampleton’s IT & Business Services M&A Report reveals a total count of 421 transactions for 2018, including a total of seven billion-dollar deals and many deals in the hundreds of millions.
The sector’s largest disclosed transaction was the $6.7 billion sale in September of Sedgwick Claims Management, a provider of tech-enabled insurance claims processing in North America, to global private equity firm The Carlyle Group.
In this sector, outsourcing deals have remained extremely popular, offering new talent, connectivity and even competitive labour overseas to companies seeking to keep up the pace in a rapidly changing technological environment. Integration services also struck a note, and will no doubt remain sought-after following this half year, particularly among public sector organisations and providers to government agencies looking to improve and integrate systems securely.
Key M&A Trends
- Traditional software players such as Microsoft, Adobe and Oracle returning to the M&A landscape to remain relevant and versatile.
- Private equity firms continuing to acquire innovative enterprise software firms.
- Cloud-based business consolidating, as legacy tech companies bolster their cloud capabilities through the acquisition of software companies.
- High transaction volume for ERP targets, particularly HR and employee management software.
- Strong appetite for healthcare and financial services software.
- Digital marketing acquisitions, including firms specialising in email marketing, PR and advertising, playing a key role in shaping the M&A landscape for IT services.
- Cross-border acquisitions playing a large part, with both North American and European companies targeting companies in Western Europe for expansion.
M&A Outlook for 2019
Miro Parizek concluded: “We anticipate growth in M&A across the enterprise software and IT sectors spurred by more advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence for SaaS and cloud-based software. As new players, large strategic acquirers and private equity firms all remain poised to capitalise on the integration of new tech and talent into established businesses, we will see higher competition, deal flow and valuations.”