A 2007 deal done in 2009

Contact: Brenon Daly

In many ways, Autonomy Corp’s surprise purchase of Interwoven looked more like a 2007 deal than any transaction of a more recent vintage. In fact, both the purchase and the valuation line up almost exactly with acquisitions of public companies in 2007. Specifically, Interwoven’s enterprise value (EV) of $704m matches almost exactly the median EV of $701m for companies acquired in 2007. And Autonomy’s purchase values the content management vendor at 2.8x its trailing 12-month (TTM) sales, compared to 2.6x TTM sales for deals in 2007.

The Autonomy-Interwoven transaction stands out even more coming off of 2008, when public company deals took a hammering. The median EV/TTM sales multiple got cut nearly in half last year, falling to 1.4x from 2.6x in 2007. Meanwhile, the median purchase price sank to $159m from $701m.

Public company M&A

Year Median deal size Median EV/TTM valuation
2008 $159m 1.4x
2007 $701m 2.6x
2006 $393m 2.1x
2005 $346m 2.3x

Source: The 451 M&A KnowledgeBase