A mixed May for M&A

Contact: Brenon Daly

Continuing the M&A trend we’ve seen so far this year, tech buyers in May either bought big or bought nothing. Spending on tech transactions across the globe this month ticked about 16% higher than the same month last year, although it was lower than both May 2011 and May 2010.

This month’s spending totals were boosted by three deals valued at more than $1bn, headlined by the planned $6.9bn take-private of BMC Software. (The buyout, which was spurred by an activist hedge fund, is the largest infrastructure software transaction in a half-decade.) With the BMC deal and the second-largest transaction of the month (Fidelity National Financial’s $2.9bn reach for mortgage software vendor Lender Processing Services), May accounted for two of the five largest tech deals announced so far in 2013.

However, overall M&A activity remained muted, with the number of transactions announced in May dropping about 15% compared with the same month of the two previous years. Once again in May, monthly deal volume failed to crack 300 transactions, the rough monthly average for tech deals in 2010 and 2011. That has left year-to-date deal volume levels down a significant 14% compared with the start of each of the two previous years.

2013 activity, month by month

Period Deal volume Deal value % change in spending vs. same month, 2012
May 2013 275 $18.4bn Up 16%
April 2013 251 $32.8 Up 129%
March 2013 219 $4.4bn Down 76%
February 2013 246 $47.6bn Up 296%
January 2013 303 $10.7bn Up 155%

Source: The 451 M&A KnowledgeBase

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