Big is back in Q2 M&A

Contact: Brenon Daly

Spending on tech M&A in the second quarter surged to the highest quarterly rate since the Credit Crisis erupted, driven by a return of some of the largest technology buyers. Overall, deal makers announced 773 transactions, with a total value of $62bn. The Q2 total, which represented a doubling of spending from the first three months of the year, topped the previous record in the ‘new normal’ environment by slightly more than 10%.

Fittingly for a new record, big tech names have figured prominently in M&A since April. For instance, SAP announced the largest transaction in the software industry in more than two years when it reached for Sybase in May, spending $6.1bn. Also in May, IBM put together its largest deal in two and a half years, paying $1.4bn for Sterling Commerce. Even telcos got into the act, with a pair of transactions valued at more than $10bn each in the second quarter.

Overall, four of the five largest acquisitions of the year were announced in the second quarter. That helped push the number of deals valued at $1bn or more announced in the second quarter to twice as many as the first quarter (14 transactions vs. 7). It’s also worth noting that with 21 10-digit transactions already announced in 2010, the full-year number of big-ticket purchases is almost certain to exceed the 33 deals valued at $1bn or more in both 2008 and 2009.

Recent quarterly deal flow

Period Deal volume Deal value
Q2 2010 773 $62bn
Q1 2010 847 $30bn
Q4 2009 818 $55bn
Q3 2009 758 $38bn
Q2 2009 777 $49bn
Q1 2009 622 $10bn
Q4 2008 724 $38bn
Q3 2008 733 $32bn

Source: The 451 M&A KnowledgeBase