Overseas shopping in November drives tech M&A to post-recession record

Contact: Brenon Daly

Tech M&A spending in the just-completed month of November nearly doubled from the same month last year, as European shoppers went on an unusually big spending spree. However, the rest of the market was very quiet. The number of announced transactions last month sank to the lowest monthly level since the end of the recession.

Across the globe, the total value of tech deals announced last month came in at $23.3bn, slightly above the monthly average in 2013 but dramatically above the $12.2bn recorded in November 2012. Four of the five largest acquisitions announced last month involved targets based outside the US, including Germany’s Scout24 and Dutch software vendor UNIT4.

The surge in November spending means that 2013 will set a new record for the value of tech deals since the end of the recession. In the first 11 months of this year, buyers announced transactions worth an aggregate value of $222bn, higher than any other full-year total since the credit crisis knocked the economy into a tailspin from which is has only haltingly recovered.

The incomplete recovery shows up dramatically in the number of prints. Consider this: The number of announced transactions has declined, year over year, in every single month in 2013, leaving the total number of deals so far this year down 14% compared with last year. And deal flow is drying up even more. In November, buyers announced just 209 transactions – the lowest monthly total in four years and down nearly one-third from the level in November 2012.

Post-recession deal flow

Period Deal volume Deal value
January-October 2013 2,861 $222bn
January-October 2012 3,338 $163bn
January-October 2011 3,462 $204bn
January-October 2010 3,003 $173bn
January-October 2009 2,758 $137bn

Source: The 451 M&A KnowledgeBase

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