Tech buyers pull in their M&A plans for 2013

Contact: Brenon Daly

Even as 2012 is shaping up to be a lackluster year for tech M&A, next year could be even quieter. In 451 Research’s annual survey of corporate development executives, these buyers dramatically pulled in their acquisition plans for 2013. Just 38% of corporate shoppers said they would be increasing their M&A activity in the coming year – the lowest forecasted activity level in the six years of our survey.

On the other side, fully one out of five respondents (20%) indicated they would be slowing their purchases in the coming year, up significantly from the previous two years. It’s also important to note that the dour forecast for 2013 is coming off an already low base. With just two weeks of the year remaining, tech M&A spending for 2012 is all but certain to come in below the level of both 2011 and 2010. That would snap two straight years of increased spending.

The views of corporate development executives are an important indicator of the overall health of the tech M&A community, as they go a long way toward setting the tone in the market. We will have a full report on the survey results – including the outlook for valuation and specific types of acquisitions – in tomorrow’s Daily 451.

Projected change in M&A activity

Period Increase Stay the same Decrease
December 2012 for 2013 38% 42% 20%
December 2011 for 2012 56% 30% 14%
December 2010 for 2011 52% 41% 7%
December 2009 for 2010 68% 27% 5%
December 2008 for 2009 44% 33% 23%

Source: 451 Research Tech Corporate Development Outlook Survey

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