Transatlantic cold front in M&A

In terms of North American tech companies shopping in Europe, the past year has been a case of overlooking deals rather than being over there looking for deals. Eastbound M&A (or North American acquirers of EU-based companies) totaled just $12.5bn from July 2007 through June 2008. That’s down two-thirds from the $45.2bn worth of deals inked from mid-2006 to mid-2007. The primary reason: a 15% decline in the Nasdaq and the US dollar (relative to the euro) over the past year that has sapped buying power.

Of course, the slumping greenback offered European acquirers a bit of a ‘rebate’ on their purchases. And they took advantage of that, pushing westbound M&A (or EU-based acquirers of North American companies) to a new record. From July 2007 through June 2008, European acquirers spent $30.2bn picking up North American-based companies, a 38% increase from $21.9bn in the same period in the previous year.

But even that record amount of eastbound spending wasn’t nearly enough to offset the utter disappearance of their North American counterparts. Overall spending on transatlantic tech M&A fell by more than one-third, dropping to $42.7bn from $67.1bn in the same period of the previous year. We look at the numbers and the trends in a full report that’s available here.

Transatlantic deals

Period EU to North America North America to EU Total
July 2005-June 2006 $14.5bn $19.4bn $33.9bn
July 2006-June 2007 $21.9bn $45.2bn $67.1bn
July 2007-June 2008 $30.2bn $12.5bn $42.7bn

Source: The 451 M&A KnowledgeBase