451 Research’s annual M&A outlook survey

Contact: Brenon Daly

To many tech M&A market observers, the fact that deal flow in 2013 has dropped every single month this year – culminating in double-digit percentage declines from each of the past two years – is a bit puzzling. After all, companies have never had more money to put to work in M&A than they do now, and they are increasingly looking to acquisitions to provide whatever growth they can wring out of the ever-maturing IT market. And yet, deals haven’t happened.

Not to say ‘we told you so,’ but the notable ebb in the M&A market this year is exactly what the market told us last December would happen in 2013. A year ago, in the annual 451 Research surveys of dealmakers and their advisers, both groups clearly indicated that they expected to be less busy in 2013. Specifically, they predicted their lowest level of M&A activity since the end of the recession – a bearish forecast that has indeed come true. Deal volume in 2013 is tracking to its lowest full-year level since 2009.

In last year’s survey, fully one out of five corporate development executives – representing the main buyers in the tech M&A market – indicated that they expected to cut back on their dealmaking in 2013. (You can see our full report on those survey results.) An identical percentage of bankers, who are typically more optimistic, reported that their pipeline was drier than it had been. (You can see our full report on those survey results.)

So what should we expect for 2014? Well, that’s exactly what we hope to find out as we once again step in market with our annual M&A Outlook surveys. We always appreciate the time and insight that the M&A community gives to the surveys, and once again look to you to share with us the ‘wisdom of the crowds.’ If you are a corporate development executive, click here for this year’s survey; if you are a senior tech investment banker, click here for this year’s survey.

For more real-time information on tech M&A, follow us on Twitter @451TechMnA.

Posted in M&A