Software M&A Frenzy: Searching for the competitive edge

07 June 2017

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Last year set a record for the highest number of software M&A transactions on Mergermarket record, and the momentum behind the acquisitions appears far from over. As corporations and private equity (PE) firms have accumulated vast amounts of cash, they plan to target firms specializing in industry-specific software, business intelligence, and cloud computing. These buyers are looking more closely at firms with an emphasis on finding the right target instead of price. This translates to deals moving faster than ever, with limited time for buyers to conduct due diligence and detect potential post-deal issues involving cybersecurity.

To better understand the main drivers and strategies behind this activity, West Monroe commissioned Mergermarket to survey senior global executives for their insights.

Key findings of this report include:

  • When combined, the majority (57%) of corporate and PE respondents expect to execute three to four acquisitions over the next two years.
  • More respondents say the success of a software acquisition primarily depends on technical and operational factors, rather than price.
  • A majority of respondents say they’ve walked away from a software deal in the past, with most corporates (23%) citing cybersecurity concerns as the biggest deal-breaker and almost a quarter of PE firms (22%) citing compliance issues.
  • Compared to data in last year’s report from West Monroe and Mergermarket (Testing the Defenses: Cybersecurity due diligence in M&A), cybersecurity diligence concerns have grown with 16% of respondents reporting being somewhat dissatisfied with cybersecurity due diligence (up from 3% a year ago).

For more on how to navigate your next software acquisition, check out West Monroe’s recent white paper “Are You a Savvy Software Investor?

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Innovation drives dealmaking: Outlook for M&A in Israel

20 June 2017

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We are pleased to present Innovation drives dealmaking: Outlook for M&A in Israel, published in association with White & Case.
 
Investors continue to flock to Israel, as innovation and technological advancements create fertile ground for M&A, and the country’s leading expertise in cybersecurity is proving a key draw for dealmakers.
 
To get a clearer sense of the forces shaping M&A in Israel, we surveyed 66 senior-level executives at Israeli companies and PE firms. This provided a qualitative and quantitative basis for assessing dealmaker sentiment, which we analyzed along with data on current M&A activity.
 
Highlights of the report include:
 
  • Deal values remain high. Inbound and domestic dealmaking combined achieved record values in 2016 with 99 deals worth US$20 billion, and 2017 is already on course to be another strong year—there were 19 deals worth US$15.3 billion in the first quarter alone.
  • Executives are optimistic about the future of dealmaking. The vast majority of respondents (86 percent) expect 2017 deal activity to remain high or even increase compared to 2016. Deal stats for Q1 2017 support this view.
  • Tech tops the charts. Technology remains the most active sector for M&A in Israel, with the country’s expertise in cybersecurity drawing particular interest. Life sciences and financial services are also attracting investors.
  • Regulation offers both opportunities and challenges. While respondents say regulation remains a challenge in Israel, particularly antitrust enforcement, the country’s Anti-Concentration Law has created opportunities for private equity, as many of Israel’s largest holding companies and conglomerates are set to be broken up.

Market Spotlight: Real Estate

28 June 2017

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Real estate M&A has been a traditional safe haven for investors amid market volatility. Transactions in the sector comprised 9% of global activity in Q1 2017 with about US$70bn worth of deals — 14% higher than the US$61.5bn in deals for Q1 2016. In the current volatile environment, real estate will be attractive to many buyers for its reliability. Real estate M&A value reached an eight-year high in 2015, and remained steady throughout 2016. However, investors are cautious in light of expected changes to regulations and reporting requirements in the coming 12 months.
 
In order to find out the latest trends in the real estate sector, Donnelley Financial Solutions commissioned Mergermarket to interview global dealmakers for their insights.
 
Key findings include:
 
  • Asia-Pacific is the region predicted to receive the most real estate deals in the next 12 months (cited by 68% of respondents).
  • Residential, healthcare, and office buildings are the areas where most deal interest will be seen in the next year (each named by 24% of respondents).
  • PE firms were named as the most likely type of buyer to be active in real estate over the next 12 months (32% of respondents).

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M&A Spotlight: CEE

16 February 2017

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Mergermarket is pleased to present the latest edition of the WOLF THEISS Corporate Monitor’s M&A Spotlight on CEE/SEE.
The report provides an in-depth survey of the current and prospective M&A environment in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe (CEE/SEE), alongside extensive data on M&A trends, to offer insight into the challenges and opportunities facing the region, as well as the outlook for 2017.
M&A activity in CEE was lively in 2016 amid wider international political headwinds and global economic uncertainty. Dealmakers’ confidence sent deal value soaring to €38.3bn, up 62% from €23.6bn in 2015. In line with global trends, volume remained fairly even year-on-year, with 507 deals, compared to 516 in 2015 but still 8% above volume in 2014.
 
Key findings include:
 
  • Appetite for dealmaking in the region is remarkably high – almost all respondents in our survey (98%) say that they are more likely to invest in the region again following their most recent deal.
  • Poland, Austria, and the Czech Republic, the region’s largest economies, are seen as the most attractive markets for buyers. Austria is regarded by 41% of respondents as the best gateway for M&A in CEE, suggesting that Vienna still holds an edge as the region’s financial capital.
  • The leading driver of M&A in the region is a target’s intellectual property (IP) or technology, cited by 28% of respondents. This suggests that CEE is developing strong innovative companies. Poland, in particular, is seen as major hub for digital success.
  • 2016 has been a firm year for CEE private equity activity, with 103 deals worth a combined value of €11.3bn – the highest deal value for PE in the region on Mergermarket record.
  • Investors believe that distressed opportunities are expected to grow in 2017, which should be of particular interest to buyout firms – Ukraine, Czech Republic and Poland are seen as the key locations for these types of deals.

Deal Drivers EMEA Full Year 2016

22 February 2017

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Mergermarket is pleased to release the full-year edition of Deal Drivers EMEA, in association with Merrill Corporation. This report provides an in-depth review of M&A activity for the full year of 2016, offering insights into how announced deals of FY 2016 will impact M&A for the year ahead.
 
Highlights from the report include:
 
  • Despite uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the UK & Ireland maintained pole position in European M&A with 22.3% of volume and 27.5% of value. The third quarter, in the immediate aftermath of the UK referendum, included the €27.3bn acquisition of microprocessor technology business ARM Holdings by Japanese SoftBank Group, with the latter transaction making up close to two-thirds of total deal value that quarter.
  • Commodities futures prices continued to spark M&A in the energy, mining & utilities sector across Europe, but in particular in Russia and the Middle East.
  • Buyouts were up 10% in volume in 2016 but combined value amounted to €108bn, a decrease of 11% compared to the previous year. Nevertheless, the 1,245 buyout deals accounted for 18% of total European deal flow by volume.

William Fry M&A Review 2016

01 March 2017

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Mergermarket is pleased to present the William Fry M&A Review. This report provides a comprehensive overview of developments in the Irish M&A market during 2016, and discusses trends for the year ahead including the potential effects of Brexit on the Irish M&A market.
Against the backdrop of a buoyant 2014 and 2015, Irish M&A performance in 2016 was impressive – however, a closer look reveals a normalising market.
Volume increased 3% from 125 deals in 2015 to 129 deals in 2016. However, volume levels contracted or remained the same in each successive quarter of the year.
Value also increased yearly by 65% to €26.8bn – however, this was largely down to US industrial Johnson Controls’ €14.9bn purchase of fire and security provider Tyco. Excluding this deal, value contracted 27% to €11.8bn compared with 2015.
 
Other highlights from the report include:
 
  • Going outside: Outbound deals accounted for 40% of total Irish M&A, higher than several European peers including France, the UK and Germany.
  • Private equity (PE) snapshot: PE deal value was down by 51% from €8.6bn to €4.2bn.
  • Sector watch: A number of key sectors saw strong activity by volume, including telecoms, media and technology (16%), financial services (12%), business services (13%) and industrials and chemicals (12%).

Scaling new heights: M&A integration in Insurance

13 June 2017

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Early integration planning in financial services M&A can create better businesses, according to new EY survey
 
  • 95% of bankers say they start integration planning before signing
  • 78% of insurers had a synergy case in place before signing
  • 69% of asset managers say ensuring operational stability is a priority from day one
M&A announcements may get the headlines but a successful integration is the only true measure of a deal’s value. And dealmakers in the financial services sectors are increasingly acknowledging this, according to a new series of surveys from EY, Scaling new heights. These reports cover the banking and capital markets, wealth and asset management, and insurance industries and reveal that dealmakers now recognize how imperative it is to plan integration very early on in the dealmaking timetable. However, they also see plenty of room for improvement. Particularly in a world where AI, cybersecurity risk and FinTech are changing the way integration is achieved. Scaling new heights provides a detailed look at integration within the major sectors of the financial services industry and takes readers on a journey from initial planning, through value realization, and up to future trends. Alongside exclusive research, the reports also deliver invaluable insights into how dealmakers are stepping up to the mark — and what the priorities in M&A integration should now be.

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