It’s been a blockbuster summer for blockbuster deals. Since July, tech acquirers have announced more transactions valued at $1bn+ than any quarter since the recent recession. 451 Research’s M&A KnowledgeBase has tallied a record 33 ‘three-comma deals’ here in Q3, significantly above the average of roughly 20 transactions per quarter over the past two years. Overall, big-ticket purchases, which had a median value of $2.2bn, account for a staggering $130bn of the roughly $150bn in total spending on tech M&A this quarter.
The billion-dollar prints this summer came from across the IT landscape, according to the M&A KnowledgeBase, with three semiconductor deals valued at more than $1bn, the largest SaaS transaction in history and the biggest exit for a VC-backed startup in two and a half years. Another source that has (rather unexpectedly) contributed to deal flow at the top end of the market recently has been divestitures. Fully one-quarter of the $1bn+ deals in Q3 involved the sale of divisions of larger companies, such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise shedding its software unit and Intel divesting a majority stake of McAfee. (Several of the billion-dollar transactions announced in Q3, such as the HP Software and McAfee deals, effectively involve unwinding previous billion-dollar acquisitions.)
451 Research will publish a full report on M&A activity in Q3 early next week. But the headline for the quarter is certainly the record number of big prints, which helped push spending to the third-highest quarterly total since the end of the recession, according to the M&A KnowledgeBase.
Source: 451 Research’s M&A KnowledgeBase
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