by Brenon Daly
Even after strategic acquirers led the tech M&A market to a near-record level in 2018, they still plan to step up their shopping in 2019. More than half the respondents to the annual 451 Research Tech Corporate Development Outlook predicted that their companies would be more active in the coming year. The 56% that forecast an acceleration in acquisitions is nearly five times the 12% that expected a slower pace.
The bullishness comes after many of the mainstay acquirers placed an unprecedented number of big bets in 2018. Corporate acquirers announced a record 74 transactions valued at more than $1bn in 2018 – double their number of big prints annually at the start of the decade, according to 451 Research’s M&A KnowledgeBase. Big-name buyers such as Microsoft, SAP, Adobe, Cisco Systems and IBM all put up single prints valued in the billions of dollars last year.
However, the folks who do the buying at tech companies did see some clouds on the horizon. Nearly four in 10 corporate acquirers (39%) told us that the deteriorating economic picture around the globe created a ‘pain point’ for deals they worked on in 2018. That was almost twice the number of respondents who said their work didn’t get snagged by any of the broad market concerns.
Subscribers can see our full report on the annual 451 Research Tech Corporate Development Outlook, which drew responses from some of the tech industry’s biggest buyers on what they see coming in 2019.