Daily News: June 6, 2014

Tech M&A Survey: Dealmakers Expect Deals to Keep Roaring Back

It’s been a long drought for tech-sector M&A activity, but dealmakers are finally seeing some relief.

That’s the key takeaway from the latest M&A Leaders Survey, a bi-annual report issued jointly by Morrison & Foerster, an international law firm with a top-tier technology, media & telecommunications practice, and technology research firm 451 Research.

In the wake of an explosive first quarter, in which tech M&A spending was triple the average recorded over the past five years, participants in the latest M&A Leaders Survey were more bullish than they’d been in the four previous surveys, dating back to 2012. Nearly three out of four respondents said they will be ratcheting up their M&A activity through the end of the year. That’s up from one in two respondents last November. Further highlighting the positive sentiment, a mere four% say they expect deal activity to decrease.

Even more strikingly, 72% say they expect the torrid first-quarter pace to quicken, or at least to continue. That would see the surge of transactions reaching a level not seen since the pre-recession boom years of 2006-07, when the sector hit $450 billion in total value. As if to prove the point, dealmakers turned out almost $50 billion in deals in April alone.

According to Robert Townsend, co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Global M&A Practice Group, the change in sentiment is not surprising, but the speed with which it has taken hold certainly is.

“Think about it: just six months ago, only 40% of industry insiders saw M&A spending reaching pre-recession levels by 2018,” Townsend said. “Now, nearly three quarters of our participants expect to see 2006-07 levels reached this year. Clearly, there’s been a sea change in sentiment. It’s a very welcome development for the tech M&A community.”

The latest M&A Leaders Survey, conducted in mid-April, reflects input from more than 150 C-suite officers, business development executives, corporate counsel, investment bankers, venture capital and private equity investors across the technology industry.

To read the entire news release, click here.