Berkery Noyes, an independent mid-market investment bank, today released its half year 2016 mergers and acquisitions trend report for the Information Industry.
The Information report features companies in the Media & Marketing, Software, and Online & Mobile Industries. It analyzes M&A activity during the first half of 2016 and compares it with the four previous six-month periods from 2014 to 2015.
Total transaction volume saw a slight uptick percent over the past six months, with a total of 2,234 deals in first half 2016. Aggregate value declined 29 percent, from $224.95 billion to $158.98 billion. However, value rose 38 percent relative to first half 2015. The peak for volume throughout the past two-and-a-half years occurred in first half 2016, whereas value reached its zenith in second half 2015. In terms of valuations, the median revenue and median EBITDA multiple stayed about the same at 2.1x and 11.3x, respectively.
Regarding the three horizontal markets covered in the report, the number of transactions in the Software horizontal improved four percent on a quarterly basis. Acquisition activity in the Consumer Software segment gained 20 percent, making it the sector with the horizontal’s largest increase in first half 2016.
Deal volume in the Infrastructure Software segment, after remaining flat in second half 2015, declined seven percent in first half 2016. One notable company in this space is Dell, which continues to sell off its software division and other properties. Along these lines was Francisco Partners’ and Elliott Management Corporation’s announced acquisition of Dell’s Software Group. According to several unofficial estimates, the acquisition had an approximate purchase price of about $2 billion. This transaction includes the sale of several software businesses previously acquired by Dell, such as Quest Software and SonicWALL.
Also worth noting is that NTT Corporation acquired Dell Services, which is Dell’s IT services division, for about $3 billion in first half 2016. However, this sector falls outside of the Information Industry and is therefore not included in the report. Each of these divestitures has occurred following Dell’s announced acquisition of EMC Corporation for $67.48 billion in second half 2015.
In the Online & Mobile horizontal market, volume improved nine percent. Deal volume in the SaaS & Cloud segment rose ten percent. SaaS & Cloud acquisitions in first half 2016 received a median revenue multiple of 3.2x and median EBITDA multiple of 14.7x, compared to 2.3x and 11.7x for the entire Online & Mobile market.
Meanwhile, Oracle was a high profile strategic acquirer of cloud related companies during the half year period with the announced acquisitions of Textura, which offers contracts and payment management services to the construction sector, for $633 million; Opower, a customer engagement platform used by energy utilities, for $532 million; Ravello, a provider of cloud-based virtualization software solutions, for a reported $500 million; and AddThis, a web tracking and data analytics company, for $175 million.
M&A volume in the mobile application subsector increased 18 percent, from 188 to 221 transactions. The largest mobile transaction year-to-date was Chinese internet company Tencent Holdings’ announced acquisition of Supercell, the Finnish maker of the “Clash of Clans” mobile game, for $8.6 billion. Other notable mobile-based deals in first half 2016 included Microsoft’s announced acquisition of Swiftkey, which provides predictive keyboard technology for Android and iOS devices, with a reported purchase price of approximately $250 million; Gopro’s announced acquisition of video editing apps Replay and Splice for $105 million; Snapchat with the announced acquisition of Bitstrips, which allows users to create personalized emojis and carton avatars, for a reported $100 million.
Deal flow in the Media and Marketing horizontal declined seven percent during the half year period. As for sponsored acquisitions in the space, private equity represented 88 percent of volume in first half 2016, which was nearly constant on a year-over-year basis, but accounted for just five percent of value, compared to 30 percent in first half 2015. The horizontal’s largest transaction thus far in 2016 was Microsoft’s announced acquisition LinkedIn for $25.93 billion in the Internet Media segment. Internet Media volume also experienced a nine percent rise, making it the sector with the largest increase in the horizontal.
Upon examination of specific Information Industry acquirers, IBM was particularly active in first half 2016 with transactions across a variety of markets. This included Truven Health Analytics for $3.57 billion in the healthcare sector; Ustream for $130 million in the live video and web broadcasting sector; EZ Source in the development tools sector; Resilient Systems and Iris Analytics in the security software sector; and Aperto, ecx.io, and Resource/Ammirati in the digital marketing sector.
“Despite certain economic headwinds, M&A activity in the Information Industry has remained strong,” said James Berkery, Chief Information Officer at Berkery Noyes. “The pace of acquisitions should continue to ramp up as the year unfolds, with information providers across most segments seeking to supplement their organic growth.” Berkery continued, “In general, many private entrepreneur-owned businesses and private equity portfolio companies appear to have a clear window for outside investment or exit, as dictated by their individual growth and business characteristics. Companies with diversified revenue streams, strong growth and healthy profit margins, as expected, are receiving significant interest from both strategic and financial acquirers.”
A copy of the INFORMATION INDUSTRY M&A REPORT FOR HALF YEAR 2016 is available at the Berkery Noyes website.