Insights

ICON's concise and authoritative Market Reports are all you need to gain an overview of M&A activity and detailed sector analyses

ICON’s Insights

ICON’s Insights:

FrenchTech VC & M&A Activity

FrenchTech VC & M&A Activity

05 Nov 2021

The French M&A market remains buoyant - 286 transactions have been completed to date in 2021 and the median value of a deal doubled from EUR 27.4m in 2020 to EUR 60m in 2021 YTD. Of these, software companies accounted for 42% of Tech M&A in 2021. France now lies third in European tech rankings, behind the UK and Germany, boosted by government investment of USD4Bn, Brexit, and post-pandemic optimism among investors.

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Q2 2021 UK Technology M&A Snapshot

Q2 2021 UK Technology M&A Snapshot

19 Jul 2021

There was a record number of UK M&A Tech deals in H1 2021 with 500 deals announced - a jump of 47% YoY and 5% more than a very busy 2019. A tidal wave of money has driven M&A valuations to near record levels with average EBIT multiples in UK reaching a lofty 23x. Multiples at Nutmeg, BluJay, Depop and WaveOptics are much higher than that, offering tomorrows price today. It’s a great time to be a Tech shareholder. Overseas travel has been grounded but overseas and PE backed acquirers continue to be aggressive, driving the buoyant Tech M&A market.

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Q1 2021 UK Technology M&A Snapshot

Q1 2021 UK Technology M&A Snapshot

26 Apr 2021

UK Tech M&A activity has got off to a flying start in 2021 with the number of deals in Q1 up a massive 28% with 268 deals announced. Unbelievably, given lockdown 2.0, that is a quarterly record and another example of the benefits of digital transformation. Overseas buyers remain key accounting for 47% of all deals. Notable buyers include Accenture, Wipro, Cloudstrike, ATI Global, Microsoft, Naviga and Medallia. PE backed buy-and-build deals also jumped with the likes of Access, Civica, Clearcourse and OneCom all very busy. As a result, valuations continue to rise and now average over 22x EBIT. Its clearly a great time to be an owner of a tech business.

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ICON Cybersecurity Sector Update - April 2021

ICON Cybersecurity Sector Update - April 2021

01 Apr 2021

Cybersecurity M&A and fundraising activity remained strong in 2020 despite the challenges of a global pandemic. This momentum continued to build over Q1 2021, and the outlook remains highly favourable for the remainder of the year. Several high-profile European transactions led by US parties recently made the headlines. Public stocks are trading at all-time highs, helping to lift valuations in the private markets. Healthy sector fundamentals, attractive business models and a buoyant public market provide the right ingredients for an exciting deal environment and continued strong growth of the industry. In our ICON Cybersecurity Update report we highlight current trends and dynamics, provide insights on market valuations, and examine the M&A and fundraising environment with a focus on Europe.

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ICON 2021 DataTech Atlas

ICON 2021 DataTech Atlas

10 Mar 2021

Whether in VC or M&A, transaction valuations in the range of 20x – 50x or higher are becoming normalised for AI & Data Technologies companies. Externally, these deals are driven by cheap capital, competitive bidding, and insatiable customer demand. But internally, to pull these types of valuations off, startups need proprietary acquirer and investor knowledge and transaction execution experience, a rarity among emerging tech companies. For every one deal done in this range, countless more come in sub-par, or fail to close altogether. ICON’s 2021 AI & Data Technologies Atlas aims to inform companies, investors, and acquirers in this market about transaction trends and opportunities. It is meant as a guidebook for what is happening, an overview of who’s doing what, and what could happen with the right investment or acquisition strategy.

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2021 M&A Review

2021 M&A Review

18 Jan 2021

Remarkably, despite COVID-19 and Brexit, there were 711 UK Tech M&A deals in 2020 and Q4 was up 6% YoY. Valuations climbed too, with some cloud software companies getting 5x revenues. The key is overseas buyers, who accounted for 49% of all UK tech deals – a new record. Low interest rates are crucial. They have created a wave of cheap money, to the delight of global buyers like Accenture, Cognizant and Aptean and UK buyers like ClearCourse, Access and Civica. At the same time, COVID has accelerated digital transformation everywhere, which has also pushed up the valuation of all things digital. In the US, it looks a bit bubbly, with many of the largest US tech deals achieving eye-watering valuations of more than 10x revenue. We have a vaccine, The Donald is off and Brexit is behind us, but low interest rates are the real driver of M&A prospects in The Year of The Ox. Read our Tech M&A Review for sector highlights and hot trends to watch for 2021.

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Q3 2020 UK Technology M&A Snapshot

Q3 2020 UK Technology M&A Snapshot

14 Oct 2020

UK Tech M&A activity in Q3 was up 20% on Q2, with 154 deals announced and is nearly back to normal levels, despite most deals closing digitally. Valuations are rising too with a few as high as 10x revenues. Overseas buyers are key in UK accounting for a record 48% of deals so far in 2020. Notable buyers include: Cognizant, Deloitte, Thomson Reuters, MRI Software, Engie, Aptean, BMC, and of course Nvidia’s acquisition of ARM. PE funded deals are also important, accounting for one in five deals. Its business as usual (nearly).

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2020 Technology M&A Mid Year Review

2020 Technology M&A Mid Year Review

16 Jul 2020

Unsurprisingly, M&A activity in UK Tech fell in H1 but 124 M&A deals still closed in Q2, despite everyone working from home. Overseas acquirers now account for a record high, 49% of all Tech deals in UK. Notable buyers include: Aptean, MRI Software, Descartes, HelpSystems, Microsoft, Accenture and Keysight. These are very uncertain times, but NASDAQ is hitting new highs and we remain very busy on both funding and exit mandates and have closed 5 deals in lockdown. Despite working from home, it is not far off business as usual for many in the Tech sector.

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