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:

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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2019 Technology M&A Review

2019 Technology M&A Review

28 Jan 2020

The Year of The Pig was a bit of a snorter. UK Tech M&A activity was up 20% to a new record number of deals in 2019, driven by strong interest from both PE backed buy-and-build and overseas buyers. With interest rates looking set to remain 'lower for longer' then we expect the wave of cheap money to again fuel healthy M&A activity in the Tech sector in The Year of The Rat.

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2018 Global Technology M&A Review

2018 Global Technology M&A Review

17 Jan 2019

Overall volumes may be slightly down but valuations remain high, with Microsoft, Google, Cisco, OpenText, Workday, RELX, SAP, Adobe, IBM, Temenos, Docusign, Salesforce and PayPal all having paid more than 10x revenues for recent acquisitions.

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Speciality Materials - M&A Review and Valuation

Speciality Materials - M&A Review and Valuation

04 Oct 2018

Increasing M&A activity by trade acquirers and financial sponsors has created a very favourable environment for sellers across the speciality materials sector. Additionally, carbon composite M&A continues to grow with 5 strong quarters in 2017 and 2018, due to some highly significant industry deals, robust growth rates, substantial value propositions and sustainable margins remained attractive incentives for strategic buyers and financial investors.

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