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.