Carl has highlighted some of the key themes for buyers and investors coming out of this morning’s seminar, but what about the panel’s view on the market as a whole in 2015? I picked out what I thought were some of the most interesting points:
- No prizes for picking Cloud, FinTech and Internet of Things as the hot markets in 2015 – more interesting to note that eCommerce technology and services could be a key driver of deals in the UK this year as buyers from overseas look to harness some of the expertise built up in what is a much more sophisticated market than in other territories;
- Germany was the top pick for most interesting country to watch in 2015. The eCommerce market is still relatively immature and therefore ripe for investment, and the Tech hub emerging around Berlin could make for some interesting cross-border deals;
- China was a more contentious issue – some say they see the beginnings of some genuine outbound M&A, others say it’s a blip. We say, watch this space (but you may be watching for a while);
- Strategic buyers are back and they’re savvier. The resurgence of IPO activity is filtering down to allow for more corporate-driven M&A and strategic buyers are getting better at their own targeting, recognising the value of pre-empting a process whenever possible;
- And my favourite: “people want to be bought by Google” – never underestimate the power of a trendy brand in persuading owners to sell up. Value is not always everything!