2014 has kicked off with a bang with the announcement of FireEye’s $1bn acquisition of Mandiant, the Kleiner Perkins-backed internet security company, which, in actual fact, was completed at the end of last year but only publicly announced on 3rd January. Mandiant is known for its emergency responses to computer network breaches with much of its work focused on attacks from China and this represents a very positive kick off to what many expect to be a very active year in TMT M&A. Elsewhere we have seen Facebook’s acquisition of Indian start-up, Little Eye Labs, the first Indian business to be acquired by the social media giant, highlighting a growing interest from the large cutting edge technology companies in emerging technology born and bred in emerging markets. Last year saw a huge interest in Israeli technology businesses from some of the industry’s leading players, driving the highest level of M&A seen in the region since 1994, we expect to see this trend continue and to extend into other growing technology hubs around the world.
In my last few blogs, I recognised the improving market conditions for M&A in the technology sector. Mergermarket recently reported that although poor Q4 deal flow caused a global M&A value drop in 2013, the TMT market saw “large-scale consolidation” such as Vodafone’s sale of its Verizon stake for $124.1bn and accounted for five of the global top 10 deals of 2013. In fact, deal values in the TMT market were up 54% on 2012 compared to a drop of 4.2% for the market as a whole. Bring on 2014!