2013 US technology M&A insights

February 2013
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2013 US technology M&A insights

At a glance

While the pace and value of technology sector deals are expected to mimic that of 2012, the outlook for 2013 technology deals will focus on the new core of mobile, social, analytics and security.

While the pace and value of technology sector deals are expected to mimic that of 2012, the outlook for 2013 technology deals will focus on the new core of mobile, social, analytics and security. As technology companies continue to focus on core businesses, digest strategic acquisitions of the last decade, and work to scale their already acquired offerings, PwC anticipates a similarly subdued deal environment in 2013. Furthermore, private equity buyers are expected to continue to take on a more prominent role combined with a resurgence of technology divestitures.

The report outlines the following drivers as catalysts for 2013 technology deals:

  • Cloud powered, software-defined - Software-defined businesses are now looking to disrupt data networking and other traditionally hardware-based solutions, making them likely deal makers or targets.
  • Mobile reach continues unabated - Unprecedented activity in mobile app development, start-up creation, and subsequent M&A activity as a means to work new solutions into established portfolios.
  • The power of social and local - Continued innovation in the retail and consumer industries, social discovery applications, and health care capabilities among many others.
  • Bigger focus on big data analytics - 2013 could be the year when big data moves from differentiator to cost of doing business as more companies find compelling ways to extract insights from data for more profitable returns. While deal activity is already happening, expect to see continued M&A activity on big data.
  • Security a key concern - With the mobile proliferation, melding of enterprise and personal data, and increasing adoption of cloud services and social networks, the risk of security breaches and loss of privacy has never been higher. Innovation will continue to take place in security and will drive further deal activity.
  • Technology core to all industries - Increasingly, non-technology businesses are either being disrupted by new technology-based delivery models, or they are finding better ways to leverage technology to engage customers. Both technology companies and non-technology companies are acquiring expertise, and one another, to keep pace.
  • The global fallout of patent wars - Companies with strong patent portfolios continue to be likely targets for future acquisitions, as modern competitive pressures force businesses to acquire and defend intellectual property rights.
  • Mobile payments continue to evolve - With mobile payments and mobile wallet adoption taking hold in 2013, expect consolidation in the market given a host of overlapping products and services.