3 minute read 28 May 2019
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TMT M&A set to continue as deal environment becomes more favorable

Authors

Kenneth Welter

EY Global Transactions Technology Leader

Experienced transaction advisor. Tech enthusiast. Husband and father. Sailor. Challenger of the status quo.

Will Fisher

EY Global Transactions Media & Entertainment Leader

Transaction leader in media and entertainment. Passionate about helping clients formulate and execute successful inorganic strategies.

Axel Majert

EY Global Transactions Telecommunications Leader

Strategy and M&A leader in telecoms. Values a multicultural, diverse and ambitious work environment. Passionate about family, history and sports. Former first division hockey player. Father of two.

3 minute read 28 May 2019

Confidence returns to M&A in technology, media and entertainment and telecommunications after regulatory and competitive headwinds have waned.

According to the latest EY Global Capital Confidence Barometer, the lively deal market witnessed in recent months is expected to continue as 58% of TMT executives plan to actively pursue M&A in the next 12 months — up from 42% in October 2018. Further, 73% expect the number of deal completions compared to the past 12 months to increase, up from 51% six months ago. These transactions are increasingly likely to be international, as two-thirds of executives say their main acquisition focus is cross-border in the next 12 months, compared to 26% six months ago.

M&A expectations

58%

of TMT executives plan to actively pursue M&A in the next 12 months — up from 42% in October 2018.

Part of this dealmaking activity is driven by activist shareholders who are compelling 85% of executives to act — for 36% that action relates to making acquisitions and for 29% the action is for assets to be divested. The main rationale for TMT acquisitions is acquiring technology, talent, new production capabilities or innovative startups (23%), followed by sector convergence and growth into adjacent business activity (22%).

Favorable conditions foster deals

The strong dealmaking intentions are underpinned by confidence in economic conditions, with 94% of TMT executives expecting global economic growth to improve, and the majority also expecting corporate earnings, credit availability and equity valuations to improve (87%, 87% and 76%, respectively). This leads just over half of executives (53%) to cite expected revenue growth rates of between 11% and 25% in the coming year, although 33% say the greatest external risk to the growth of their business is slowing economic activity.

Technology investments are in demand

All TMT executives are planning significant investment in technology this year, as they look to create new services and products, reduce risks, improve the customer experience, improve financial data access and improve internal efficiencies — all in equal measure. They are also looking to address one of the most significant challenges to their company’s growth plans — disruption from more technologically advanced competitors.

Disruption drives portfolio reshaping

In the midst of active dealmaking, the shift toward continual portfolio reviews continues, as 77% of executives are now reviewing their portfolio at least every six months — up from 65% in October 2018. Activists, and increasingly boards, are driving large TMT incumbents to perform frequent portfolio reviews. These reviews are identifying underperforming, or at risk of disruption, assets, driving product divestitures or areas where M&A can drive growth.

Portfolio reviews

77%

of TMT executives are now reviewing their portfolio at least every six months — up from 65% in October 2018.

Executives are ensuring capital is allocated appropriately across the portfolio and, with 85% of TMT executives expecting increasing competition for assets in the next 12 months, the need to be organized is more important than ever.

Summary

The EY Global Capital Confidence Barometer (pdf) gauges corporate confidence in the economic outlook and identifies boardroom trends and practices in the way companies manage their Capital Agendas.

About this article

Authors

Kenneth Welter

EY Global Transactions Technology Leader

Experienced transaction advisor. Tech enthusiast. Husband and father. Sailor. Challenger of the status quo.

Will Fisher

EY Global Transactions Media & Entertainment Leader

Transaction leader in media and entertainment. Passionate about helping clients formulate and execute successful inorganic strategies.

Axel Majert

EY Global Transactions Telecommunications Leader

Strategy and M&A leader in telecoms. Values a multicultural, diverse and ambitious work environment. Passionate about family, history and sports. Former first division hockey player. Father of two.