Technology disruption fuels blockbuster third quarter for global technology M&A

Singapore, 21 December 2016

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Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ) region sets a new record of $52.3 billion in deal value

Tech and non-tech companies that are being disrupted by innovative digital technologies turned to M&A in numbers that made Q3 2016 another blockbuster quarter for global technology M&A value, according to the EY Global technology M&A report — July-September final look.

With US$155.5b in disclosed value, 3Q16 is now the third-highest aggregate value quarter on record. This marks an increase of 22% from 2Q16 and 138% year-over-year (YOY). At US$349.4b, year-to-date (YTD) aggregate value is 30% higher than YTD 2015’s all-time record pace.

APJ buyers pursue big-ticket acquisition of US and EMEA companies

Driven by activity in Japan, China, India and Australia, APJ value rose to a new record where APJ disclosed value rose 33% sequentially and 2,156% YOY to $52.3 billion in 3Q16.  Demonstrating the region’s rapid tech M&A growth, APJ’s $120.8 billion in aggregate value YTD is already more than double the $51.5 billion total for full-year 2015.

Many deals focused on cloud/SaaS, mobility, big data analytics, gaming, and advertising and marketing. The blockbuster size of APJ deals reveals the strong acquisition appetite of APJ companies. In fact, the $32.4 billion SoftBank Group–ARM megadeal was the largest global transaction for quarter and accounted for 62% of the region’s deal value. This and four other deals where US and EMEA companies were targeted by Japanese and Chinese buyers accounted for 89% of APJ value.

The regional trend toward big-ticket deals is a global phenomenon. Globally, last quarter’s new record for the most tech deals at or above US$1b was surpassed in 3Q16 with 32 deals, four more than the prior record of 28 big-ticket deals in 2Q16. With total aggregate value of US$129.7b, their value more than triples that from 3Q15.

Jeff Liu, EY Global Technology Industry Leader, Transaction Advisory Services, says:

“Technology dealmaking is setting records because all buyers are motivated in the current environment. Incumbent tech companies seek deals to accelerate mobile- and cloud-driven transformations; non-tech companies seek strategic technologies; and private equity (PE) firms seek opportunity in hidden gems overlooked by many investors.”

Mr. Joongshik Wang, EY Asean Transactions Leader for Technology, Media and Telecommunications, adds:

“Asian companies are expanding their M&A appetite beyond traditional technology space in developed countries. The main reason for increasing cross-border technology investment is to secure R&D and intellectual capabilities, which can be commercialized in the Asian market. In Southeast Asia, there are already more than 5 US$1b-tech ‘unicorns’ and we are seeing more investments in the sharing economy space than traditional e-commerce. In that light, the e-commerce sector may experience more mergers and acquisitions as a result of the need to consolidate.”

M&A records set by private equity firms and cross-border (CB) buyers

PE tech dealmakers drove a second consecutive record high for aggregate quarterly disclosed value at US$36.1b, 40% above 2Q16’s prior record.

CB aggregate deal value soared to US$80.4b, eclipsing the prior all-time record by 85%. YTD 2016 already set a new full-year CB value record.

Third-quarter growth drivers

While semiconductor targets had more disclosed value (US$54b) than any other technology segment, several key areas experienced dramatic growth:

  • Five deals above US$1b drove security to a sevenfold YOY increase in aggregate disclosed deal value to US$16.9b.
  • Deals targeting smart mobility and advertising and marketing technologies quadrupled YOY in disclosed value, rising 305% and 333%, respectively.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) value nearly tripled YOY on the strength of four such deals — including the quarter’s top deal by dollar value, at US$32.4b.

To view a full copy of the EY Global technology M&A report — July-September final look, visit:


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About the EY Global technology M&A report — July-September final look

The July-September 2016 issue is based on EY’s analysis of The 451 Group M&A KnowledgeBase data. Deal activity and valuations may fluctuate slightly based on the date the database is accessed. The full report is available at