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Hampleton Partners Report Highlights Higher Spend on Enterprise Software M&A

Vertical, ERP and information management applications leading transactions as artificial intelligence (AI) capability increasingly sought after

London, March 14th, 2017: The latest market report from technology mergers & acquisition advisory firm, Hampleton Partners, shows vertical, ERP and information management applications as the most sought-after enterprise software acquisition targets. Strategic and financial buyers are increasingly looking to new segments such as artificial intelligence as mergers and acquisition targets.

The Enterprise Software M&A report, which covers mergers and acquisitions in the period between July 2014 and December 2016, reveals a 37 per cent boost to the total value of enterprise software M&A to $43.8 billion, even as deal flow during the second half of 2016 hit its lowest point in three years, falling to 412 deals, compared with 496 in the first half of the year.

The trailing 30-day median revenue multiples remained steady at 3.1x while the median EBITDA multiple also remained strong, closing at 14.2x.

Top acquirers
Out of 2365 transactions in the trailing 30-month period, activity in the vertical applications sub-sector accounted for 29 per cent of all deal making, followed by activity in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) space and information management with 28 per cent and 18 per cent of all transactions respectively.

Californian fleet management and mobile asset tracking systems specialist Trimble Navigation was the sector’s top acquirer in the last 30 months, with a total of 12 deals. Followed by Hollywood-headquartered cloud services and digital media provider J2 Global and Chicago-based private equity firm, Thoma Bravo, with 10 transactions each, then Microsoft, IBM and Los Angeles’ Marlin Equity Partners with 9 apiece.

Meanwhile, 2016’s top buyer was Apple, announcing six transactions for the full year followed by j2 Global, Thoma Bravo, with five deals each.

Internet buyers and AI momentum grows
Traditional software vendors are being challenged as buyers in the enterprise software space by consumer and internet companies looking to boost their business-to-business credentials.

This is particularly evident in newer enterprise technology sectors such as artificial intelligence, where Apple’s acquisition of Indian and US machine learning startups Tuplejump and Turi stands out. Meanwhile, Salesforce plans on accelerating investment in AI despite pledging an M&A slowdown this year following its prolific buying spree in 2016.

Miro Parizek, principal partner, Hampleton Partners explains: “AI continues to dominate headlines from a surge in virtual assistants to breakthroughs in the development of autonomous vehicles. It’s clear the use of AI in day-to-day business processes will reshape IT strategies and this bears huge implications for enterprise software M&A.”

About the research
The 8th bi-annual “Hampleton Partners Enterprise Software M&A Research Report, 2H 2016” covers the period from July 2014 – December 2016, using data from 451 research. Hampleton’s research reports cover the following industries: Automotive Technology, Digital Marketing, E-Commerce, Enterprise Software, Internet of Things, IT Services and Outsourcing, SaaS and Cloud Services and Fintech.

Download our full reports here:

About Hampleton Partners
We are a London-based M&A advisory firm, serving the owners and shareholders of technology companies. With offices in the US and Europe, and associates in Asia, Hampleton combines international reach with local resources to provide the very best in M&A and corporate finance services. The Hampleton team boasts an invaluable combination of deal making expertise, operational experience, deep industry knowledge and an extensive network of contacts.

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