2019 Key Highlights

The largest deal in 2019 was Salesforce’s announced acquisition of Tableau Software, a data visualization and analysis platform, for $15.7 billion in an all-stock transaction. This was the highest value acquisition ever completed by Salesforce.

Private equity firm Thoma Bravo was responsible for two of the industry’s top ten highest value acquisitions in 2019: Sophos, a cybersecurity company, for $3.86 billion; and Ellie Mae, a cloud-based platform provider that serves the residential mortgage sector, for $3.31 billion.

There were 645 financially sponsored transactions with an aggregate value of $90.05 billion, representing 27 percent of the total volume and 51 percent of the total value, respectively.

2019 Key Trends

Total transaction volume in 2019 improved by eight percent over 2018, from 2,231 to 2,413.

Strategic volume in 2019 saw a five percent uptick over 2018, from 1,684 to 1,768. Private equity backed volume increased 18 percent during this timeframe, from 547 to 645.

Total transaction value in 2019 fell by 23 percent over 2018, from $229.95 billion to $176.56 billion. This followed a 71 percent gain in 2018 over 2017.

The median revenue multiple improved from 3.0x in 2018 to 3.7x in 2019. The median EBITDA multiple rose from 13.9x in 2018 to 16.0x in 2019.   

M&A Market Overview

Berkery Noyes tracked 6,871 Software transactions between 2017 and 2019, of which 1,309 disclosed financial terms, and calculated the aggregate value to be $399.55 billion. Based on known transaction values, we project values of 5,562 undisclosed transactions to be $140.62 billion, totaling $540.18 billion worth of transactions tracked over the past three years.

Disclosed median enterprise value multiples for all segments combined in this report during the last 36 months were 2.9x revenue and 13.8x EBITDA.