NEW YORK — April 16, 2015 — Berkery Noyes, an independent mid-market investment bank, today released its Q1 2015 mergers and acquisitions trend report for the Information Industry.
The Information report features companies in the Media & Marketing, Software, and Online & Mobile Industries. It analyzes M&A activity during Q1 2015 and compares it with the past four quarters.
According to Berkery Noyes’ latest data, transaction volume in the Information Industry experienced a four percent decrease on a quarter-to-quarter basis. Aggregate deal value remained almost constant at $45.5 billion. The median revenue multiple increased from 2.3x to 2.7x, while the median EBITDA multiple moved upward from 11.3x to 12.1x.
In terms of financial sponsors, volume improved 19 percent in Q1 2015. Two of the industry’s top ten highest value deals were backed by private equity firms during the quarter, as opposed to five in Q1 2014. The largest financially sponsored transaction in Q1 2015 was Bain Capital’s acquisition of enterprise security company Blue Coat Systems for $2.4 billion. An investor group led by Thoma Bravo previously took Blue Coat private in 2011 for $1.1 billion.
Regarding the three horizontal markets in the report, the Online & Mobile portion of the Information Industry saw a four percent quarterly gain in volume. This included a 17 percent rise in the SaaS & Cloud segment, from 178 to 209 deals. Also of note, volume in the horizontal’s consumer application subsector increased 18 percent, from 57 to 67 transactions.
As for specific areas of the horizontal, there were several deals made by notable acquirers in the online food delivery market. Examples along these lines over the past quarter were Yelp’s acquisition of Eat24 for $134 million and GrubHub’s acquisition of Restaurants on the Run and DiningIn.
Meanwhile, high profile acquirers also completed several transactions that pertain to online music and data analysis. Apple for instance, following its $3 billion acquisition of headphone manufacturer Beats Electronics during 2014, acquired music analytics platform Semetric. Rapper Jay Z, through his company Project Panther Bidco, acquired music streaming firm Aspiro for $56 million. Spotify completed an acquisition in this space last year with The Echo Nest, a music discovery technology company.
Deal activity in the Media & Marketing horizontal decreased 11 percent in Q1 2015. This followed a 16 percent rise in Q4 2014. Two of the Information Industry’s five largest private equity backed transactions year-to-date occurred in the horizontal. This consisted of GTCR and Adams Outdoor Advertising’s acquisition of Fairway Outdoor Advertising for $575 million and Providence Equity Partners’ acquisition of Clarion Events for $307 million.
In the Software horizontal market, volume stayed about the same over the last three months. Nonetheless, this represented an eight percent increase compared to Q1 2014. The horizontal’s largest deal thus far in 2015 was SS&C Technologies’ acquisition of Advent Software, a provider of portfolio management and accounting systems software, for $2.7 billion. This transaction represented a 6.8x revenue multiple and 26.3x EBITDA multiple.
In addition to SS&C Technologies, notable recent deals in the Capital Markets segment included BATS Global Markets’ acquisition of KCG Hotspot FX, a foreign exchange currency trading venue, for $365 million; Bridgepoint’s acquisition eFront SA, which provides software solutions focused on enterprise risk management and alternative investments, for $327 million; and Temenos Group’s acquisition of Multifonds, a fund administration software company, for $260 million. Moreover, the number of transactions in the Capital Markets segment increased 25 percent during the quarter and more than doubled when compared to the same time period in 2014. Q1 2015 was also the segment’s most active period throughout the past five quarters.
“Having successfully shed non-core assets and many of them flush with cash, major strategic players are looking to grow through vertical acquisitions that extend their reach into existing markets,” said James Berkery, Chief Information Officer at Berkery Noyes. “By deepening their penetration into their customers’ business, these companies are redefining the customer relationship from that of buyer-seller (price sensitive, vulnerable to competition) to something like strategic partner (loyal, long-lived and profitable).”
A copy of the INFORMATION INDUSTRY M&A REPORT FOR FIRST QUARTER 2015 is available at the Berkery Noyes website.