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Technology Deals Level Off as Larger Players Look Inward, According to PwC US

More Buyers on Side-lines with Next Wave of Divestiture-driven Transactions Expected in Early 2013

SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Once bolstered by a series of mega-deals in excess of $10 billion, technology deal value declined in the third quarter and volume remained flat, according to PwC's US technology M&A Insights Q3 2012 report released today.  Smaller IP deals and acquisitions continued while larger technology players remained on the acquisition sideline to focus on their internal operations after substantial consolidation in preceding quarters.


In the third quarter of 2012, PwC found that technology sector transaction volume was essentially flat with 59 deals closed compared to 58 deals closed in the previous quarter. While cumulative quarterly deal values have been at or exceeded $25 billion each quarter during the past two years, the total deal value for the third quarter in 2012 dropped to $20.5 billion, the result of fewer large acquisitions.  A year ago, deal activity in the third quarter of 2011 totalled 78 transactions with a cumulative deal value of $26.6 billion.

Six deals in excess of $1 billion closed during the third quarter of 2012 with a combined value of $12.3 billion, a 47 percent drop in 'mega' deal value from the second quarter.  Software and Internet segments continue to dominate technology M&A activity, accounting for 59 percent of deal volume and 78 percent of deal value in the third quarter, a 61 percent increase of total deal value from the second quarter.

According to PwC, private equity continues to be an active player in the technology market with more than three deals in excess of $1 billion announced during the quarter.  Furthermore, technology companies continue to seek alternative investments through joint ventures and smaller stakes to access key technologies. 

The report highlights an underlying shift away from transactions in both hardware and traditional manufacturing-based technologies.  "As the larger technology companies evaluate their hardware portfolios and pursue potentially higher-margin software and service offerings, a wave of new acquisitions could be on the horizon as these traditional businesses change hands and new acquirers seek greater cost efficiencies," said Rob Fisher, PwC's U.S. technology industry transaction services leader.

"Technology majors are vying to become the dominant ecosystem for both the enterprise and consumers, driving smaller, IP-driven deals in the sector," said Fisher. "With more technology businesses currently in evaluation mode and on the sidelines for acquisitions, we anticipate a potential resurgence of deal activity in the first part of 2013, especially as companies seek out the next wave of innovative technologies to build and buy."

PwC's US technology M&A Insights is a quarterly analysis based on data for transactions with a disclosed deal value greater than $15 million, as provided by Thomson Reuters through September 30, 2012, and supplemented by additional independent research.  Information related to previous periods is updated periodically based on new data collected by Thomson Reuters for deals closed during previous periods but not reflected in previous data sets.

PwC's Deals practitioners help corporate and private equity executives navigate transactions to maximize value and returns. In today's increasingly daunting economic and regulatory environment, experienced M&A specialists assist clients on a range of transactions from smaller and mid-sized deals to the most complex transactions, including domestic and cross-border acquisitions, divestitures and spin-offs, capital events such as IPOs and debt offerings, and bankruptcies and other business reorganizations. We help clients with strategic planning around their growth and investment agendas and then advise on the business-wide risks and value drivers in their transactions for more empowered negotiations, decision making and execution. Clients can then expedite their deals, minimize their risks, capture and deliver value to their stakeholders, and quickly return to business as usual.

Our local and global deal strength is derived from over 1,400 deal professionals in 21 cities in the U.S. and over 9,800 deal professionals across a global network of firms in 75 countries.  In addition, our network firm PwC Corporate Finance can provide investment banking services within the U.S.

For more information about M&A and related services in the technology industry, please visit or

About the PwC Network

PwC firms help organizations and individuals create the value they're looking for. We're a network of firms in 158 countries with more than 180,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services. Tell us what matters to you and find out more by visiting us at

Learn more about PwC by following us online: @PwC_LLP, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google +.

© 2012 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership. All rights reserved. PwC refers to the US member firm, and may sometimes refer to the PwC network. Each member firm is a separate legal entity. Please see for further details.

This content is for general information purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors.


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