- Enterprise Applications sector drives 64 percent of acquisitions
- Health-IT and cloud-based cybersecurity targeted by buyers
- AI & Voice Assistants gaining consumer acceptance
The latest SaaS & Cloud M&A Market Report, from international technology mergers and acquisitions advisors, Hampleton Partners, shows that Enterprise Applications are the driving force behind a bumper start to dealmaking in 2018. Deal volumes in the sector rose 27 percent compared to 1Q2017, with a total of 269 deals, whilst four acquisitions reached the billion dollar milestone in the first three-months of the year, twice as many as the same period last year.
SAP, Europe’s largest software company, racked up the biggest deal in the first-quarter 2018, with its $2.4 billion acquisition of sales performance management specialist, Callidus Software, its largest in nearly four years.
The Enterprise Applications segment was up 35 percent, with 175 transactions. Valuations remained strong and stable, the trailing 30-month median EV/S multiple for the period came in at 4.0x, while the EBITDA multiple inched up to 17x.
Two further bright spots for the sector were the surge in Health-IT M&A deals and the market for cloud-based cybersecurity solutions in the face of increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks, which are pushing companies and public sector bodies into investing significantly more in their security infrastructure.
Health-related SaaS takes off
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Two healthcare deals exceeded the billion dollar mark in 1Q2018
- Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding announced its intent to acquire U.S.-based cancer data company Flatiron Health for $1.9 billion.
- Healthcare data analytics company Inovalon Holdings said it would purchase information technology provider ABILITY Network in a deal valued at $1.2 billion.
Axel Brill, director, Hampleton Partners, says: “The new age of computing is delivering efficiency, cost-savings and speed. This, combined with automation and the increasing consumer acceptance of artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud-hosted voice assistants such as Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant and Alexa, is bringing SaaS and the cloud into the home as well as the workplace.
“These trends, plus our analysis that segments such as Health-IT and Big Data Analytics have a lot more potential, mean that we anticipate deal volumes, as well as valuations, will remain at a high level for the rest of the year.”