451 Research's annual Tech M&A Outlook report highlights the trends that we expect to shape deal flow and the markets that we think will see the most activities in the coming year. The comprehensive report draws on the insight of more than 50 analysts at the firm, who, collectively, will write some 4,000 reports this year on the strategy, innovation and financial events at the companies they cover. In addition to highlighting many of the major acquisition trends in their sectors, 451 Research's analysts also put specific names to the strategy by speculating on which tech companies could be doing the buying and selling this year.
Altogether, our 125-page 2019 M&A Outlook names more than 250 potential target candidates and dozens of specific acquirer-target pairings. In the same vein, our analysts also put forth some 40 companies that we think are of a size and mind to go public in 2019. Overall, our comprehensive report covers the outlook for M&A and IPO activity in six key enterprise IT markets, including application software, information security, IoT and cloud, among others.

Similar to overall 451 Research coverage, the Tech M&A Outlook 2019 looks at activity from the datacenter all the way out to the device, not only offering insight on the technology developments in each of those sectors, but also bringing a financial perspective to those transactions. We think of the report as an "M&A playbook" for the enterprise IT market.

Highlights from this year's 125-page report include:

  • Both strategic and financial acquirers printed a record number of billion-dollar deals in 2018, with their combined pace topping two big-ticket deals announced every week last year, according to 451 Research's M&A KnowledgeBase. Microsoft, Salesforce, SAP, Adobe and IBM all put up billion-dollar deals last year, after not one of the tech giants announced a blockbuster print in 2017.
  • With its broad applicability for acquirers across the tech landscape, machine learning (ML) cemented its standing as the fastest-growing trend in the tech M&A market. The number of deals has increased roughly 50% every year since the start of the decade, our data shows. And no slow-down is expected in 2019, since bankers told us they have more ML deals in their pipelines than anything else.
  • VC has turned into an industry characterized by 'fewer, but bigger'. That’s true in funding as well as exits. The M&A KnowledgeBase tallied the sale of just 603 startups in 2018, the second-fewest exits in the past half-decade. Proceeds from those deals, however, smashed all records. Last year's total of $83bn in announced or estimated deal value almost eclipsed the total for the three previous years combined.

The 2019 Tech M&A Outlook highlights how those trends are shaping activity both in the broad market, and in specific IT markets. Additionally, our reports looks at the prevailing trends in M&A pricing, the unprecedented activity of private equity that’s reshaping the tech landscape as well as the outlook for the other exit, IPOs.

The full report is included in all subscriptions to 451 Research’s M&A KnowledgeBase, and is also available for purchase.

If you are interested in obtaining a copy of the 2019 Tech M&A Outlook report, contact us: