UK mergers and acquisitions market in the tech sector rebounded to record levels in first half of 2021

ICON M&A report

Appetite for cybersecurity sector deals boomed as home working accelerated the shift to the cloud, are the findings of a new report from ICON Corporate Finance, the UK investment bank whose South West office is in Bristol.

Strong equity markets, and increased demand for transformational, disruptive tech businesses, saw valuations and deal volumes, soar in the first half of 2021, says tech-focussed ICON Corporate Finance.

As the market responded to the volatility of 2020, ICON’S UK Tech M&A Snapshot reveals:

  • A record number of 500 transactions were completed in the period January-June
  • Tidal wave of money has driven M&A to near record levels
  • Driven by strong equity markets, valuations averaged a lofty 23x EV/EBIT
  • Transaction volumes were up 47% year-on-year, and up 5% on 2019
  • Private equity and overseas acquirers remained aggressive with the number of overseas acquisitions accounting for almost half of all deals (49%)

In the cybersecurity sector, the switch to remote working has driven a high volume of transactions, fast-tracking many organisations’ shift to the cloud.

Commenting on growth in the sector, Brian Parker, Head of M&A at ICON, said: “We’ve seen deal volumes and valuations at near record levels, and with continued interest from overseas and private equity-backed acquirers, H1 2021 has made for a buoyant tech M&A market, particularly in the active cybersecurity sector.”