January 5, 2012 – HP’s $10.2 billion buyout of Autonomy at a time of internal turmoil was the largest deal in the information management space of 2011, and transactions easily surpassed totals from the previous year, according to a review of the year’s disclosed mergers and acquisitions.

Below is a list of the top 10 deals in terms of payout for 2011, which had bested the previous year’s transaction values by the third fiscal quarter, according to financial advisory Berkery Noyes. By November, there were already more than 760 transactions in the information management and software space, registering $39 billion in value and pushing beyond 2010 figures – and well beyond the economically challenged years of 2008 and 2009. Google recorded about two-dozen transactions during 2011, leading the way in terms of total buys, with VMware and IBM also involved in numerous transactions during the year, Berkery Noyes stated.
And though it doesn’t appear on the list as a traditional transaction, it is also worth mentioning the $4.5 billion sell-off of mobile, networking and semiconductor patents in June by Nortel Networks to a consortium that included Microsoft, Sony, Apple, EMC, RIM and Ericsson AB.

The following list, in ascending order, is by no means definitive, as it does not include deals were the financial terms were not disclosed, including many announced by IBM, Dell, Microsoft, Google and Oracle. However, it does provide a barometer on the information management space that has healthily moved past its rebound from the economic constraints of the last few years.

10. NetApp acquires Engenio / $480 million
The March deal was among the largest in the storage and unstructured data space.  

9. Apax Partners acquires Epicor Software Corporation / $946 million
Apax spent nearly $1 billion on an enterprise resource planning rival on April 4, and that same day, the vendor also doled out $890 million for another ERP firm, Activant Solutions Inc., which it subsequently merged into its new Epicor focus.

8. Verizon acquires Terremark / $1.4 billion
The telecommunications giant beefed up its cloud and data center role with this January deal. Later in the year, it made another buy in the space with a deal for CloudSwitch.

7. Oracle acquires RightNow / $1.5 billion
Oracle’s deal for the cloud and customer experience vendor is expected to boost its Public Cloud plans and, as one Gartner analyst said, quell talk of a buyout of Salesforce.

6. Infor (via parent firm Golden Gate Capital) acquires Lawson Software / $2 billion
After a month of debate and threats from Lawson shareholders, it agreed to a cash and stock buyout from the equity firm in control of its ERP rival, Infor.

5. eBay acquires GSI Commerce Solutions / $2.13 billion
The online vendor made a multi-billion-dollar splash in the marketing campaign management space with the March deal.

4. CenturyLink acquires Savvis / $2.5 billion
Days after another data deal, CenturyLink made a pitch in April for data center and cloud provider Savvis.

3. SAP acquires SuccessFactors / $3.4 billion
In the most recent deal on this list, SAP made a December weekend announcement for the cloud CRM and talent management provider.

2. Western Digital acquires Hitachi / $4.3 billion
Western Digital took over the fledgling data storage and data management division of technology giant Hitachi with this March deal.

1. HP acquires Autonomy / $10.2 billion
Not all of the moves in his 11-month reign at HP stuck, but disposed CEO Leo Apotheker’s pitch for U.K analytic provider Autonomy found legs under the new administration of Meg Whitman – and proved to be the biggest money deal of the year.