SaaS, Customer Analytics Set Software M&A Pace

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July 6, 2012 – Software mergers and acquisitions are up over the first half of 2012 compared with that same time period last year, pulled along by multiple buys of SaaS and customer analytics vendors, according to investment banking advisory Berkery Noyes.

Even as the number of transactions increased to 785 for the first half of 2012 – up by 43 from the first six months of 2011 – the overall value of those deals dropped 5 percent this year to $38.49 billion. However, business intelligence market transactions under the software sector increased by 25 percent in the first half of 2012 compared with the year before. Jonathan Krieger, managing director at Berkery Noyes, said in a release on the market report that SaaS vendors are being snatched up as BI and information management software vendors seeks to streamline communications and operations.

“SaaS businesses generate recurring revenue and their model affords significant visibility into future periods. This continues to get acquirers comfortable with their premium valuations,” said Krieger.

Customer analytics deals and value continued their climb since 2010, too, with 33-percent growth in 2012 compared with two years ago. Larger deals in this space this year included Intuit’s buy of Demandforce for $424 million and IBM’s deal for Tealeaf.

The big money deal of the first half of 2012 was Cisco’s nearly $5 billion acquisition of video and content provider NDS Group. Oracle ranked as one of the most active software buyers in the opening half of 2012, with deals for Taleo, ClearTrial, Vitrue and Collective Intellect. Berkery Noyes indicated that the Taleo buy and others in the human resources software marketplace, especially those based in the cloud, reflected a 39-percent growth in the first half of 2012 compared with that same time frame in 2011.

Consumer software was the fastest growing segment on a half year-to-half year comparison, with an increased value of 29 percent in 2012 largely driven by Facebook’s $1 billion buy of image service Instagram.

In April, the investment firm noted the same number of transactions in the first quarter of 2012 as over that same time period in 2011, though with a 6-percent boost in the value of deals in the current year.

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