Mergers and acquisitions among European TMT companies in December offered a familiar picture: while deal value jumped by 58% to reach $23.4bn, there was a slight drop in the total number of transactions, 299, which may suggest that buyers were eager to pay a little extra in order to close deals before the year ended (see below).
As it is often the case too, valuation multiples diverged: the P/SALES ratio dropped to 1.5, down from 1.9, while the P/EBITDA reached 10.9x, an increase of 1.6 pts from November, and the highest value since July.
While there weren’t any spectacular movements to report concerning the performance of TechMark listed companies, the Index grew by 3% to reach 4167 points on 31 December, and the EV/EBITDA ratio stabilised at 12.9x.
Fewer transactions resulted in a slowdown in the European TMT M&A landscape this month. Despite continued consolidation among telecommunication giants, the overall deal value halved, dropping to $14.8bn, down from $28.8bn last month. Moreover, the number of deals decreased by 17%, but remained above the yearly average, at 318.
The slowdown in M&A activity was also reflected to some extent in the multiples: the P/EBITDA lost one point, dropping from 10.3 to 9.3; however, the P/SALES rose to 1.9, up from 1.6x.
Listed tech companies continued to perform strongly: the FTSE techMark All-share index followed its ascendant path and easily surpassed the 4000-point threshold to settle at 4113 pts. The EV/EBITDA ratio experienced a noticeable drop at the end of last month, only to overcome it and reach a ratio of 13x.
M&A activity in the European TMT landscape enjoyed a nice rebound this October. Deal value increased by 26% to reach $28.8bn, driven in large part by strong consolidation in the Telco sector, illustrated by the acquisitions of Interxion and Arqiva. Similarly, the total number of transactions increased by over 20%, to reach 381, up from 316 in September, which makes it the highest figure since October 2018.
Multiples remained high overall, despite diverging once more: the median P/SALES ratio lost some ground and stabilised at 1.6x, its 12-month average, while the median P/EBITDA multiple climbed up to reach an attractive value of 10.3x, up from 9.1x last month.
The FTSE tech Market indices hovered, with the All-share index creeping above the 3900 benchmark and the EV/EBITDA ratio unchanged at 12x.
Deal makers seemed reluctant to spend this month after a lavish summer. The aggregate deal value within the European TMT M&A landscape dropped by $10bn in September to reach $21.4bn, the lowest figure since May. However, the increasing number of deals (316, up by 18%) made up for the drop in total value and sustained a somewhat healthy market.
The multiples diverged once again, with the P/EBITDA ratio losing ground at 9.1 points, down from 9.8; while the P/SALES ratio recorded its 4th month of consecutive growth, up from 1.5 to 1.8.
The FTSE TechMark indices continued to rise steadily: The All-share index totalled 3886 points on the closing day, while the EV/EBITDA ratio reached a new high of 12.2 before stabilising at 12x.