How technology has inspired the new wave of M&A deals

David Harvey our consultant managing the role

While mergers and acquisitions were once a strategy for companies to extend their global footprint, or grow their workforce, technology has shifted the focus. Firms are now motivated to acquire technology companies and assert their dominance in the digital sphere. Businesses might currently be facing a great deal of economic uncertainty, but there are still plenty of deals on the table, and in the first two months of H2 2020, global M&A megadeals totalled $256 billion. No matter whether the intentions of a business scale-up are to drive innovation, or to ensure competitive advantage, technology will continue to take a leading role in future deals. Here’s why technology is an essential piece of the puzzle and how it has inspired the new wave of M&A deals:

Future-proofing

Some job markets - like professional services - have faced fewer hurdles since the virus outbreak but they still face the pressure to remain relevant and to future-proof their services. Businesses are acquiring to stay in the game and become recognised as trailblazers, rather than chasing the competition’s tail, and M&A deals are motivated by the need to acquire new services, processes, talent or technology. Technology has the power to future-proof a business because it accelerates digital transformation; as companies try to navigate the uncertainty that is ahead, M&As will shift from being a future-proofing approach to a crisis-proofing strategy, and technology will likely play an increasingly central role. 

The booming cloud services market

Not long ago, AI was considered a futurist technology and conversations centred around whether robotics were a threat to jobs – even to those in the tech industry. However, research has proven how machine learning has the capacity to create more jobs and enable workforces to become more specialised. Within the same family of ‘disruptive technology’ is cloud computing. The global cloud services market is expected to hit a value of $331.2 billion by 2022, and today there are very few businesses which don’t use cloud computing models such as SaaS. This has created a flurry of activity on the M&A scene as corporations rush to snap up businesses who have the expertise and equipment they need to take their operations entirely remote. What’s more, cloud computing is built on the idea of scalability, making it an essential piece of the M&A puzzle.


Research has proven how machine learning has the capacity to create more jobs and enable workforces to become more specialised. "


Fintech

M&A deals rely heavily on face-to-face interaction, so it is no surprise that there was a 44.7% drop in the value of transactions in H1 2020 when compared to the previous year. However, in spite of the restrictions and economic uncertainty, Mastercard announced the acquisition of Finicity for $825 million in June. The fintech company specialises in open banking – a business model that gives third-party companies secure access to customers’ banking details, thereby allowing customers to have greater control over their finances and how they budget. Open banking has helped to bring financial services into the modern age - one reason why many similar M&A deals are appearing in the wake of Covid-19.

2019 was hailed the year of fintech M&As, bringing in four megadeals and a total deal value of $121.18 billion in H1 alone. Yet, 2020 has proved to be a promising year and the surge in the acquisition of fintech firms can also be attributed to the need for companies to provide a wider range of multichannel services. Markets are converging and this mounting interest in technology-enabled banking services has stirred up the M&A market where high profile fintech deals will likely go on to break more records.

A career in M&A

Professionals working in M&A are in the business of creating value. While some companies will have been forced into survival mode, for others, the pandemic has exposed an opportunity to join forces with emergent start-ups or disruptive corporations. Professionals working in the M&A market are helping these businesses to source and snap up technology companies that will allow them to stay ahead of the curve. As technology continues to infiltrate every industry and discipline, M&A deals will become more widespread and the strategic skills of employees in this field will become more desirable. If you’re ready to take your skills to the market browse our jobs and have a look at our career advice hub.

Providing a service that is tailored to you

If you’re interested in partnering with an agency that approaches the recruitment process differently, then Marks Sattin is the choice for you. We have a rich history of providing an unrivalled, relationship-led service to our clients and candidates. Our consultants are committed to connecting businesses of all sizes – from global organisations, to emerging start-ups - with talented professionals.

Contact us if you’re looking for more information on recruitment solutions in M&A, financial services, corporate development or investment & advisory

10/11/20
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