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Technology, Media and Telecom 2016 M&A Deal Update

Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity has improved in 2016, with deal value experiencing two consecutive quarterly increases, according to the latest worldwide market study by Mergermarket.

Case in point: during the third quarter (Q3) of 2016, a reported 666 deals worth $179.6 billion represented a 39 percent climb in value -- that's compared to Q3 2015 (828 deals, $128.8 billion).

With year-to-date activity (2,168 deals, $403.1 billion) still 21 percent lower by value when compared to the Q1-Q3 2015 period (2,410 deals, $510.2 billion), a re-balancing effect following the 2015 record high is still impacting the market.

Why Market Development Gained Momentum

Furthermore, according to the Mergermarket assessment, Q3 2016 strength demonstrates that some M&A deals put on-hold at the beginning of the year -- due to uncertainties about the UK Brexit referendum and the British and American central bank interest rate policies -- were processed over the summer months.

Still, just 666 TMT deals were recorded during the quarter -- that's fewer than both Q3 2015 (828 deals) and Q3 2014 (756 deals). But there's a trend of larger deal sizes, with average value seeing two consecutive quarterly increases in 2016 to reach $493.9 million -- that's the highest Q3 value since 2013 ($668.4 million).

M&A targeting the Technology sub-sector during both Q3 (492 deals, $147.5 billion) and the year-to-date period (1,631 deals, $299.3 billion) resulted in the highest values on Mergermarket record (since 2001), with the tech sub-sector accounting for 74.3 percent of all TMT M&A value so far in 2016.

That being said, after a better than expected third quarter, TMT M&A activity is now anticipated to remain somewhat unpredictable during the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2016.

Market Outlook for TMT Deals in 2016

M&A activity in U.S. and European markets will be influenced by economic conditions, and the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. Meanwhile, China is expected to continue its quest for increased acquisitions globally, targeting Technology and Media corporations in those developed markets.

Apparently, there's a cautiously optimistic outlook for overall M&A deal activity in the latter part of 2016.

"Any software company, any SaaS company that has a recurring revenue model should continue to be hot," said Garland Allison, partner at Perkins Coie. "Security, fintech and healthcare computing are areas that should see increased deal activity, particularly on the private equity front, in the latter half of this year."

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