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    Entries in Acquisitions (150)



    The Information Industry trends report is defined by Berkery Noyes as covering Media, Software, and Online & Mobile companies.

    "Large tech players were heavily involved in intellectual property M&A," said James Berkery, Chief Information Officer at Berkery Noyes. "Strong strategic interest in the sector was evident in 2011. For instance, Nortel sold 6,000 wireless patents in July 2011 for $4.5 billion to a consortium that included Microsoft, Research In Motion, Sony, Ericsson, EMC, and Apple."



    "2011 was a successful year for M&A in the education industry across most sectors in terms of activity and valuations," said Berkery Noyes managing director Mary Jo Zandy. "This momentum has further built in the first quarter of 2012. Areas of most interest to acquirers at the present time are online education, education services and education technology companies. Still, consolidation is ongoing among print-based education businesses, and the anticipated effects of common core standards implementation are likely to accelerate this trend."



    These managing director quotes pertain to our Pharma & Healthcare Industry report:

    “In 2011, M&A-driven expansion of strategic healthcare technology and information platforms by major players, some private equity-backed, continued as a dominant trend, stated Jeffrey Smith, Managing Director in Berkery Noyes’ Healthcare and Life Sciences group. “This trend will continue in 2012, offering an active market, competitive sales processes, and excellent valuation opportunities for independently-owned companies providing software, information, data, communications and services solutions to the healthcare and life science industries.”

    “The healthcare information and technology (“HIT”) mergers and acquisitions market was robust in 2011 as buyers looked to acquire rapidly growing companies, principally software enabled solutions (SaaS and Cloud enabled), in highly attractive niches to accelerate their own growth and offer fuller suites of world class products to the dynamic and growing healthcare marketplace,” said Tom O'Connor, Managing Director in Berkery Noyes’ Healthcare and Life Sciences group. “In 2012, we expect to see an increased deal flow and attractive prices for sellers from both strategic and financial buyers, but strategic buyers, like in 2011, will dominate the buyer universe.”

    According to Jonathan Krieger, Managing Director in Berkery Noyes’ Healthcare and Life Sciences group, “the number of HIT transactions increased for the 3rd consecutive year and valuation multiples continued to rise. The enactment of the HITECH Act has catalyzed the adoption of IT by both payors and providers and has resulted in a very favorable M&A market for private companies that wish to pursue liquidity events.”



    By Joe Berkery

    The first three quarters of 2011 have been busy for Berkery Noyes, with 15 transactions closed during the period and several more scheduled to close during the fourth quarter. What’s remarkable about these transactions is the high level of buyer interest and strong valuations each one has received. Despite uncertainty in the wider economy, M&A activity is on track to equal or exceed the pace established during the pre-recession boom.

    The brisk pace of M&A is apparent across most of the segments we cover, including the information, software, media, entertainment, technology, finance, healthcare, and education industries. For information about these transactions, visit the recent transactions section of our website.

    The increase in transaction volume has prompted Berkery Noyes to expand its investment banking capacity. During the past year we have added three new managing directors, along with additional team members at the vice president and associate/ analyst levels to support them. We expect the elevated pace of transactions to continue at least through the next 14 months as corporate and financial buyers look to deploy abundant cash reserves through acquisitions, and as sellers act ahead of changes in the tax code which may drive up the cost of a sale after 2013 (mentioned in the previous post).



     By Joe Berkery

    Right now there is a substantial disconnect between the health of the U.S. economy and overall corporate well being.

    Even as economic growth slows and markets fluctuate, corporate profits are relatively strong, balance sheets are brimming with cash and the appetite for acquisitions has improved.

    So far this year, our firm has closed a dozen transactions--four in just the past 30 days--and we expect another five or six to close by year-end, making 2011 a good year for middle-market M&A.

    Perhaps an even better gauge of the health of the M&A market is not the number of actual closings, but the number of potential buyers who are participating in the auction process.  Virtually all of the deals we have managed this year involved multiple qualified buyers, representing both strategic players and private equity investors.

    While we anticipate no further loosening of the credit markets, debt is nonetheless available to companies with strong fundamentals and solid numbers. But with so much investable cash on their balance sheets, most of the deals we've done this year were for cash.

    The pick-up in M&A activity is often a leading indicator of improvement in the wider economy. Businesses that shed employees and reduced costs while maintaining productivity are more profitable and thus adding to their stockpiles of cash--now estimated at a record $1.84 trillion on corporate balance sheets. And now they're putting some of that cash to work in the form of acquisitions. 

    Another factor fueling the upturn in M&A is the move by many larger strategics to realign their businesses by shedding non-core assets. We're seeing major players considering or completing divestitures of operating units or entire divisions. 

    We expect these trends to hold well into 2012, with sellers receiving excellent multiples for quality assets as buyers, both strategic and financial look to deploy their idle, low-interest-earning cash.

    Sellers who view the erratic stock market and weak economy as reasons to stay on the sidelines may be missing an opportunity to capitalize on a strong M&A market. While fear may be a reasonable reaction to the policy paralysis in Washington, it's not a reason to postpone a sale of a business to eager buyers flush with cash and willing to pay good multiples. Whatever the direction of the overall economy in the short term, the current M&A market is as good as it's going to be for a while.

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