The global technology sector appears to be pulling clear of the recession, according to the latest statistics from consultancy Ernst & Young, which showed a growth in merger and acquisition (M&A) activity for the third consecutive quarter.
The Global Technology M&A Update found that deals in the technology sector rose by 13 per cent to 553 in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared with 488 in the previous quarter and just 405 in the first quarter.
Deal volume jumped 32 per cent year on year, and total deal value quadrupled in the fourth quarter to $35.4bn (£22.5bn) compared with $9.2bn (£5.2bn) the previous year.
However, full-year 2009 total M&A disclosed value dropped two per cent from the year before, from $96.3bn (£61.4bn) to $94.8bn (£60.4bn).
This global outlook was mirrored in the UK, where deals rose from 31 in the fourth quarter of 2008 to 34 during the same period in 2009. However, when comparing year-on-year figures, the number of deals fell from 170 in 2008 to 117 in 2009.
"Technology sector M&A has emerged steady and positive in 2010. Companies faced a variety of pressures in 2009, from managing excess capacity and expenses to drops in sales to tightened credit markets, and they faced them with renewed emphasis on financial and operational flexibility," said Neil Hutt, transaction advisory services partner at Ernst & Young.
"The question remains whether the slow, steady climb in transaction activity that occurred in 2009 represents the development of a new growth curve, or whether the technology market is establishing a relatively lower 'new normal' level of transaction activity."
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