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Tech firm deals collapse on fears of double dip

Mergers and acquisitions down 20 per cent in November

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Tech M&A activity across Europe dropped by one-fifth in November compared to the previous month amid biting concerns over the state of the economy and a potential slide into a second recession.

According to market voyeurs Regent Partners, the 20 per cent fall was accompanied by a continued fall in the value of deals on the table.

"This was probably due to heightened concern about the European economic situation during the month, and its possible impact on the global economy. Despite this, valuation multiples remained stable," the firm said.

The biggest deal to get the green light was WD's $4.3bn takeover of HGST, which got EU backing after an agreement was made to sell off part of the 3.5-inch drive manufacturing muscle to an EU-approved buyer, Regent added.

The month was "largely defined" by feverish talk of acquisitions in the telecoms sector with the biggest deal – AT&T's proposed $39bn bid for T-Mobile USA – yet to be signed and sealed as the firms await approval from the Federal Communications Commission.

Large deals in the UK channel have been pretty scarce this year, though activity in the small- and mid-market space has ramped up as consolidators pick up and bolt together resellers with specialist skills in fragmented sectors. ®

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