In the fourth and final quarter of 2014, tech.eu tracked a total of 87 exits (acquisitions, IPOs and/or mergers), almost mirroring what we monitored for Q3 2014. To compare, we identified 92 EU tech exits back in Q2 2014 and (only) 54 exits in the first quarter of last year.
That makes Q4 2014 a good but not stellar quarter in terms of exits in the European tech industry, and it was primarily a good quarter thanks to the early October IPOs of both Rocket Internet and Zalando.
Below, you can find our fourth report on EU tech exits, which is a direct result of us meticulously keeping track of all funding and M&A deals that happen within the European technology ecosystem(s).
By the way, this also enables us to send a weekly digest covering all things EU tech to our beloved newsletter subscribers - if you haven't signed up yet, do it now! On to the numbers.
Out of the 87 exits we tracked for Q4 2014, there were 83 acquisitions, 2 mergers (down from 3 in Q3 2014) and 2 IPOs (down from 3 in Q3, and 10 in the second quarter of 2014).
All in all, tech.eu tracked 321 European tech exits for all of 2014, of which 296 were acquisitions, 9 were mergers and 16 were initial public offerings. More full-year data coming later.
As mentioned above, the biggest exits in Q4 2014 were the IPOs of Germany-based Rocket Internet and Zalando, which both listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
Rocket Internet raised roughly 1.6 billion euros at a valuation of 6.7 billion euros, while Zalando hit a market value of 5.3 billion euros upon its IPO. To wit, both companies currently trade at a higher stock price than the opening price.
The biggest deals in terms of transaction size in the fourth quarter of 2014 involved UK chipmaker CSR, which was bought by Qualcomm for 2.15 billion euros ($2.5 billion) in mid-October, PE firm Vista Partners' €980 million takeover of British software giant Advanced Computer Software, and Adobe's purchase of France-based Fotolia for 690 million euros ($800 million) in cash.
As you can see in a graph below, most deal sizes in Q4 2014 remained undisclosed (63 out of 87 transactions), but a couple of noteworthy acquisitions sans public price tag include Ooyala-Videoplaza, Mail.Ru-MAPS.me, Facebook-13th Lab, Quantcast acquiring UK-based Struq, BOKU buying Germany's Mopay, Brandwatch buying Peerindex and Ve's acquisitions of qunb and GDM Capital.
And in which countries in Europe did all these exits take place?
Mostly in the UK in Q4 2014, with 15 out of the 87 deals tracked involving a British company. Germany followed with 13 deals, followed in turn by Spain with 11 deals, Israel with 9 exits and Russia with 4 in total. There were 4 M&A deals in Finland, France and The Netherlands.
And where did the buyers of EU tech companies hail from during last quarter?
Overwhelmingly from the United States, once again, with 28 out of 87 deals involving an American company as the acquirer – or in roughly 30% of the cases.
Active buyers were also to be found in the UK (10 deals), Israel and Russia (8 deals each) and Spain (6 deals). Companies based in countries like South Korea, Scotland, Japan and Mexico made a single acquisition of a European tech company each.
That's what we've monitored for Q4 2014. If we've omitted something or you spot anything erroneous above, let us know here and we'll fix if warranted. If you enjoyed this report, subscribe to our weekly newsletter, on Twitter and on Facebook for regular updates.
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