In the third quarter of this year, Tech.eu tracked a total of 88 exits (acquisitions, IPOs and/or mergers) of European technology companies, down slightly from the 92 exits we identified in Q2 2014 but once again up significantly from the 54 exits counted back in Q1.
That is the main conclusion of our third 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 industry.
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!
Out of the 88 exits we tracked, there were 82 acquisitions, 3 mergers (up from only 1 in Q2 2014) and 3 IPOs (down from 10 in the second quarter of this year).
The three IPOs we tracked all happened in the UK: in July, there were the listings of British fuel cell company Intelligent Energy and Israeli digital ad company Matomy, while Israel's Crossrider went public on the London AIM stock exchange last September.
The three mergers we tracked were Foxford - Netology in Russia, the triple merger of Russian e-commerce companies Utinet.ru, e96.ru and Sotmarket and the merger of Slovakia's Piano Media with its American counterpart Press+.
The biggest EU tech acquisition in Q3 2014 by a large margin was Microsoft's takeover of Swedish Minecraft maker Mojang for $2.5 billion (roughly €2 billion), followed by FIS' acquisition of Belgium's Clear2Pay for €375 million (see our interview with founder Jurgen Ingels) and Orbotech's $375 million (€300 million) takeover of UK-based SPTS.
Other notable deals include Delivery Hero's acquisition of Pizza.de in Germany (reportedly for €290 million), France-based Dassault Systèmes' acquisition of The Netherlands-based Quintiq for approximately €250 million, and Nieman Marcus' acquisition of German luxury e-commerce group Mytheresa.com for a reported €150 million.
Again, most deals we tracked did not have their size disclosed upon announcement - in fact, almost 75% of all deals were undisclosed.
These include noteworthy acquisitions such as SyntaxTree (France) by Microsoft, drawElements (Finland) by Google, Icebergs (Spain) by Pinterest, Neul (UK) by Huawei, Wilocity (Israel) by Qualcomm, Ask.fm (Latvia) by Ask.com and more.
Exceptions include the €63.5 million acquisition of FeedHenry (Ireland) by Red Hat, ServiceNow taking over Israel's Neebula for approximately €80 million, and Ericsson buying Israeli startup Fabrix Systems for €77 million, and a handful of smaller deals such as Enghouse Systems buying Ireland-based Jinny for €15.5 million, and Australia's Atlassian buying German startup Doctape for €6 million.
One of the most notable findings in our research was that there are a total of 7 companies making two acquisitions in Europe in Q3 2014. Here's the list:
1) Microsoft bought Mojang (Sweden) and SyntaxTree (France) - see above for links
2) BlackBerry acquired Secusmart (Germany) and Movirtu (UK)
3) Dassault Systèmes bought Quintiq (The Netherlands, see above) and SIMPACK (Germany)
4) Yandex acquired Any Void and ADFOX, all three based in Russia
5) Righster acquired Viral Spiral and Base79 in the UK
6) Qualcomm not only acquired Wilocity (see above) but also The Netherlands-based Euvision
7) India's Zomato bought both the Czech Republic’s Lunchtime.cz and Slovakia’s Obedovat.sk
And in which countries in Europe did all these exits take place?
Mostly in the Germany in the third quarter, with 19 out of 88 deals involving a German company. United Kingdom followed with 12 deals, followed in turn by France with 9 deals and Russia and Israel with 8 exits each. There were 4 M&A deals in The Netherlands, Spain and Denmark.
And where did the buyers of EU tech companies hail from during last quarter?
Overwhelmingly from the United States (which was also the case in Q1 and Q2 2014), with 26 deals involving an American company as the acquirer – or in roughly 30% of the cases.
Active buyers were also to be found in Germany (13 deals), France (10 deals) and the UK (8 deals). This is similar to the data we gathered for the first and second quarter of the year.
Companies based in countries like China, Poland, Australia and Belgium made a single acquisition of a European tech company each.
That's all we have for Q3 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.
Featured image credit: WittyBear / Shutterstock