Mergermarket Technology Forum

May 11, 2017 | Hyatt Regency, San Francisco

Welcome to Mergermarket's annual Technology Forum!

Among all M&A deals announced last year, 15% were acquisitions of technology companies, more than any other sector and totaling roughly USD 125bn. Large cash balances and flatlining revenue nudged long-standing firms to invest in tech startups, such as Walmart's purchase of e-commerce startup Even savvy VC investors have expressed astonishment at the pace at which digital transformation moved to the forefront of corporate boardrooms recently.

While technology M&A can provide revenue growth and impressive returns for VC funds, plenty of challenges remain. The question of valuations is troubling for some who wonder if another tech bubble is brewing in light of "unicorns" totaling USD 372bn in worth across the US. Additionally, cybersecurity continues to appear in the headlines as the damage of a single data breach can cost an average of USD 4m per company and can stop a deal in its tracks. Look no further than Verizon executives second guessing their acquisition of Yahoo shortly after the Internet firm announced the hacking of roughly 500 million users' credentials.

Please join esteemed panelists and network with industry experts for an afternoon filled with content-driven discussions relating to the forces driving M&A and financing in the technology sector.


Registration And Light Refreshments

Opening Remarks

    James Anderer, Director, Donnelley Financial Solutions

M&A In The Valley

The US TMT sector completed 241 deals worth USD 26.1bn in 1Q17, representing a decrease of 25.6% by value compared to 1Q16, which saw 249 deals worth USD 35.2bn. Will things pick up for the remainder of 2017? While deal activity accelerated after Donald Trump’s presidential victory, his recent rhetoric around protectionism is blamed for causing a slowdown in transactions. Politics aside, disruptive technology continues to drive M&A with firms looking at cybersecurity, enterprise software and virtual reality headset makers.

What is the outlook for technology M&A as we head into 2017?

  • What factors will drive dealmaking?
  • Explore where valuations are pulling back
  • What impact will the policies of the new administration have on the sector?
  • Where are the new opportunities for investment in 2017? (e.g. VR headset, cybersecurity, etc.)
  • Examine the convergence between cybersecurity and Internet of Things

  • Speakers
    Owen O'Keeffe, Co-Head, Americas Technology Mergers & Acquisitions, Morgan Stanley
    Sharon Klein, Partner, Pepper Hamilton LLP
    Joe Porter, Vice President - Tech Investment Banking, Goldman Sachs
    Harry Singh, Director, Intel Capital
    John A. Bernhardt, Vice President of Venue Sales & Business Development, Donnelley Financial Solutions (moderator)

Coffee Networking Break

Changing Landscape In Enterprise Software Investment

Serial entrepreneurs and VCs love subscription-based revenue models, causing a lot of investment to be channeled into software-as-a-service (SaaS) and traditional software products. Market consolidation is creating frothy valuations for SaaS vendors for firms such as Conversica, the California-based AI software company, who are courting potential buyers like Vista Equity Partners. Sensing opportunity, activist investors are pressuring SaaS and other software vendors to seek out strategic sales.

What is driving this frenzy in investments of enterprise software tech and what are the emerging risks?

  • What examples have been set by noteworthy deals in this space? (e.g. Carlyle Group's acquisition of Veritas Technologies Corp, Vista Equity Partners purchase of Solera Holdings, etc.)
  • Examine private equity and activist investors' role in influencing software M&A
  • What areas of enterprise software are most ripe for investment, from Fintech and Internet of Things to Advertising and Marketing?
  • What challenges are present in the market place? (e.g. valuations, pressure to sell, etc)

  • Speakers
    Mike Amiot, Senior Director, Strategic Technology Services, West Monroe Partners
    Rich Lawson, Co-Founder and CEO, HGGC
    Brian Marshall, Managing Director, Technology Investment Banking, Credit Suisse
    AJ Rohde, Partner, Thoma Bravo
    Ed Mullane, Sector Editor - Technology, Media & Telecom Group, Mergermarket & Dealreporter (moderator)

Exit Opportunities Poised For Strong 2017

A disappointing IPO market in 2016 saw a dozen tech IPOs post double-digit price declines. However, industry observers are expecting a noticeable bounce back in 2017. Strong performances from Twilio and Nutanix have prompted discussions between many private companies and bankers for possible 2017 listings. On the strategic sales front, Jasper's USD 1.4bn sale to Cisco and Ping Identity's sale to Vista Equity Partners sent positive signals. That said, the few bright spots in 2016 are setting the stage for VCs and others to broaden their exit opportunities.

What will become of the IPO market in 2017?

  • Examine the rise of "non-tech" companies becoming aggressive buyers of tech firms
  • What risks stem from a pullback in valuations and how will this impact exit multiples?
  • Will Snap’s IPO serve as a bellwether for listings over next 12 months?
  • Address top concerns from management who are bracing for new ownership

  • Speakers
    Doug Chu, Co-head of Listings, NYSE
    Derek Dillon, Managing Director and Head of Capital Markets, Mizuho Securities US
    Brian Feinstein, Partner, Bessemer Venture Partners
    Ted Smith, Co-Founder, Partner and President, Union Square Advisors
    Mark Andress, Deputy Editor of Technology, Media & Telecom Group, Mergermarket & Dealreporter (moderator)

Cocktail Reception

*Agenda is subject to change

Contact Us

Get in touch with us to find out about speaking opportunities or registration.


Panel Sponsor


Hyatt Regency

5 Embarcadero Center
San Francisco, CA, 94111