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PE-backed ‘Buy and Build’ acquirers drive 2021 deal making to record volumes

2021 was a bumper year for UK Tech M&A according to tech-focused investment bank ICON Corporate Finance.

Unprecedented deal activity shows a record 1,070 deals announced, generating a 44 per cent increase in deals over 2020. 

In its UK Technology M&A Snapshot report, ICON reveals that year-on-year growth was 44 per cent, over a COVID impacted 2020, an increase of 20 per cent on 2019, which was itself a record year.

Q1 2021 was the best quarter ever, with 291 deals, while valuations continued to soar with some disruptive SaaS software companies achieving over 10-times revenue and overall valuations of 23-times EBIT

There were 507 PE/VC backed ‘Buy and Build’ tech deals during 2021, tripling volume by number in a single year. This accounted for close to 50 per cent of all activity.
Crossborder deals also remained a strong driver of the tech UK M&A market, with continued interest from overseas buyers seeing deal volumes rise to almost 50 per cent of all transactions, a significant increase from six years ago when international transactions accounted for just a third all deals.

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