Corum was founded in 1985 when the tech world as we know it was just cooling. M&A was done with a limited cast of buyers, an alternative to going public, which most firms hoped to do. Deals were often for stock, buyers hoarding their precious cash. Venture Capital played a role, but Private Equity (PE) was not prevalent. Periodically we would have a change in operating systems, or a language would gain popularity. Windows was a big deal, but no internet. Fax was a big deal!
Only 15% of our transactions involved a non-U.S. buyer/seller.
What a difference in 2012! There is such a vast array of buyers - international, non tech buyers, crowd-funded companies, etc., and over 40% of the largest deals go to PE firms. Most start-ups now dont necessarily plan to go public due to all the regulations, plus with buyers paying so much in hard currency, who needs unregistered stock. There is a glut of cash, over $350 billion in the treasuries of strategic buyers, nearly $1 trillion available to the PE firms, all looking for the next hot company or one to fill a need. The deal market is boiling due to so many disruptive changes Social, SaaS, Mobile, Cloud, etc.
Today, 70% of our transactions involve a non-U.S. buyer or seller. Often buyers no one has ever heard of, or traditional firms trying to reinvent themselves, not wanting to be technology road kill such as past giants like Polaroid and Kodak.