Cloud software pioneer Salesforce.com and consulting giant KPMG are among the companies looking to make a deal at the Global IT M&A Forum next week in New York.
The list of high-profile buyers and sellers in the midmarket IT solution provider market has more than doubled this year compared with the year-ago mergers-and-acquisitions gathering, said Tim Mueller, the CEO of the Global IT M&A Forum, which is being held Nov. 6-7 at the Grand Hyatt in New York.
The list of 60 buyers is up from only 28 last year, said Mueller. The 60 companies range from SP500 powerhouses like $3.5 billion Systemax, No. 20 on the SP500, and $1.5 billion SP500 powerhouse Logicalis, No. 28 on the SP500, to value-added distributors like Avnet, which has made a number of high-profile deals, and Arrow S3 (Shared Solutions and Services), a wholly owned subsidiary of Arrow electronics focused on unified communications.
Among the high-profile acquisitions made by Salesforce.com this year is the $2.5 billion acquisition of cloud marketing platform provider ExactTarget and social media marketing platform Buddy Media for $689 million in cash and stock.
As for KPMG, the consulting firm earlier this year acquired Oracle enterprise resource planning practice from The Hackett Group, a consulting firm based in Miami.
"The strategic buyers are on a mission at this point," said Mueller. "They are faced with increased competitive pressure with a lot of these midmarket [solution provider and managed services] companies becoming primary competitors to them. They are always faced with three things they can do: buy, build or partner. A lot of the strategic buyers want to control their own destiny by owning some of these assets."
The forum also includes 22 private equity companies ranging from giants like Thomas H. Lee Partners, the 39-year-old company that purchased CompuCom Systems, Inc. in April to Accel-KKR, the technology-focused Menlo Park, Calif.-based private equity company that acquired construction industry software maker On Center Software earlier this month.
"We see just as much verve and excitement coming out of the private equity guys because they know what they have to accomplish over the next couple of years," said Mueller. "The private equity companies may be in year three or four of a five-year fund, and they need to deploy some of these dollars or they may be looking for the last piece of a puzzle on a platform play."
The M&A Forum comes amid a frenzy of deals being done in the SP500 market as companies move to compete in the cloud computing services era. The $32 billion consulting giant PwC announced on Wednesday that it was acquiring Booz & Co. And SP500 giant Computer Sciences Corp acquired enterprise cloud management company Service Mesh for an undisclosed amount.
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