The Big Get Bigger
Every year the tech industry and IT channel undergo significant changes from merger and acquisition activity, from blockbuster, mega-billion-dollar deals that can alter the market landscape overnight to smaller, more focused acquisitions that bigger players use to obtain leading-edge technologies and a competitive edge use.
And 2021 hasn’t disappointed with significant M&A deals and private equity acquisitions in cybersecurity, big data, microprocessors, cloud software, distribution
Here’s a look at the IT industry’s biggest mergers and acquisitions in 2021. Some were announced last year (or even earlier) and completed this year. Other deals have been announced but are still working their way through regulatory and/or shareholder approvals before they close.
While this list generally ranks the deals by their dollar value, we’ve also considered their impact on the IT industry and the channel.
While CDW’s acquisition of Sirius Computer Solutions had a price tag of “only” $2.5 billion, for example, we’ve ranked it high because of its outsized impact on the channel. Likewise for the Tech Data-Synnex merger that remakes the IT distribution landscape. Salesforce’s acquisition of Slack had a big ($27.7 billion) price tag.
And some merger and acquisition deals, like Nvidia’s bid to buy Arm for $40 billion, are both blockbuster-big and have the potential to reshape the industry.
Conversely, there were a number of multi-billion-dollar acquisitions in 2021 for which there just wasn’t room for a separate mention, including Cisco Systems’ $4.5 billion acquisition of Acacia Communications in March, Okta’s $6.5 billion purchase of customer identity and access management rising star Auth0 in May, and telecommunications and networking giant Ericsson’s November deal to buy Vonage for $6.2 billion.
And a number of private equity acquisitions could have made the list solely on dollar value, including Clearlake Capital’s November deal to buy Quest Software for a reported $5.4 billion.