The Biggest Deals in Tech M&A

M&A within the tech sector saw a relatively slow start to 2016. However, analysts predict that the recent announcement of Microsoft’s intention to acquire professional social network LinkedIn for $26bn could trigger a tech M&A boom. So far, $209bn worth of deals have been announced, placing 2016 back on track to match last year’s record deal making.

With this in mind, we reflect on the tech sector’s biggest M&A deals of all time:

  1. Dell and EMC

The sector’s largest acquisition saw Dell purchase storage giant EMC in 2015 for a staggering $67bn. The deal means that Dell now has a strong footprint in four major tech areas: servers, storage, virtualisation and PCs.

  1. HP and Compaq

In 2001, HP acquired Compaq for $25bn. Following a significant drop in stock prices, many critics have suggested that the deal was one of the sector’s worst of all time. However, industry experts have reassured sceptics that the two companies were, and remain, an ideal fit for one another. In the first quarter of 2016, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise’s net revenue was $12.7bn, up four per cent from the prior-year period

  1. Facebook and WhatsApp

While $19bn may sound like a large figure for an app, for social media giant Facebook, the sum is loose change. With approximately one billion global users producing mass amounts of data, it is clear to see WhatsApp’s appeal.

  1. HP and EDS

Following its record deal with Compaq seven years earlier, in 2008 HP acquired Electronic Data Systems (EDS) for $15.4bn. EDS provides infrastructure, applications and business process outsourcing services, the combination of which furthered HP’s standing as one of the world’s largest technology companies.

  1. Symantec and Veritas

Symantec acquired Veritas within what was the software industry’s biggest deal for $13.5bn in 2005. The organisation retained the Symantec name, splitting into separate divisions to be renamed Veritas Technologies Corporation in 2014. A year later, Symantec announced the sale of Veritas to the Carlyle Group for $8bn.

  1. Google and Motorola

To many observers, Google’s purchase of Motorola for $12.5bn in 2011, and subsequent sale of the company to Lenovo for just short of $3bn a couple of years later, would be deemed a failure. However, for Google the deal was a success, as the technology giant had never been interested in integrating the hardware maker to its organisation. Instead, Google wanted to acquire Motorola’s patents, which it retained after the sale to Lenovo.

  1. Oracle and PeopleSoft

The world’s second largest software company (after Microsoft), Oracle purchased software maker PeopleSoft for $10.3bn in 2005. The deal, however, was not simple, with Oracle struggling for 18 months to win over PeopleSoft.

  1. Microsoft and Skype

In 2011, Microsoft beat Facebook and Google to purchase video calling software company Skype for $8.5bn. The deal meant that Microsoft could successfully integrate the Skype software with its own products.

So, will 2016 be another booming year for tech M&A? If the megadeal between Microsoft and LinkedIn is anything to go by, then it would appear the answer is yes. With experience in a number of key sectors and representation throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia, Benchmark International can connect you with the right opportunity. To find out more, visit

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