Photographer: Arnaud Fevrier/Bloomberg
Biggest European Tech Deal Barely Cracks the Global Top TenBy
Atos’ bid for Gemalto only European top 10 tech deal this year
U.S. tech M&A several times more active with higher premiums
Just how small is the European technology sector?
This year’s largest European technology deal just saw the light of day, and it’s less than a 20th the size of 2017’s biggest proposed U.S. tech transaction. Atos SE’s unsolicited 4.3-billion-euro ($5.06 billion) bid for Gemalto NV is also the region’s only entry to the global top 10 for the sector this year, with U.S. deal volume in the past years reaching multiples of Europe as well as attracting higher premiums.
Technology shares, this year’s top-performing group, represent roughly 4 percent of the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, versus 24 percent for the S&P 500. To illustrate this difference, Apple Inc.’s 2 percent stock gain on Monday added $17 billion to its market value.
Including last year’s $32 billion takeover of ARM Holdings Plc by Softbank Group Corp. and Qualcomm Inc.’s talks over NXP Semiconductors NV started in 2016 would make the list look different. Yet, that year increasingly looks like an anomaly. The $111 billion in European tech deal volume has fallen to $35 billion with a 20 percent average premium in 2017, compared with U.S. deals exceeding $200 billion in both years with a 28 percent premium, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.