Tech.eu has released its quarterly study of exits in Europe’s tech sector, which will enthuse investors on the continent. A total of 88 deals were recorded. This is down from the 92 reported in Q2 2014, but far more than the 54 deals that closed in the first quarter of the year.
Of those 88 deals, 82 were acquisitions, three were mergers and three were IPOs. As with last month almost three quarters of deals were executed for undisclosed sums. Giants such as Qualcomm, Microsoft, Google, Pinterest, Ask.com, Huawei and Ericsson all invested in Europe, but refused to divulge their outgoings.
Silicon Valley may still be the biggest exit market on Earth by a proverbial mile: 2014 has already witnessed over 800 deals in California, with $11.66 billion invested according to CBInsights.
But while Google and Larry Page may think Europe is stuck in the past with its conservative attitude towards startups and the industry at large, the continent’s tech heads can point to a three month preiod which saw some fascinating and high-banking deals, the biggest of which was Microsoft’s takeover of Swedish Minecraft maker Mojang for €2.03 billion ($2.5 billion). The next largest figure was the London IPO of British fuel cell firm Intelligent Energy in July, worth €800 million ($983 million).
Also significant were the $375 million (€300m), paid by Floridian banking firm FIS for Belgium’s Clear2Pay, and the all-Teutonic purchase of Pizza.de by Delivery Hero, for a reported €290 million ($356 million). However all of Q3’s exits pale in comparison with the marquee deal of Q2: Altice/Numericable’s €17 billion ($20.9 billion) purchase of French telco SFR.
Germany, the E.U.’s biggest economy, continued to play a leading role in tech exits across the continent. It played host to 19 of the 88 recorded deals, beating the United Kingdom into second place with a dozen. France was home to nine deals, while Israel, and Russia – whose economy has been hit following sanctions over its political activity in Ukraine – shared eight deals each.
As usual, U.S. businesses contributed the most buyers of European tech companies, with 26, or 30%, of the total number. Germany was second on the list with 13, while France (10) and the U.K. (8) were also active in the period.