Categories: AGC Partners Insights


You need to have faith, hope, and $7.2 trillion in fiscal and monetary stimulus behind you to power through the COVID-19 pandemic. AGC’s early read of the new post-COVID normal is that the tech M&A market will be in short supply of companies for sale until September. PEs are not likely to be selling portfolio companies until the COVID storm has passed. And while VCs may be more willing to sell, it will be driven by portfolio restructuring, i.e. cutting loose underperforming investments to free up time and capital for perceived winners. This will likely result in a leaner market not just in quantity, but also quality. The good news is, deals going to market right now are getting a ton of attention. While PEs may be on the sidelines as active sellers, they are lined up in droves as buyers, and their pockets are very deep.

The tech M&A business is decelerating rapidly as of this writing. Q1’20 volume was 853 deals vs 850 in Q1’19, surprisingly solid! First week of April volume is down 30% and it will get worse as we progress through the quarter. That said, the S&P 500 is only down 3% over the last 12 months, an expression of confidence that the worst is over. It will be interesting to see whether the Strategics will take back ground from the PE players in these challenging times after giving up so much tech M&A market share over the last 5 years. We estimate the Top 200 Tech PE Funds to have over $1T in tech AUMs including significant dry powder. On the tech VC front, by COVID-19, we expect them to be busy identifying companies for disposition. While cash deals will be harder to come by because of the virtual shutdown in the debt markets, equity swaps with the PE-backed strategic will proliferate.

The attached deck covers some of the latest data on tech M&A.

Click to download AGC’s report: AGC-COVID-19-Tech-MA-Update-Apr-2020



Categories: AGC Partners Insights


With AUMs growing by nearly $400B annually and on track to surpass $5T by 2023, private equity has been the fastest growing asset class for some time now. As a subset, tech-focused PEs have been a strong driver of that growth. Tech PEs have become the power player in the global tech world competing toe-to-toe with the strategic community and rocking the landscape across the hundreds of technology markets and thousands of companies. They now account for 31% of all deal flow, up from 9% at the beginning of the decade.

The post great recession generation of tech PE funds deserves the mantra of “buy and build,” and our analysis bears that out. The top Tech PE firms seek out and pay up for platform companies that have the size, market leadership, and management on which they can build. Over the two year period tracked, the top five firms alone combined for 369 add-ons and 83 platform acquisitions, a roughly 4 to 1 split and multiplier effect. These are the firms perfecting the PE “buy and build” formula, generating outsized returns and new fund closings in kind.

In this report, AGC identify what they believe to be the core of the Tech PE world, with firms ranked by number of deals, dollar value, fund formation and other key metrics.

Click to download AGC’s report: AGC-Global-PE-Tech-Review-Feb-2020