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Berkery Noyes Releases 2011 Information Industry Mergers & Acquisitions Report

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Berkery Noyes, an independent middle market investment bank, today released its Full Year 2011 Mergers and Acquisitions trend report for the Information Industry.

The Information Industry report, which Berkery Noyes defines as all media, software, and online companies, analyzes M&A in 2011 and compares it with activity in 2009 and 2010.

The median revenue multiple increased from 1.7x in 2010 to 2.1x in 2011, while the median EBITDA multiple increased from 10.5x to 12.0x. Total transaction volume in 2011 increased by 17 percent over 2010, from 2639 to 3098.

The most active acquirer for 2011 in the Information Industry was Google with 25 acquisitions, including 5 in the Fourth Quarter: Clever Sense, RightsFlow, Apture, Katango, and SocialGrapple. Overall, Google had 58 Information acquisitions from 2009 to 2011.

“Large tech players were heavily involved in intellectual property M&A,” said James Berkery, Chief Information Officer at Berkery Noyes. “Strong strategic interest in the sector was evident in 2011. For instance, Nortel sold 6,000 wireless patents in July 2011 for $4.5 billion to a consortium that included Microsoft, Research In Motion, Sony, Ericsson, EMC, and Apple.”

In several 2011 transactions, Google acquired a wide range of patents from IBM. Technology companies such as Google are likely to increase their patent portfolios for several reasons, principally to drive product innovation and to hedge against the increasing prevalence of patent litigation. Google’s acquisition of RightsFlow in December 2011, which will help with music licensing concerns on YouTube, shows that the search giant is determined to be a key player in the IP space.

A copy of the FULL YEAR 2011 INFORMATION INDUSTRY MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS REPORT is available at the Berkery Noyes website.