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More Mergers for Financial Software Firms

Software targeted to financial firms was one of the most active segments for mergers and acquisitions, according to Berkery Noyes' First Quarter Mergers and Acquisitions Trend Report for the Software Industry. The largest related deal for the quarter was Vista Equity Partners' announced acquisition of Misys, a provider of banking and financial services software solutions, for $2 billion.

UMore than half of financial software deals in Q1 2012 were related to capital markets. According to Berkery Noyes managing director Peter Ognibene, "Big data is increasing the demands on trading, modeling, executing, and portfolio management." Two niche capital markets software transactions--Envestnet's announced acquisition of Tamarac and SEI Investments' announced acquisition of NorthStar Systems International--pertained directly to wealth management.

Cloud computing is continuing to have a significant impact on the enterprise software landscape. Oracle's announced acquisition of Taleo for $1.9 billion was the largest business software transaction in Q1 2012, while Blackbaud's announced acquisition of Convio for $274 million was the 10th largest deal in the software industry.

Symantec Corp.'s announced acquisition of LiveOffice Corp. for $115 million was one of the largest infrastructure software transactions for the quarter. Regarding this segment, transactions with a specific focus on security increased 75 percent over Q4 2011.

"As indicated by Safenet's acquisition of Cryptocard, Alert Logic's acquisition of Armorlogic, and TrustWave's announced acquisition of M86 Security this quarter, there is healthy demand for companies offering cloud based and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cyber security solutions," said Christopher Young, managing director at Berkery Noyes.

M&A relating to security was responsible for 30 percent of infrastructure software deals in the quarter, compared to 15 percent in Q4 2011. Several of these involved mobile security solutions. For instance, Symantec's acquisition of Nukona and Odyssey Software, the company's two other Q1 2012 deals, focus on security for mobile devices. Twitter's January acquisition of Dasient, a cloud based company that helps avert malware attacks, shows the social networking site is committed to securing its users' data. This comes in the aftermath of Twitter's Q4 2011 acquisition of Whisper Systems, a security software startup for mobile platforms.

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