Dominic Lester, global head of technology at UBS Investment Bank reckons that things are on the up – and demonstrated that with some pithy aphorisms.
He said that while it will be very difficult for a bank to take a small company to market, unless you believe there’s going to be a mass catastrophe, money needs to be used.
He said: “Things are starting to come back. Convergence is forcing companies to make those strategic moves that they’ve been talking about for a number of years. Every company we speak to has the need to make a move. Transactions are 10 to 15 per cent up. We’ll get back to levels similar to 2008, The technology industry is vibrant.”
He said technology firms are gung ho about the climate. “Cisco is increasingly acquisitive for larger and larger companies. I don’t see an Oracle or an HP slowing down. A lot of these companies need to enter new markets very quickly and M&A (mergers and acquistion) is more attractive than R&D (Research and Development). There’s a greater willingness for big companies that their internal efforts may not be sufficient to enter a new market.”
He said that Cisco will eventually stop growing, they’re losing market share to HP.
“A lot of the buyers don’t have the currencies they used to have and have to be more disciplined for the prices they have to pay for those acquisitions. There isn’t a frenzy of buyers and it will be different from an auction. Valuations are more rational and I personally think that’s a good thing.”
What does this mean? It means it’s going to be hard for venture capitalists in Europe for some time to come, according to Lester.