The MW Valuation and Deal Insights® is a quarterly newsletter that tracks M&A activities in the following industries: IT, IT-Enabled Outsourced Services, IT Supply Chain Services, and SaaS.

Q4 2014 Edition

Welcome to the latest edition of Valuation & Deal Insights, our quarterly newsletter tracking M&A activity across the IT industry.

We continue in the new format announced for the previous issue, intended to serve as a quick resource for the current state of valuations and other financial metrics in the IT space.

This quarter's Viewpoint by Marty Wolf provides context by identifying the major new and continuing trends affecting the macro economy. Continuing from last quarter, we see success in India - but it is increasingly contrasted by trouble in the other BRIC countries, particularly Brazil and Russia. And Europe remains an overall anchor on the global economy, dragged down by stagnant investment and terrible fiscal policy.

But even with these difficulties, we're seeing a real market, with cheap debt for the forseeable future and conditions favoring buyers and sellers. There's plenty of opportunities for companies to find success, whether by splitting up (see: HP) or acquiring higher growth companies (see: SAP). It's a great time for M&A, and the upcoming year will be shaped by the companies that have seized the many opportunities on the table.

As before, Marty's column is followed by an overview of year-to-date M&A by industry and geography, financial metrics by sector and an updated list of the top ten disclosed transactions this year across the various sectors we track.

Click here to view the latest edition of MW VDI.

Below are the previous issues of MW VDI.

Previous VDI Issues


  • Introduction to New VDI Format
  •  Market and Transaction Overview
  • Valuations and Financial Statistics
  • Significant Transactions


  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf
  • Executive Perspective by Sam Katz
  •  Adaptability Key to Indian IT Services Firms' Success
  • China's IT Services Industry: Past and Present
  • Dell Channel Sales Transformation is Ahead of Plan
  • Q1 2014 Index Shows Industry Optimism
  • SaaS Boom is No Bubble
  • For IBM, Growth Remains Elusive


  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: A Year in Review
  • Executive Perspective by Dave MacDonald
  • Converged Cloud Management Gaining Steam
  • Indian IT Services Firms Face Bigger Threat Than China
  • Why BlackBerry is No Burberry
  • Can Chen Lead BlackBerry to Scuccess?
  • Strong Opportunities and Promising Potential: The MW IT Index
  • A Time for Reinvention and Continued Learning: Our Annual Letter


  • Introduction to new VDI Format
  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: Reports from the Field
  • Executive Perspective by Rob Palumbo
  • New Goals Needed for Cross-Border M&A, by Gaurav Sharma
  • What Happens When 14 Sellers Meet 50 Buyers in 24 Hours? by Tim Mueller
  • The China IT Syndrome, by Marty Wolf
  • Second-half Outlook for 2013 by Geoff Rhizor
  • Dell or Die, by Marty Wolf
  • Here's Why China Isn't Taking Over the IT World...Yet, by Marty Wolf
  • For OfficeMax and Office Depot, It's Back to School, by Marty Wolf
  • Potential Buyers of Blackberry, Please Stand Up, by Marty Wolf
  • Will Buying Nokia Lead to the Breakup of Microsoft? by Marty Wolf
  • Positive Outlook for LBOs in the IT Channel, by Marty Wolf
MW VDI First Quarter 2013 
  • Executive Perspective with Tim Crown
  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: The Neighbors are Having a Party and We're Not Invited
  • Out of Favor with Public Markets, Mid Market IT Companies Look to M&A and Private Equity, by Tim Mueller
  • The Dow and the MW IT Index: Different Stories, by Walter Yoon
  • SaaS Valuations: The Value of Growth, by Sunil Grover
  • Q1 2013: A Promising Start to a New Year in the United States, by Geoff Rhizor
  • Indian IT Cross-Border M&A: An Update, by Gaurav Sharma
  • Chinese IT Cross-Border M&A: An Update,  by Hao He

MW VDI Fourth Quarter 2012

  • Executive Perspective with Dr. Jiren Liu
  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: Looking Back and Looking Forward
  • Bright Futures for Indian IT Industry, by Gaurav Sharma
  • Note to VARs: Embrace Change to Succeed, by Jim Martin
  • Big Data Will Be a Big Driver of Tech M&A in 2013, by Tim Mueller
  • Private Equity Investment in China, by Hao He
  • 2012 in M&A: A Year in Review, by Geoff Rhizor
  • 2012 M&A Theme in SaaS: Eat or Be Eaten!, by Sunil Grover
  • Three Steps to Successful M&A Transactions, by Anthony Lembo
  • The MW IT Index in 2012: A Retrospective, by Yousif Abdura

MW VDI Third Quarter 2012

  • Executive Perspective with Tom Richards
  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: Winds of Change
  • Value Lies in the Eyes of the Beholder, by Yousid Abdura
  • Five Key M&A Trends in Cloud Computing and IaaS, by Sunil Grover
  • China's Dragon Snuffed Out by Cloud, by Hao He
  • Maximizing Your Place on the Valuation Continuum, by Anthony Lembo
  • SaaS - How Long Can This Last?, by Tim Mueller
  • Taking the Right Steps toward Creating Value, by Geoff Rhizor
  • Notes from a Dialogue on Cross-Border M&A, by Gaurav Sharma

MW VDI Second Quarter 2012

  • Executive Perspective with Ben Eazzetta
  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: China Rising
  • Increased Activity in All Three Markets, by Yousid Abdura
  • M&A Opportunities in Cloud Computing Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), by Sunil Grover
  • Chinese Markets are Reaching New Heights, by Hao He
  • Winning Acquisition Strategies, by Anthony Lembo
  • Integrating Cross-Border Acquisitions, by Tim Mueller
  • Wipro Case Study Shows Penchant for Acquisitions, by Geoff Rhizor
  • Indian Markets Ripe for Cross-Border M&A Activity, by Gaurav Sharma

MW VDI First Quarter 2012

  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: Who's the Best?
  • India Update: Significant Deal Volume, by Gaurav Sharma
  • Branding for Sales vs. Branding for "The Sale", by Tim Mueller
  • M&A Remains Consistent Path to Liquidity Events, by Geoff Rhizor
  • Understanding "Rollover Equity", by Chris Covington
  • Best Owners of Assets in Human Capital Management (HCM), by Sunil Grover
  • Valuations? It Depends..., by Anthony Lembo
  • The China Report: M&A in 2012, by Hao He

MW VDI Fourth Quarter 2011

  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: More of the Same in '12
  • MW Index Rolls Out Internationally, by Tim Mueller
  • Escrows and Indemnities: What to Expect, by Chris Covington
  • Valuation trends at IT Services and BPO companies, by Sunil Grover
  • Managed Services in 2011, by Anthony Lembo
  • Notable Deals in 2011, by Hao He

MW VDI Third Quarter 2011

  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: A lot to think about
  • Stay Pay: Don't Let Key Employees Leave You in the Lurch
  • HP Exits PC Business
  • Trends in Mid-Market Human Capital Management {part two}

MW VDI Second Quarter 2011

  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: What Will Affect Mid-Market M&A Is Private Equity
  • What Does Normal Working Capital Mean?
  • Escrows - "known unknowns and unknown unknowns"
  • Mid-Market M&A Trends in Human Capital Management (HCM)
  • Fallout of the "Chinese Enron"
  • Better, Faster, Stronger: SaaS
  • Recovery of the M&A Market in Europe
  • Competing as a Hardware Vendor to Increase Enterprise Value

MW VDI First Quarter 2011

  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: Macro Economic Changes, Four Current Trends, and HP Channel Partner Conference
  • Stock Premiums in M&A Transactions
  • M&A Trends in HR-BPO
  • Pre-Deal Due Diligence
  • Stock Purchase Agreements - What's "Reasonable"?
  • To Sell at a High Price, Ask for Help

  • MW VDI Fourth Quarter 2010

  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: Why deals get done?
  • Summary of China Trip
  • Sellers.. Who Should Be Your Deal Attorney and When Should You Hire Them?
  • MSP Space Gain Increasing Interest in Acquisition
  • Macroeconomic Trends Forecasted for 2011 and their Impact on Mid-Market IT Services
  • Race to the Cloud

  • MW VDI Third Quarter 2010

  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: MWS attends ITO Conference in China
  • Should you sign a "blind" NDA?
  • US-India Cross Border Transactions
  • IT Product and Service and Channel Overview
  • Beginning of a new era - ITO and M&A in China

  • MW VDI Second Quarter 2010

  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: Active International Buyers
  • Negotiations
  • M&A Tips: Post Closing Covenants
  • Return of Private Equity (and Leverage)

  • MW VDI First Quarter 2010

  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: Activity Heating Up
  • Accounting Change on the Horizon
  • Emerging Market M&A
  • M&A Tips: Capital Gains
  • Credit Markets Easing?
  • IT Spending Growth in 2011

  • MW VDI Fourth Quarter 2009

  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: Difficult 2009
  • Refresh Cycle leading IT Growth
  • Emerging Markets
  • Notable Deals of 2009
  • M&A Tips: Taxes and Transactions
  • Private Equity and M&A Activity

  • MW VDI Third Quarter 2009

  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: Over Capacity
  • Valuation Drivers
  • Forms of Purchase Price Consideration
  • IT Conglomerates
  • Resurgence in M&A

  • MW VDI Second Quarter 2009

  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: Deal volume down
  • China: The Next Big Outsourcing Player
  • M&A Outlook in IT Outsourcing
  • Earnout Considerations
  • M&A Tips: Data Rooms

  • MW VDI First Quarter 2009

  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: Slow Market in Q1
  • Seller Forecasting
  • M&A Tips

  • MW VDI Fourth Quarter 2008

  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: Value propositions
  • Transactions of the Year
  • Valuation Trends
  • M&A Tips: Negotiating Working Capital

  • MW VDI Third Quarter 2008

  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: Value proposition
  • Green IT Products and Services
  • BPO M&A Trends
  • PE Report
  • M&A Tips: "Exclusivity" clauses

  • MW VDI Second Quarter 2008

  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: Maximizing shareholder value
  • Value Added Resellers
  • Financial Services
  • Managed Services
  • M&A Tips: Does the "MAC" clause matter?

  • MW VDI First Quarter 2008

  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: Decreasing large deal volume
  • M&A Trends: Deal volume and size dip
  • Foreign Opportunity: Declining dollar
  • M&A Tips: Know your buyer

  • MW VDI Fourth Quarter 2007

  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: Three V's in 2007 M&A activities
  • Transactions of the Year
  • Valuation Trends

  • MW VDI Third Quarter 2007

  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: Current credit squeeze dried up PE activity
  • Outsourcing Sector: India outsourcers are active in cross-border M&A
  • Solution Provider Sector: Cash plus earn-out is common deal structure

  • MW VDI Second Quarter 2007

  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: Isolated asset bubble in certain segments
  • IT Services Sector: Fragmented market

  • MW VDI First Quarter 2007

  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: MWS ranked top boutique in IT outsourcing space
  • BPO Transactions: Increasing deal volume

  • MW VDI Fourth Quarter 2006

  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: 2007 M&A Outlook
  • Focused IT Services Transactions: Global multi-billion dollar organizations led the charge
  • Valuation Trends: Offshore outsourcing continue to lead within the IT Services group

  • MW VDI Third Quarter 2006

  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: Consolidation trend in IT supply chain segment
  • India-based M&A Activity

  • MW VDI Second Quarter 2006

  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: Adding value by acquiring low-growth companies
  • Private Equity Sector

  • MW VDI First Quarter 2006

  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: Cross-border M&A activity accelerating
  • BPO Sector: Three types of buyers driving M&A activity

  • MW VDI Fourth Quarter 2005

  • Viewpoint by Marty Wolf: Supply & demand imbalance
  • Selected Transactions
  • Valuation Trends: BPO sector valuation stabilizing
  • Transaction Statistics: M&A momentum to continue in 2006
  • Performance Matrix: Offshore commands higher valuation