Mooreland Partners, a global technology-focused M&A advisory firm, said last year saw a 14 percent increase in the amount spent on mergers and acquisitions activity. There was also a 25 percent increase in transatlantic deal activity.

“A lot of companies are hoping to be bought by tech giants like Google and Facebook, but buyers don’t always come from where investors and entrepreneurs expect them to as our 2014 research shows,” said Peter Globokar, managing director at Mooreland Partners. “There is a groundswell of increased technology M&A being transacted cross-border.

Some 300 European tech companies were acquired by US buyers last year: Image: iStock/rawpixel
Some 300 European tech companies were acquired by US buyers last year: Image: iStock/rawpixel

The Mooreland Partners 2014 Technology M&A Report analysed statistics from 4,186 global technology transactions and data cultivated from Mooreland Partners, Capital IQ and the 451 Group. The number of transactions with a value in excess of $500 million (£312 million) grew 50 percent year-on-year from 2013 to 2014.

Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter were the most active buyers and collectively acquired a total of 76 companies, of which only 17 were in Europe. Google doubled the total number of its acquisitions while Yahoo halved its deals during 2014. The figures showed that 450 companies changed hands across the Atlantic in 2014.

Cross-border deal activity that involved a target and a buyer in different countries increased by almost 25 percent year-on-year, with 300 European companies acquired by US buyers and 150 US companies being acquired by European buyers.

While 85 percent of US targets were acquired by US buyers, 66 percent of European companies were acquired by buyers from another country – but only 17 percent by a company from another European country.

Mooreland Partners predicts an increase in transatlantic activity in 2015, with US firms benefiting from weaker European currencies and “cash piles” building up in their European operations, and European startups moving their CEOs or headquarters to the US to aid "high value exits".