Completed M&A deal counts are set to fall for the second straight year, per PitchBook data, a decline that follows a wave of consolidation that crested with 186 transactions in 2015, the most of any year this decade. Just 71 corporate M&A deals in cybersecurity have closed thus far in 2017, compared to last year’s total of 161. The decline is even steeper in terms of capital invested, which sits below $4 billion this year after reaching a high of nearly $18 billion in 2015.
And the pipeline of deals announced this year won't help much. To date, just 18 cybersecurity mergers await consummation, totaling a bit more than $2 billion in total value.
Cybersecurity M&A has been a path to success for Symantec, a California-based software company that ranks among the busiest strategics in the space. Since announcing its $4.65 billion acquisition of Blue Coat Systems last summer, the company's share price has increased by more than 80%, by far the highest figure among the five most-prolific corporate acquirers of cybersecurity businesses. For comparison's sake, the NASDAQ is up 29% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 21% over the same span.
Unlike their parent companies, meanwhile, corporate VC units have kept pace with the figures of recent years, completing 44 investments worth about $868 million so far in 2017, according to the PitchBook Platform. That compares favorably to last year, when CVCs participated in 75 deals that provided $1.2 billion in funding.
CVC activity in cybersecurity
PitchBook subscribers can check out the full data on corporate M&A activity in cybersecurity.