Nordics M&A Overview 2012 – 2016

Nicholas Milligan

General overview

Over a five year period from January 2012 to December 2016 there were some 558 tech-focused mergers and acquisitions where the target company was headquartered in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden for a combined worth of $43.6 billion. Deal counts have remained remarkably steady over the five year period as seen below.



Sweden dominates

Sweden accounts for the largest proportion of transactions with almost two in five Nordic headquartered companies being scooped up from within Sweden. Norway, Finland and Denmark round the deal count out with about a fifth apiece, with Iceland contributing 7 deals over the five year period.




Top 10 target locations

Intuitively, cities account for the greatest concentration of deals. The top 10 headquarters for Nordic targets were:


The national capitals of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark all predictably constitute the top four, though Finland’s second city Espoo also features strongly with an average seven deals per year. Overall, almost 60% of Nordic deals took place in the top 10 target cities, though the remainder represents a strong showing from smaller municipalities and rural locations. The breadth of target location can be visualized with the following heat map, where the size and intensity of the radius corresponds to the number of announced deals in a given location:


Urban targets have more employees

Very intuitively, the companies with the highest average number of employees tend to be located in the above hubs of Oslo, Denmark and Helsinki as well as high counts in Malmö and Stockholm.


 Urban targets are valued more highly

The same trend also holds for average EV/S multiples paid on tech companies, with cities tending to command higher average EV/S multiples in the Nordics.