Valuations

Software valuations are historically high, and Nordic companies are reaping outsized benefits. Valuations are bolstered by strong public markets, disruptive technology trends, and record cash levels in the hands of buyers. Much of that cash is held offshore by US-based tech giants, and must be put to work overseas—a boon for Nordic companies considering M&A.

Nordic Software Exit Value, 2013-2016

With a broad array of publicly released transaction metrics, multiples of EV/S — or Enterprise Value to Revenue — for Nordic software companies have been notably strong across the region, with a median deal multiple of 2.9x. The highest performing sectors have been network management and security.

Valuation Patterns, 2010-2016

We can also look more broadly at all technology deals in the region since 2010, including services and hardware companies. Dots above the line had higher multiples, those below the line had lower ones. Note that a logarithmic scale is used in order to include data from larger deals.

Nordic Valuation Profiles

Examining deals more closely, we can see the drivers of value in specific deals—IP, growing sectors, key technology trends, revenue growth and more. The Nordic countries continue to be fertile ground for technology companies in all these areas.

Buyer: Columbus
Seller: MW data
Date: May 2015
Seller Revenue: $6.3
M
Deal Value: $6.2M
EV/S Multiple: 1x

In this all-Denmark deal, Viborg-based Dynamics AX integrator and ERP software maker MW Data received a 1x revenue multiple, with earnout provisions that could bring the valuation up to 1.24x if specified earnings milestones are reached. These are strong numbers for a systems integrator, showing the value of its IP and vertical expertise.

Buyer: Cyan
Seller: Connode
Date: June 2016
Seller Revenue: $3.4M
Enterprise Value: $9.7M
Multiple: 2.8x

UK-based Cyan, a provider of network solutions for smart metering, acquired its larger competitor, Sweden’s Connode, using a heavily leveraged mix of cash and stock. Connode brings revenue, technology and customers in developed markets to Cyan, bringing a multiple right at the median for Nordic software companies.

logo-wartsila

Buyer: Wartsila
Seller: Eniram
Date: June 2016
Seller Revenue: $10.9M
Enterprise Value: $47.5M
EV/S Multiple: 4.4x

In an archetypal example of the trend of non-technology companies acquiring software firms, Wartsila, a Finnish equipment maker for marine vessels and powerplants, acquired complementary software maker Eniram, also based in Finland, paying a healthy 4.4x sales multiple—the same multiple paid for Finnish gaming giant Supercell that same month.

logo-cisco

Buyer: Cisco
Seller: Tail-f
Date: June 2014
Seller Revenue: $10M
Enterprise Value: $175M
Multiple: 17.5x

Networking giant Cisco acquired Sweden-based Tail-f to capture its rapidly growth in the quickly expanding Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization. Selling at the right moment and bolstered by key technology trends helped Tail-f achieve an extremely high revenue multiple.

Download the Report

If you like what you’ve seen here, you should probably download the .PDF report. Send it to your board. Send it to your investors. Send it to your advisors. Better yet, send them the link to our website. Discuss it with your shareholders. Argue with your co-founders. Listen to your wife. Make decisions. Keep building.

Inside the Nordic market:

Valuation

Deal multiples and valuation trends across Scandinavia

Deal Flow

Deal volume numbers and trends across Scandinavia

Geography

Scandinavian buyer and seller origins by country and region