Tech Mergers, Acquisitions Jump 48%, Helped by Private Equity

Transactions outside the United States helped make 2006 the busiest year in tech M&A since 2000. (

Technology mergers and acquisitions jumped 48 percent in 2006, helped by high liquidity worldwide and an increase in buyouts outside the United States.

Technology M&A grew to $244.1 billion from $164.6 billion in 2005. That made 2006 the biggest year for technology mergers since 2000, according to Innovation Advisors, a New York-based investment bank that specializes in technology.

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The appetite for mergers was strongest outside the United States, particularly in Europe, and China and other parts of Asia. Non-U.S. activity accounted for more than 48 percent of all transactions during the year, up from 42 percent in 2005 and just 28 percent in 2004.

"The message is that the world is growing up and theres a lot more deal-making activity happening outside the U.S.," said Eric Gebaide, a managing director at Innovation Advisors.

Internet companies focusing on "the power of the group" have been at the center of the action everywhere, according to Gebaide.

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