Industries – Technology, Media & Telecom


Technology companies are of particular importance in the age of digitalization and shape the development of all industries. The M&A partnership Globalscope enables IFBC to support its clients in the worldwide search for suitable target companies and interested buyers.


Fabian Forrer, CFA


Digital transformation

Digital transformation is leading to comprehensive social and economic changes. Through increased use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, 5G technology and robotic production, existing processes and services can be improved, and new solutions can be created. One of the main drivers of digitisation are semiconductor manufacturing companies, who are increasingly challenged by a rapidly growing demand and constant pressure to innovate.

Cloud computing

Software and infrastructure are increasingly offered as a service to both companies and private customers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the trend towards remote working has also accelerated massively. As a result, audio, and video streaming as well as collaboration software have experienced a major boom. Furthermore, service providers had the opportunity to establish themselves as reliable partners for both companies and consumers.

Sharing economy and payment models

Technological progress creates new opportunities for sharing infrastructure and services. Companies as well as consumers increasingly prefer flexible usage models and service solutions over investments in products. In this context, subscription-based payment models and advertising-financed revenue solutions are increasingly replacing traditional one-off payments. On the one hand, this offers new opportunities for sustainable customer loyalty. On the other hand, companies often require new financing models for these new payment methods.


Liberty Global acquired Sunrise

In August 2020, the parent company of UPC announced the takeover of Sunrise Communications AG. The transaction was approved by the Swiss Competition Commission in late October 2020. Liberty Global thus initiated the delisting of the Sunrise shares from the SIX Swiss Exchange and the fully integration of Sunrise into the group structure.

G+D participates in Netcetera and becomes an anchor shareholder

On 8 September 2020, Netcetera and Giesecke+Devrient (G+D) announced a strategic partnership. In this context, G+D participated in Netcetera and became an anchor shareholder. The Zurich-based Netcetera is a global software company with cutting-edge IT products and individual digital solutions in the areas of secure digital payment, financial technologies, media, transport, healthcare and insurance.

SoftwareONE buys SaaS platform GorillaStack

The Swiss company SoftwareONE, a leading provider of end-to-end software and cloud technology, acquired the Australian company GorillaStack in May 2020. GorillaStack is a leader in cloud cost management and real time event monitoring, and one of the few companies holding the Amazon Web Services Cloud Management Tools competence status for resource and cost optimization.


Exclusive sell-side advisor on the sale of the SwissSign Group

On October 4, 2021, the Swiss Post announced the acquisition of all shares of the SwissSign Group. Before the transaction, the SwissSign Group was held as a joint venture of various reputable Swiss companies. IFBC supported the shareholders of SwissSign Group as exclusive financial and M&A advisor in the preparation of the transaction and throughout the entire transaction process. During the preparation phase of the transaction, IFBC advised the shareholders of SwissSign Group in the context of the evaluation of possible strategic alternatives and coordinated the decision-making process between the existing shareholders. Regarding the sale process, IFBC prepared the SwissSign Group for the upcoming transaction in an initial transaction readiness phase. In the subsequent transaction execution, IFBC conducted a structured international buyer approach, developed the transaction structure, and supported the due diligence and negotiations.

SwissSign Group is a Swiss digital security company employing around 90 people. SwissSign Group's services can be grouped in three business segments: In the identity business, SwissSign Group offers SwissID, which enables a secure login to online services. In the certificate business, SwissSign Group issues digital certificates that allow encrypted and secure online communication and tamper-proof signing of documents. In the signature business, SwissSign Group enables its customers to sign documents electronically in compliance with legislative requirements.


The following graphs analyse the technology, media and telecommunications industry over the past five years. The graphs show the development of the average semi-annual transaction multiples as well as a comparison between the trading multiples of listed companies in individual sub-sectors and per region as of the end of June 2020. The analysis is based on the Bloomberg database. In terms of size, a distinction is made between companies/transactions with a market capitalization of below (low-mid market) or above (large companies) USD 150 million.

Time series of EV/EBITDA multiples of listed companies

Low-Mid Market
Large Companies

  • The trading multiples shown are based on the enterprise value (EV) at the reporting date and the forecast EBITDA for the following 12 months.
  • Over the last five years, the average trading multiple in the lower-mid-market (market capitalisation < USD 150 million) included a discount to the average multiple of the large companies (> USD 150 million). As of mid-2020, the discount has increased and amounts currently to about 39%.
  • The increase in the large companies trading multiple is likely to be due to the currently low forecasted EBITDA level.

EV/EBITDA multiples of listed companies split by region as of 30.06.2020

Low-Mid Market
Large Companies

  • Among companies with a market capitalisation of more than USD 150 million, North American companies have the highest median multiple (16.5x), whereas the median multiple of companies in Eastern Europe is the lowest (8.4x).
  • Except for the region “Eastern Europe”, the lower-mid-market multiples are below those of the larger companies. The highest value in the lower-mid-market can be observed for Eastern Europe (11.1x).

EV/EBITDA multiples of listed companies split by subindustry as of 30.06.2020

Low-Mid Market
Large Companies

  • Large companies in the software sub-sector show the highest median trading multiple with a value of 20.5x at the end of June 2020. The remaining multiples of the large companies are in a range of 9.9x to 11.3x.
  • The median multiple in the lower-mid-market is below the multiples of the larger companies in all sub-sectors. In the software subsegment, the difference in valuation levels between the large and smaller companies is particularly pronounced.

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