Liquidity: The 2017 Minnesota Tech M&A Review



Thanks to the M&A specialists at Franklin Partners, we are able to provide a comprehensive analysis of merger and acquisition activity involving Minnesota tech companies for the calendar year 2017.

High Level 2017:

+ A total of 68 transactions* involving Minnesota-based technology firms was reported in 2017. Like funding, this number is a minimum since there are always off record/nondisclosed transactions.

+ This represents a increase in deal volume of ~50% year over year, as there were 45 transactions in 2016.

+ There were 47 deals in 2015; 63 deals in 2014, 59 deals in 2013, and 45 deals in 2012 – when the annual M&A review first began six years ago, as pictured:

Mid Level 2017:

Minnesota buyers: 30

Minnesota sellers: 24

Minnesota on Minnesota: 14

Busiest Quarter: Q4 (24 Deals / 35%)

Average deals/month: 5.5

Busiest Buyers: SportsEngine made four purchases in 2017 – making them the busiest buyer two years in a row.

Public company deals: 6 (Target & DIGI tied w/ 2 buys each)

Largest disclosed sales: Capella/Strayer ($2b); 3M Fiber Optics Line/Corning ($900m); Target/Shipt ($550m)

Low Level 2017:


+ Overwhelmingly B2B oriented as it relates to the customer base for product or service being acquired.

+Minnesota tech companies bought slightly more than they sold; MN:MN increased


+Asset = Product (45) vs. Service (15) vs. both/blended (8)

+Hardware saw a big jump in 2017, healthtech remains hyperactive, IT Consulting/Management services is consistently steady, while technology around supply chain, security, and manufacturing stand out.

*All source deals/data used in this report can be found chronological here; contact us [email protected] to inquire about purchasing the complete spreadsheet dataset of all transactions for year 2012-2017.