Global M&A activity totaled $3.79 trillion last year, with technology mergers and acquisitions accounting for $612 billion, according to Scott Cooley, principal at Cooley Consulting.Speaking at the 10th Annual SourceMedia Mortgage Technology Conference, Tempe, Ariz., Mr. Cooley said most technology buyers looking for an acquisition target are in the market for return on investment, strategic, or cross-sell opportunities. They are seeking to fill a hole in their current offering, to roll up like firms, or to buy a technology provider instead of building that technology on their own, he said. In the M&A process, Mr. Cooley stressed the importance of talking to every potential buyer; creating a company book with all the company's trade secrets for use by potential buyers; giving certain buyers special treatment; and qualifying the buyer on a variety of levels. The successful acquisition, according to Mr. Cooley, includes developing a stronger management team, properly evaluating joint business plans, taking advantage of synergies, and proving out growth.

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