Frank Quattrone, the mustachioed dealmaker that helped generate multi-billion bidding wars for clients 3Par and DataDomain, says the technology industry is ripe for more acquisitions.
The reason is simple: a top tier of tech companies have loads of cash in their coffers and many of those companies are interested in buying a much broader range of companies than in the past, Quattrone explained during a rare public speaking engagement at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.
“Instead of having one or two buyers within each sector, now if you’re a networking company you might be bought not just by Cisco, but by Oracle, by IBM, by Dell, by HP, now there are five or six big companies that want to buy almost no matter what you are,” he said.
Quattrone, who faced charges of interfering with an investigation into IPO kickbacks during the dotcom boom days (the first trial ended in deadlock, the second trial’s conviction was thrown out on appeal, and a third trial was avoided when he reached a deferred prosecution deal), has led the technology world’s most remarkable second-act since Steve Jobs returned to Apple.
Quattrone told the audience on Wednesday that he went through a period of “soul searching” before starting his new firm, Qatalyst Partners, in 2008, during which he considered getting into everything from private equity to clean tech.