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M&A in software testing outpaces broader IT sector


It’s been a busy year for merger activity among quality assurance and testing firms. According to research by Capstone Partners, a private equity firm, the number of mergers among software development firms in the first half of 2022 was up 27% on the number in 2021 – faster growth than in the broader technology sector. Deals are being driven by the need to keep pace with demand for upgrading legacy systems and migration to the Cloud. Demand for containerization, AI, and security technologies is likely to underpin this trend into 2023, according to Capstone.

The largest acquisition of the year among testing specialists is almost certain to be OpenText’s $6bn bid for Micro Focus, announced in August. Founded in 1976, Micro Focus has a long history in software test automation, although its share price was under significant pressure prior to bid, having falled by 37% since the start of the year. The share price doubled on the news of the agreed offer..

In February, Tricentis, the test automation firm that has competed most directly with Micro Focus over recent years, acquired Testim, a AI-based platform for UI testing.

May saw three acquisitions: Hexawise, the low-code software test automation tool was acquired by Idera, a leading software company headquartered in Texas; Perforce, parent company of test automation platform Perfecto, completed its acquisition of Puppet, the provider of cloud infrastructure automation, and Planview, a Texan portfolio management company, acquired Tasktop, the Canadian value stream management platform.

In August Level Access, the digital accessibility testing company completed its merger with eSSENTIAL Accessibility, which offers accessibility as a service, and Qualitest acquired Indian software testing company ZenQ, adding over 600 quality engineers to its team.

Most recently, Planit, the Australia-based test automation specialist, announced in early November that it will acquire Shift Left Group, a quality assurance management company based in the UK, following its strategy to become the largest specialist quality engineering service provider worldwide by 2030 through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions across the UK, Europe, and Asia. Planit also acquired New Zealand-based QA integration company Qual IT in July.

More detail on the activities of vendors in 2022 can be found in the QA Financial 100.