IT industry growth makes for wild ride

The companies that made it onto our list of the top 10 acquisitions of 2005 are a diverse lot.

Three are owned by companies outside the United States. Two are backed by equity capital groups. Two are employee-owned, though one of those probably won't be in six months if its initial public offering succeeds. Two are publicly traded companies, and one is still owned by its founder.

Shiv Krishnan's company, Indus Corp., is the smallest in the top 10, but it probably embodies the biggest hopes and aspirations.

As Krishnan told Staff Writer Ethan Butterfield, he wants his company to remain independent and grow from about $100 million in revenue to $250 million. Then he'll have several options: sell, keep growing on its own, or maybe go the IPO route.

In short, he wants to control his destiny.

But not everyone can do that, or so many companies wouldn't be hitting the auction block. On the other hand, for many executives, a sale is the best route to ensure the organization they've built continues growing.

Those executives are a lot like my parents, who spent years building a successful restaurant, only to realize the business had outgrown them. Like many of the companies on our list of 2005 transactions, my parents crafted an exit strategy and retired. While the new owners have done things that my parents never would have, there's little doubt they are investing as much of their heart into the business as they have their money. I don't believe anyone selling their business could ask for anything more.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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