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15th Annual Mergers & Acquisitions Outlook Survey

WSG Michigan member, Dykema, recently published their 15th annual 2019 Mergers & Acquisitions Outlook survey which tracks the marketplace to gauge the direction of the M&A market and economy for the coming year. The survey polled leading company executives and outside advisors in the M&A space regarding their observations and insights into how the U.S. economy and domestic and global matters will impact the M&A market. The survey respondents represent a cross-section of M&A professionals and advisers in a diverse group of professions and more than a dozen sectors, including automotive, energy, food and beverage, health care, retail, technology, industrial/manufacturing and financial services. Respondents represent companies with annual revenues from less than $1 million to more than $1 billion.

Survey Highlights Include:

  • Outlook on M&A Optimism and Pessimism

    33% of respondents were positive about deal-making in the U.S. (down from 65 percent in 2018).
    36% were neutral and 32% were negative. General U.S. economic conditions was the greatest changing driver of U.S. M&A activity this year, ahead of availability of capital, the top choice in the last six surveys. Financial market performance also went up as a driver.

  • Concerns About the Broader Economy

    What respondents think about the broader economy closely resembles what they think about the future of M&A. 38% were positive, 34% were neutral and 28% were negative.

  • Political Uncertainty, China Top of Mind

    The top two threats to M&A activity were trade tensions with China and U.S. political uncertainty. But, respondents expect U.S. dealmakers to focus on China for M&A activity, despite ongoing trade tensions.

  • Shape of Deals to Come

    Sentiment about M&A activity involving privately owned businesses is fairly strong, with 58% expecting it to increase in the next year (but down from 82% in 2018).

  • Industries to Watch

    Automotive was the first for the second year in a row and health care moved up two spots from 2018.

To view the full survey and results, click here.

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WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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