Connect with us
Our website publishes news, press releases, opinion and advertorials on various financial organizations, products and services which are commissioned from various Companies, Organizations, PR agencies, Bloggers etc. These commissioned articles are commercial in nature. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. It does not reflect the views or opinion of our website and is not to be considered an endorsement or a recommendation. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third-party websites, affiliate sales networks, and to our advertising partners websites. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish advertised or sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a commercial article placement. We will not be responsible for any loss you may suffer as a result of any omission or inaccuracy on the website.


The Bright Spots of Opportunity Amid a Seemingly Dead Global M&A Market

The Bright Spots of Opportunity Amid a Seemingly Dead Global M&A Market

The Bright Spots of Opportunity Amid a Seemingly Dead Global M&A MarketBy Bjorn Reynolds, CEO of Safeguard Global

In a downturn economy, one might not think of M&A (mergers and acquisitions) as a vital driver of the job market and business resiliency. However, M&A activity can serve as a crystal ball for companies attempting to time the market in order to pick up other organizations and acquire the best talent that fuels growth. 

While the days of funding and valuing companies strictly based on revenue growth may be gone, the truth is that, even in times of uncertainty, good companies still exist in popular sectors who will continue to benefit from dealmaking. Those with good timing and discernment will acquire the talent and technology to achieve market dominance in the next five years. 

The End of Soaring Valuations Doesn’t Mark the End of M&A

The 2021 and 2022 M&A craze started when CEOs and founders were able to successfully navigate their organizations through the perils of the pandemic. Following initial lockdowns, private valuations soared, and the stock market seemed unstoppable. The United States saw a record 480 IPOs in 2020 topped by 1,035 in 2021. Monthly M&A soared beyond pre-pandemic levels. 

Then the Titanic strikes the iceberg. Amidst rising inflation, Russia invades Ukraine in February 2022, and the Federal Reserve starts to hike interest rates in March, denying the VC and PE (private equity) systems cheap capital to keep everything afloat. The last hurrah is May 2022, with $269.5 billion in M&A activity, followed by a sharp decline.

But the PE market doesn’t just close shop due to a worrying economy. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It still has a lot of money it wants to give out and hungry VC capitalists who will invest in strong, profitable companies – even if they’ll go about valuing them differently. And this will allow companies to go out and make acquisitions that power gains in product and customer portfolios.

The trick is to follow where valuations really skyrocketed in 2021 and where an influx of money was given out.

The ROI Behind M&A In a Downturn Economy

In a difficult economy defined by high inflation, low unemployment, humbled tech stocks, and $2.4 trillion of “dry powder” in PE funds, we should really be expecting plenty of deals looking ahead into late 2023 and 2024. Despite M&A’s dramatic slowdown in 2022, cross-border transactions also continue to offer compelling growth opportunities. But which sectors are expected to see the most activity and what’s the expected ROI for acquirers who buy up these businesses now?

Players with cash—particularly those in tech, healthcare, energy and heavy industry—can cheaply buy and monetize IP (intellectual property) from startups struggling with profitability. Alternatively, PE firms sitting on dry powder can buy and roll up several companies. There is a strong case for doing either one. According to Bain & Company, firms that were “active acquirers” before and during the 2007-2009 recession achieved higher annual average shareholder returns over the next decade compared to companies that sat it out.

Since customer acquisition tends to become tougher in a recession due to the decrease in consumption and disposable income, companies can’t rely on gaining more dollar share from existing, loyal customers. Through M&A, a company can pick up new product lines and lookalike customers, expanding the audience it sells to and the number of things it can sell to them. Amazon’s 2008 acquisition of Audible, the online audiobook and podcast service, is a great example.  

What’s more – companies may acquire technologies or even competitors that once threatened to disrupt their business. Oil and gas companies, for instance, brought in record profits in 2022 after Russian supply became inaccessible. In ten years, however, they risk having stranded assets such as EVs, emerging climate technologies and government policies reducing fossil fuel demand. This is the moment to acquire companies in EV charging, biofuels, next-gen carbon capture, and more that raised too much capital too soon and can’t regain their 2021 valuations. The founders and their VCs may be looking for a lifeboat.    

Now Is the Time to Go Build 

According to Citizen Bank’s 2023 M&A Outlook survey, 62% of middle-market company buyers name growth as their M&A motivation, compared with 48% the prior year. No one knows exactly when or how quickly the economy will sink into recession territory—or how long the PE market and companies up for grabs at lower valuations will last. The key to M&A in 2023 is timing the window where cash-burning companies need funding, but still have the option to turn into the next hottest company or unicorn.

There may not be a robust return to M&A transactions like those once seen, but 2024 is going to be the year companies use M&A to address current weaknesses and carve a path to industry leadership through size and scale. Now is the time for organizations to solidify their position in the market and focus on the growth years – whether that be 12 months, 18 months or two years from now. 

With so much innovation and growth among so many sectors, why should dealmaking end? The answer is simple – it doesn’t have to. All you must do is look at the right structure of ownership and remain prepared and ready to tailor strategies to navigate the financial, regulatory and technical complexities required when executing deals, while competitors are busy pushing on the breaks.

Global Banking & Finance Review


Why waste money on news and opinions when you can access them for free?

Take advantage of our newsletter subscription and stay informed on the go!

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Global Banking and Finance Review, Alpha House, Greater London, SE1 1LB, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Recent Post