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Confidence in global M&A activity remains high

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Confidence in global M&A activity remains high

Healthcare, technology and telecoms expected to lead deal activity in North America.

For the past three years, dealmakers have been increasingly bullish about deal activity, only to be disappointed by the tepid recovery in M&A.  Will 2014 be the year the optimism proves correct? 

According to a new survey by corporate communications firm Brunswick Group, confidence in the global M&A landscape remains high for 2014, encouraged by greater confidence among CEOs and in the Board room, overall improving economic conditions and a buoyant stock market.  With several mega-deals already announced in the first quarter of 2014, including Facebook's proposed $16 billion acquisition of WhatsApp, Comcast's proposed $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable, and Actavis' proposed $25 billion acquisition of Forest Laboratories, advisors have reason to be encouraged.

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"On the back of a flat year in 2013, this year is off to a strong start, and the consensus among M&A practitioners is that deal activity is picking up."

Almost all North American-based advisors believe M&A volume will increase (83%) or stay the same (15%) this year.  Dealmakers in Europe and Greater China are even more bullish on deal activity in their local regions than last year, with 72% and 74% of advisors polled, respectively, predicting an uptick.

"On the back of a flat year in 2013, this year is off to a strong start, and the consensus among M&A practitioners is that deal activity is picking up," said Steven Lipin, senior partner, Brunswick Group. "The survey also revealed that dealmakers expect the use of stock as a currency to climb amid a buoyant stock market, and continued deal interference by activists."

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