The 2017 North American middle market (enterprise value between $10 million and $250 million) M&A environment was a strong one, exhibiting all time high transaction multiples and a high volume of cash-flush strategic and financial buyers creating a high demand for deals. Capital availability was also at an all time high since before the economic recession. This data suggests that 2018 should be another strong year for small to middle market M&A transactions, with a possible slow down as we near 2019.
2017 saw a strong foreign presence in the middle M&A market, accounting for 22% of the whole buyer base. Continuing the trend of foreign buyers exceeding 20% of the total buyers for the past 6 quarters. As mentioned in our Q3 2017 report, this is mainly due to the continued strength of the American economy especially when compared to the economies of these foreign buyers.
Looking to 2018 the proposed tax reforms will provide additional cash to corporations which could increase expenditures toward growth through acquisition opportunities, which will in turn keep the middle M&A market going strong. We should see this trend especially well among strategic buyers.
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Rachael Holstein joined the Transworld Team in 2016 as Marketing Coordinator. Her working experience has been largely focused on Business Development and Marketing in the finance, architecture, property management, and information technology industries. A long time resident of Cleveland, Ohio, she attained her Undergrad from John Carroll University and a Master’s Degree in Global Interactions from Cleveland State University. She relocated to Denver in 2013 for a change of scenery and a bit of adventure.