What do the next 12 months hold?
M&A 2024 Outlook
What’s in this survey report from Dykema:
Dealmakers continue to find solid footing in today’s U.S. M&A market, adapting to a strained financing environment, stubborn inflation and higher interest rates by increasing their use of creative financing arrangements and focusing on add-on and smaller deals. And while the soaring deal volume of 2022 has wound down by almost a third, business leaders anticipate a steady deal market in the year ahead.
Dykema’s 19th annual M&A survey, based on responses from more than 260 executives and financial advisers, shines a light on this persistent resilience. The majority of respondents (57%) expect the U.S. M&A market to strengthen in the next 12 months, down just eight percentage points from 2022. Meanwhile, a quarter of dealmakers — nearly double the share from last year’s survey — believe the market will remain the same, and only 18% expect it to weaken versus 22% from 2022. The tempered outlook seems to reflect a growing consensus that despite few bright spots in the M&A market and broader U.S. economy, dealmakers can expect much of what they saw in 2023 to continue into 2024.
“Despite increasing financial and economic pressures, dealmakers are embracing the old adage that ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way,’ and their will appears strong,” said Jeffrey Gifford, co-leader of Dykema’s corporate and finance practice and member of the outlook survey team.
A few key findings:
- 72% of dealmakers expect to be involved in a transaction where the buyer or target company is screened for ESG.
- 67% anticipate that regulators will increase their scrutiny of M&A deals, and antitrust enforcement persists as a real issue.
- 70% of respondents expect to spend more time in due diligence, continuing 2023’s trend of slowdowns in deal completion.