October 12, 2017

Survey: Private Companies Give “Thumbs Up” to M&A

This Harris Williams survey reports that interest in M&A among private companies continues to rise. The survey solicited input from more than 400 CEOs and senior business leaders of privately held, high growth companies.  Here are some of the key findings:

– 95% of survey respondents are interested in M&A over the next three years – up from 81% in 2015.

– 65% said they were interested in acquiring other companies, compared to only 38% in 2015.

– 52% said they would consider selling and 36% would consider a merger.

The survey highlights one characteristic that distinguishes private companies from many of their public peers when it comes to M&A – the priority they place on the interests of their employees:

Whether it’s through selling their company or making an acquisition, a matter of great importance to entrepreneurs during a transaction is the effect on their employees. While receiving the best possible price was respondents’ first concern in a transaction, employee stability was a strong second. Indeed, the share of business owners who cite stability for their employees during a transaction as their top concern has increased almost five points over the past year, to 19%. A similar share (18%) reported that maintaining their company’s culture is a top concern.

The rising interest in M&A is driven in part by CEOs positive views about their own businesses – 83% said that they’re performing at or above budget, and 58% said that they intend to expand hiring during 2017.

John Jenkins