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2015 Mergers & Acquisitions Outlook Survey

October 30, 2015

Dykema has released the results of its 2015 Mergers & Acquisitions Outlook Survey, the firm’s 11th annual survey of leading company executives and outside advisors in the M&A space. As with preceding installments, this year’s survey canvassed senior executives—CEOs, CFOs and other professionals involved in M&A activities with their respective firms—to gauge their insights and perspectives on the mergers and acquisitions market in the coming 12 months.

Survey respondents from more than a dozen sectors, such as automotive, industrial and manufacturing, health care and technology, answered questions about how the U.S. economy and domestic and global matters will impact the M&A market. It should be noted that respondents took this year’s survey in late August and early September, which was a period of heavy turmoil for world markets amid a year of high-flying M&A numbers, led by some megadeals, which put 2015 on a pace close to M&A’s record year of 2007.

With the timing of the survey likely playing a factor in responses, evidence of waning optimism among dealmakers was apparent despite the strong M&A pace of 2015. Key findings from this year’s survey:

  • Just 37 percent of respondents said they believed M&A activity would strengthen in the next 12 months – down from 59 percent of respondents in last year’s survey. Twenty percent said they expect the market to weaken, compared with just nine percent of respondents last year. Meanwhile, fewer than half (48 percent) of respondents were bullish about the U.S. economy overall for the next 12 months, compared with 62 percent in 2014.
  • Respondents again picked health care as the sector they’re most bullish about for the next 12 months. Forty-five percent of respondents said they expect the current pace of health care M&A to continue beyond 2017.
  • Seventy-two percent expect M&A involving privately owned business to increase in the next year, though that was down from 82 percent in 2014’s findings. Those kinds of results – a mixture of muted optimism, some uncertainty and small increases in pessimism -- were common in this year’s report.

To read the complete summary of Dykema’s 2015 Mergers & Acquisitions Outlook Survey, please click here.