A recent article in Fortune magazine sums up what we have been experiencing at Generational since the middle of 2020: The demand for deals to acquire from buyers of businesses is at an all-time high and shows no signs of letting up. This is the data from a Fortune article entitled, “M&A Activity has Already Blown Past the $2 Trillion Mark in a Record-Breaking 2021”:
So far in 2021, global mergers and acquisitions have totaled a record $2.4 trillion, up 158% from the same period last year, according to a Refinitiv Deals Intelligence report out Wednesday. That marks the highest year-to-date total going back to 1980 when Refinitiv’s records began (the first quarter was also a banner few months for M&A).
“As the surging stock market continues to drive confidence, and interest rates remain at record lows making borrowing for acquisitions cheap, dealmaking continues at a dramatic pace,” Lucille Jones, a Deals Intelligence analyst at Refinitiv, wrote alongside the report. At some firms, there has been anecdotal evidence to suggest this forward calendar [year] is out of control in terms of deal demand.
Our YTD data indicates another record year for Generational since the number of deals we have closed so far this year is up 55% over last year – and last year was a record for our firm as well!
So our data concurs with Fortune’s in that 2021 will most likely be a record year for M&A activity overall.
The key question you need to ask is this: What could slow this seller’s market down? The second paragraph in the quote above mentions “confidence” and one major factor that can water that confidence down: Interest rates. As we mentioned in our post on 8.2.21:
Federal Reserve officials signaled they expect to raise interest rates by late 2023, sooner than they anticipated in March, as the economy recovers rapidly from the effects of the pandemic and inflation heats up. Their median projection showed they see lifting their benchmark rate to 0.6% from near zero by the end of 2023. In March they had expected to hold it steady through that year. The Fed’s change in tone and new forecasts were “a wake-up call to the market” about the central bank’s likely response to higher inflation.
Since nearly every transaction has some portion of the purchase price financed, interest rates can play a key factor in impacting the time it takes to get deals done and the number of buyers that are actively in the market at any given time. Given the fact that inflation is rearing its ugly head in nearly every facet of the economy right now, it is plausible to assume that the Fed may act even sooner to raise rates.
So if you own a company today, and are even contemplating an exit in the next few years, the time is ripe for you to learn as much as you can about the importance of timing in an exit strategy. A great place to start is at a Generational Growth and Exit Strategy Conference. Even if you have been to one before, trends change rapidly and the more knowledge you can gain today will only help you going forward. Here are some helpful links to get you started:
Carl Doerksen is the Director of Corporate Development at Generational Equity.
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We knew it would be a difficult task to have someone really understand our business and our market, prior to researching a possible buyer, so it was imperative that we found someone of your caliber, with definite proven experience in this area.Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
We thank you Eric and Generational Equity making our dream come true.Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
I would like to thank you and your firm, Generational Equity, for being our valued advisors in our journey.Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
Generational Equity educated and informed us – so that we could be on the upside of a good decision (to sell).Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
I quickly recognized that Don was working for Sharpe Mixers above all else, and held our interests above others.Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
Generational Equity’s assistance was invaluable in compiling and marketing our business.Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
Michael worked tirelessly, He followed every lead meticulously and urgently to make sure nothing was missed.Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
Dear Chris and Andre, I just wanted to say thanks for all your help. Even though this process was not an easy one, it was comforting to know that I had a capable team standing beside me. You made me feel like we were almost your only client or at least the most important one. Thanks again, and I will recommend your service in the future.Shenille Engelhart, Owner – CLS Technology
Bruce and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Generational Equity for assigning Musa Jagne to our transaction. In Bruce’s words, “Musa did one hell of a job for us!”Karen S. Williams, CFO, BW Manufacturing
Tom Staszak is one of the most professional people I have dealt with in my last forty years of business. You’ve got a great group of people and you have built a truly professional organization.Michael J Polarek, President, Paragon Packaging
T.D., thank you so much! You are a great leader! I love how you are using your gifts and talents to better others. You are clearly a GREAT COACH! This 3 day session undoubtedly changed the future of our business, and very well may have been the sole catalyst to save my company, my health and my marriage! A genuine “thank you” from the bottom of my heart.Bryan D. Horn, Owner, Over Under Clothing
The help you provided us during each step of this process made us feel very comfortable and confident we were selecting the right approach to transition our Company.Andy Graham, Vice President, Modern Heating & Plumbing
Thank you again for all your guidance and support. Any company will achieve what they intend, if they have you on their team!Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
I couldn’t have asked for a better team than Michael and Deborah. We couldn’t have done it without them.Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
I am pleased that I was able to work with Andrew Byrd throughout this experience. From the first meeting we had in Minneapolis I felt that I was in good hands. His knowledge and expertise is second to none. He guided the process consistently throughout. I feel lucky that I was pared with Andrew and could not be happier that I chose Generational Equity to handle this major life event. Thank you Andrew and GenEq for everything!Eric Erlandson, Owner, Action Fastenings, Inc.
We were happy to see the interest in our company and what we cherished has not just a valuable company but an important company to the communities we served in.Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
I wanted to write you a quick letter to express our appreciation and our delight on the outcome of helping us through the process of our recent sale. We are very happy with the end result, and are very happy to be able to move forward with all of our future growth plans.Terry D. Wickman, President, Keytroller
I need to say an immense thank you to Don Ho for his stellar work ethic, attention to detail, and tireless effort. Also thank you to the whole crew at GE! Without you, Don could not do such a phenomenal job. We were shooting for closing and funding before the end of 2020, due to the uncertainty of the political landscape and taxes. I am happy to report we closed last week and will be funding tomorrow.Dr. Caty J. Catron PhD, RN, VA-BC – Owner, Vic The Picc, LLC
Thanks again Phil and feel free to have a future client call me if they would like a referral. You are a true professional!Andy Graham, Vice President, Modern Heating & Plumbing
Your wisdom and experience were invaluable to me during this once-in-a-lifetime transaction.Ralph Noblin, President of Noblin & Associates
We are very happy with the end result, and are very happy to be able to move forward with all of our future growth plans.Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
The process was much more involved than I expected and your help, experience and advice was a big factor in making the negotiations go as smoothly as possible.Terry D. Wickman, President, Keytroller
I must say that I have never worked with a more driven, competent and focused individual as Don Ho.Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
We will highly recommend Generational Equity and Musa Jagne to any business owner about to embark on the same process.Karen S. Williams, CFO, BW Manufacturing
Greetings Mike. Thank you for the captivating and compelling presentation you made at the Phoenix presentation last week. Over many years in business yours was the most informative and well-presented presentation, on any subject, that I have ever attended! Your energy and enthusiasm combined with your concise and captivating support of your positions with easily understood examples and data was compelling.Pete L.
We are extremely pleased with the way Generational Equity handled the sale of our company. Your associates, Tom and Chris, did an outstanding job of getting us (me) through the process.Michael J Polarek, President, Paragon Packaging
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