Insights & Info

Insights > Intralinks Predicts First Quarter Growth in Merger and Acquisition Activity

Intralinks Predicts First Quarter Growth in Merger and Acquisition Activity

By Generational Equity

Digital Plans

For the past few years, we have used the Intralinks Deal Flow Predictor (DFP) as a key indicator of pending M&A activity. Intralinks is in a unique position to gauge future deal activity since they are a global technology provider of secure enterprise content collaboration solutions. One area of specialization that they provide is creating and managing virtual data rooms (VDRs) for M&A firms.

For several years, they have created the DFP based on what they are seeing on their network in terms of VDR activity. They keep the information regarding who is creating the VDR confidential, but they use the activity to predict future M&A trends. And their DFP has proven to be very accurate:

Decision Economics’ analysis showed that our prediction model has a very high level of statistical significance, with a more than 99.9 percent probability that the Intralinks Deal Flow Predictor is a statistically significant six-month predictive indicator of announced deal data, as subsequently reported by Thomson Reuters.

Anything with that level of predictability is clearly in line with reality and we have found the DFP to be accurate, in our practice too, as a gauge of potential growth.

I was quite pleased to see their predictions of M&A announcements for the first quarter of 2017:

Based on the number of announced deals in the first nine months of this year, together with the volume of early-stage M&A activity that we saw in Q3 2016, our predictive model is forecasting that the global number of announced deals in Q1 2017 will be around 5 percent higher than in Q1 2016. Our model is also predicting that the global number of announced deals in FY 2016 will be around 3 percent higher than FY 2015. This would make 2016 the new peak year for the number of global deal announcements, surpassing the previous peak year of 2007.

We have two pieces of good news in this update. First, 2016, despite economic and political uncertainty (especially in relation to the U.S. presidential election), will most likely end up a solid year in M&A deal making; we are seeing that in our own practice. Although we are slightly behind in deal closings at the beginning of December 2016, compared to the same YTD numbers for 2015 (a record year for us), the number of clients we have under dual-signed LOI (letter of intent – a good indicator that the deal will close) is up over 40% compared to last year.

Does the Seller’s Market Continue?

As with any industry, you never count a deal until it closes. However, the fact that we are 40% over last year in dual-signed LOIs is clearly a good indicator that our current seller’s market continues. This is further confirmed by the second piece of good news in the paragraph above: The Intralinks DFP for the 1st quarter of 2017 indicates an increase of 5% over last year. This is interesting given that the 1st quarter is usually the lightest quarter in deal making of the entire year. So, a predicted 5% increase in activity in the 1st quarter is good news indeed and bodes well for the entirety of 2017.

Of course, now that the presidential election is settled and the expected playing field is outlined, based on input from a number of sources, it is safe to assume that optimism and confidence in the economy will only make dealmakers even more active in 2017.

We look forward to future Intralinks DFP updates as 2017 proceeds and are confident that the first quarter will be an indicator of a robust year.

If you would like to learn more about how M&A activity can impact your business and your future financial goals, reach out to us and find out how to attend one of our highly educational M&A conferences that we hold throughout North America. These are designed to help business owners learn a significant amount of information about current exit planning trends and can be quite useful to you as you begin to consider your exit options. To learn more, follow these helpful links:

By Carl Doerksen, Director of Corporate Development at Generational Equity.

© 2021 Generational Equity, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Make an informed decision

The best decisions in life are informed decisions. We release educational business insights like this every week. Subscribe to make sure you don’t miss the latest news, views and analysis.


Success, you have been added to our list.

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
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
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
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 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 thank you Eric and Generational Equity making our dream come true.
Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
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
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
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
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.
Generational Equity’s assistance was invaluable in compiling and marketing our business.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Your wisdom and experience were invaluable to me during this once-in-a-lifetime transaction.
Ralph Noblin, President of Noblin & Associates
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
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
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.
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.
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
I would like to thank you and your firm, Generational Equity, for being our valued advisors in our journey.
Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
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.