Mergermarket M&A Forum - Chicago 2022

The must-attend event for the M&A community in the US!

Convene 311 West Monroe, Chicago


08:00 - 09:15

Registration and breakfast

10:00 - 10:45

Opening panel: Dealmakers outlook

North American M&A continued its downward slide in the second quarter as the Federal Reserve’s rate hikes to curb inflation and the rising prospect of recession kept dealmakers on the sidelines. But despite that there were still more than 2,000 transactions worth USD 500.6bn inked in those three months. Private equity has plenty of dry-powder, and many strategics have built strong balance-sheets, promising fascinating battles for the new wave of opportunities that lie ahead. Our panel of leading dealmakers will discuss the current trends, top transactions, and deal flow in the year ahead.

  • Will the changing macro environment halt the M&A market or open up new opportunities?
  • What are the current trends in North American M&A, and where are the deals coming from?
  • Which are the next big sectors, and how should investors approach these opportunities?
  • Who will win the next phase of the perennial battle between corporate and financial acquirers?
10:45 - 11:15

Coffee Break

11:15 - 12:00

Panel: Integrating ESG into the dealmaking process

The importance of ESG in the M&A market has continued to grow in 2022, from ESG-driven deal flow to increased due-diligence on everyday transactions. That growth is expected to continue for the rest of the year as more regional businesses understand the long-term value creation proposition it offers, leading to divestments and spin-offs of assets that fail to meet investor scrutiny, and acquisitions of assets that serve as solutions for ESG matters. Our panel of ESG experts will offer their insights into an area of the M&A landscape which is no longer a “nice to have” but rather, a business imperative.

  • How will ESG considerations continue to drive deal flow in the upcoming year?
  • How can M&A help corporates achieve their ESG targets?
  • How can businesses ensure that they are prepared for the increasing role of ESG issues in M&A due diligence?
  • E, S or G? After a decade dominated by environmental concerns will geo-political events change the focus to social and governance issues?
12:00 - 12:40

Panel: Cross-border M&A in a more insular world

Just when international dealmakers thought the worst of COVID-19 was behind them a new raft of geopolitical issues has risen up. How should investors respond to the new wave of security concerns and nationalism? Our panel of cross-border experts will look at both inbound and outbound across the world. 

  • Which regions and sectors are seeing the most cross-border activity?
  • As COVID-19 fades will we be going back to normal practice or are virtual deals here to stay?
  • How should investors respond to new political tensions in Europe?
  • Will growing security concerns mean the end for Chinese activity, whether inbound or outbound?
12:40 - 13:30


13:30 - 14:20

Panel: How M&A can drive digitization strategies

From the largest corporates to the heart of the middle-market technology deals continue to dominate deal-flow in 2022. But digitization is critical strategic goal for companies far beyond the traditional technology sector. Our panel of top strategists will discuss both how corporates can use M&A to solve their technological needs, and the potential pitfalls of using such a strategy.

  • Is every deal a technology deal now?
  • How should non-technology companies approach acquisitions in the technology sector?
  • What needs to be done to make such deals truly transformational?
  • What are some of the hurdles to integrating acquisitions with a technology focus?
14:20 - 15:00

Panel: Price discovery in an uncertain age

With volatility growing across all financial markets, the gap between the expectations of buyers and sellers is growing as well. Our panel of experts will explore the current balance of power, and how reality is meeting up with expectations.

  • What are the current market dynamics, and how will they change over the next 12 months?
  • What the biggest challenges in valuations in a period of uncertainty like this one?
  • Do COVID-19 adjustments to financial results still need to applied to future cashflows?
  • What price-discovery tools are available to the market?
15:00 - 15:30

Coffee Break

15:30 - 16:00


Jeff Sheban
Jeff Sheban Editor, Mergermarket
16:00 - 16:40

Panel: Opportunities and challenges in distressed M&A

As the US economy falters the first wave of restructurings is hitting the market, with US bankruptcies jumping 50% from May to June. As distress continues to impact the market what are the opportunities that presents for nimble buyers? Our panel of leading advisors will discuss the current trends, operational challenges and deal flow for the distressed market.

  • What sectors will see the most distress over the next 12 months?
  • Which of those sectors represent the best opportunities for generating long-term value, and which are traps?
  • What are the operational and legal challenges in distressed M&A vs performing M&A?
  • Is this only a play for financial sponsors or are their opportunities for corporates as well?
16:40 - 17:20

Panel: PE perspectives

The Fed’s higher-than-expected rate hikes combined with continuing uncertainty in the markets have left private equity firms extra cautious, and leveraged buyout activity dropped 53% to USD 50bn in 2Q22 compared with the same quarter a year ago. But the fall in stock market prices - the S&P 500 is down by nearly 22% and the NASDAQ by 31% - is also creating an opportunity for financial sponsors to buy assets at a discount. Our panel of leading private equity managers share their views on which trend will dominate in this uncertain market.  

  • What is the outlook for the rest of the year, including potential challenges?
  • Where are GPs finding the best opportunities?
  • What are the benefits of partnering with private equity in an M&A transaction?
  • What does a post-recession value creation plan look like from a private equity perspective?
17:20 - 17:25

Closing remarks