Outlook for US M&A and PE in changing times- state of the market
According to Mergermarket data, US M&A was worth US$309.58 billion in Q3- a marked decrease from the previous two years. The decline of M&A value and volume in the US was exacerbated by rising interest rates, soaring inflation and geopolitical uncertainties. With economic and geopolitical headwinds, however, come opportunities, A reset in valuations, the availability of capital and the competitiveness from cash-rich corporates will provide impetus for deal activity. Our panel of M&A and PE experts will unpack the current deal landscape, discuss current trends in the market and provide an overview of the macroeconomic climate in the US.
- How will macroeconomic factors, including interest rate volatility, supply chain issues and inflation impact corporate activity in the region?
- Have dealmakers seen a shift in opportunities and the types of deals they have been working on?
- Will corporate divestitures be on the rise in 2023, and will we see more take-privates and carve-outs as valuations continue to decline?
- Where do the bright spots remain, and what are the challenges that lie ahead from both a financial sponsor and strategic corporate perspective?
Buyouts: Financing, fund deployment and valuation trends
According to a joint report conducted by Mergermarket and Debtwire, buyout activity amounted to 752 deals worth USD 276.9 billion in the first 9 months of 2022, down 25.6% compared to 2021. Against this challenging backdrop, PE managers will have to navigate the tension between increased volatility versus record levels of dry power (US$1.2 trillion in the US alone) and the requirement to deploy capital. However, PE firms remain well equipped to seize quality assets and financing opportunities and employ creative approaches towards deployment. A panel of the biggest buyout managers in the market will discuss dealmaking during a time of market volatility, and how they are continuing to capture opportunities for long-term strategic growth.
- What are the main drivers of deal flow in the US? Which regions and sectors still show promising growth in the next six months?
- How are GPs evolving to adapt to current market conditions, such as adapting more creative methods of deploying capital?
- How are co-investment fund managers finding deals in the current environment?
- Are GPs preferring to buy rather than sell due to sunken valuations?
- How are managers preparing for a tougher fundraising environment as we head into 2023?
Presentation: Common Carve-out Pitfalls and Value Add Opportunities
A perspective on areas to focus in a carve-outs and common missed opportunities or pitfalls.
The future of ESG- trends, best practice and value creation
Globally, ESG continues to be an important topic for GPs, LPs, and dealmakers alike, and impact and sustainability funds have continued to gain traction in the US market. Concerns about greenwashing, however, are on the rise, with ESG becoming increasingly politicized in the US, and scrutiny in the industry is rising as the SEC looks to enhance climate and ESG disclosure standards. Our group of ESG experts will take stock of the market and discuss ESG investing from a value creation and risk mitigation perspective and offer their insights into the best opportunities available.
- ESG as a key driver of value- what are GPs and dealmakers doing to put ESG at the heart of their business strategies?
- From an investor perspective, are LPs expectations towards ESG shifting?
- What are some potential greenwashing risks and how can GPs avoid this?
- Next steps- how will ESG continue to drive investment strategies and deal activity as we move into 2023?
Exits: an evolving landscape
Given current economic conditions, US PE firms are likely to navigate the exit market vis-a-vis more unique approaches. In a bid to get liquidity for their LPs, and with the IPO market effectively down, trade sales to strategic players have increased, and buyouts and take-privates have also been outpacing exits. On the venture capital side, investors are thinking of M&A as an exit opportunity as well- with more activity in this area higher compared to the past few years. Our panel of GPs and M&A experts will discuss their strategies in this space.
- Are GPs under pressure to sell, or are some firms taking a wait-and-see-approach?
- Given the dramatic decline in IPOs, what are some creative strategies GPs have used to exit, including trade sales, secondary transaction exits and selling to strategic buyers ?
- Will there be a rise in traditional auction process-led M&A?
- Will the exit market pick up pace in 2023?
Sector focus: TMT- mind the valuation gap
While the first half of 2022 continued to be strong for technology M&A in the US, deal activity plunged in the second half of the year. Despite this, technology M&A continues to attract the highest value and volume across all sectors, with a total of 513 PE transactions in the third quarter of 2022 worth US$88.8 billion, according to Mergermarket data. Volatility in the previous year has negatively impacted technology startup valuations and venture capital investment, creating valuation gaps between buyers and sellers, and it is likely that acquirers will be looking to capitalize on this pricing reset. Our panel of dealmakers and experts will discuss the opportunity set.
- Market outlook-have lower technology valuations led to more opportunistic technology acquisitions in the US, and are strategic buyers acquiring early-stage companies?
- Which tech industries have seen the most activity in the past 6 months?
- Will we see an increase in divestitures, shedding of non-core assets and take-privates?
- Transformational M&A- what are some recent examples of companies that have acquired new technologies to enhance their capabilities?
- In light of recent events, how might technology deals and valuations be impacted going forwards?
LP insights- asset allocation in times of volatility
With $3.6 trillion of dry powder globally, the private equity market is well-positioned ride out current market dislocations and prepare for recovery. Despite the challenges, LPs remain committed, with many investors overallocated towards private equity. However, slowing exits and the prospect of a recession is prompting LPs to rethink commitments in the short term. A panel of top LPs will share their views on capital allocation and portfolio construction in the region during volatile times.
- What constraints are LPs facing, and what are the top LP concerns affecting allocation decisions in 2023?
- What strategies and sectors are investors prioritizing as they navigate the current market, such as lower and mid-market buyouts?
- Given the crowded fundraising market, do we expect to see more competition for LP allocations, and will LPs choose to prioritize re-ups over new GP relationships?
- Will investors tread cautiously in the next 12 months amidst macroeconomic uncertainty?
End of conference and networking drinks
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