With 2015 being one of the best years mergers and acquisitions (M&A)-wise in quite some time, 2016 has been a colossal disappointment in comparison. But, despite the number of high value, experts and analysts are feeling pretty optimistic about the M&A outlook for 2017. Here are the latest rumblings on what to expect:
Innovation Reigns Supreme
This is not exactly new information when it comes to figuring out what it is that companies are seeking. However, the desire to invest in innovative business solutions just seems to grow stronger every year. After so many startups soared to billion dollar success, entrepreneurs the world over became more and more interested and determined to achieve a similar feat. Of course, this drive just further breeds innovation. It seems like every day amazing new things are on the horizon and many of the big name companies are eager to plunk down a lot of money to snatch it up before someone else does.
Strategic Acquisitions Wanted
In addition to augmenting existing business portfolios with products and solutions that already exist in the market, plenty of companies want to combine forces with strategic partners to further innovate in other ways. Thus, M&A will not just be about clamoring for the next big thing but finding the right firms with which to join forces in order to actually create it. This seems to be most prevalent in the realms of technology, data, and communications, but it would not be surprising if we start to see other industries trying to capitalize on these sorts of opportunities as well.
Cross-Border Activity Anticipated
Despite recent and growing fears that the concept and benefits of globalization are on the way out, there are still high expectations for robust cross-border activity. These transactions did slow down due to the uncertainty over monetary policy, Brexit, and the U.S. presidential election. However, market activity and optimism have been gradually increasing, and although the U.S. may or may not be as involved in cross-border activity, it is still expected to occur between other important players in the international economy.
All About Health Care
The one area of M&A that has been strong, and virtually every analyst predicts will continue to be so, is the healthcare sector. Generally speaking, healthcare transactions encompass insurance, hospitals, pharmaceuticals, and so many other areas, so it is not surprising that this industry continues to dominate the M&A sphere. And, given the very real possibility that the U.S. will be experiencing another major shift with regard to health care rules and regulations, it should come as no surprise that even more deals will be sought and closed.
Obviously, no one has a crystal ball and can accurately predict what will happen with the world economy, the American economy, or the geopolitical landscape. There have certainly been some major news stories, massive surprises, and historical transformations over the last year. Regardless, it is fairly safe to say that most analyses demonstrate cautious optimism when it comes to M&A.