‘Time to sell’, businesses told

Activity in the merger and acquisitions (M&A) may have reached its peak and now might be the ideal time to sell, it has been claimed.

Research, conducted by Global M&A, a partnership of investment banking boutiques, suggests that valuations have peaked and that investor confidence is divided.

Therefore, the best time to sell a business is ‘sooner rather than later’ as it seems unlikely that the M&A market environment is going to become more conducive for sellers, the report claims.

However, it is also suggested that any slowdown in M&As will not necessarily be ‘prolonged or profound’ as record levels of private equity fund-raising look set to drive activity for some time yet.

The survey’s authors also predicts that ‘cross border M&A deals’ are increasingly likely to take place in Eastern Europe and even in Turkey, as the US and European markets are regarded as ‘increasingly congested and overvalued’.

Jeremy Furniss, a partner at Livingstone Guarantee, Global M&A’s UK partner, said: “Global mid market M&A is at an intriguing stage.

“Despite a perception among some that the market might be slowing and concerns that auctions have driven company valuations too high, we remain cautiously optimistic about the prospects for company sellers over the next 12 months.”

The research focused on cross-border deals with enterprise values of between …25m and …250m.

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2006

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