2017 saw a higher number of smaller acquisitions.
Global M&A value remained flat at $3.6 trillion while the number of deals increased by 3% to 49,448 when compared to 2016. Average deal size reached $73 million, a 3% decrease. In the US deal value dropped by 16% while the number of deals rose by 14%. Average deal size decreased by 26% to $109 million.
The most striking observation from 2017 has been the high number of middle market and small deals executed, which we can see from the drop in average deal size, especially in the US. There are few factors driving this trend including the high amount of cash held by publicly-held US non-utility, non-bank corporations, corporate divestitures, which create opportunity for middle market acquirers, and the number of small business owners over the age of 60 looking to sell. With these deal drivers in play and with the new US tax regulation, we will likely see an uptick in M&A activity as corporations repatriate cash for acquisitions in 2018. Check out our infographic for a closer look.