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Middle Market M&A Transaction Size Increases as Dollar Volume Slows

By: David Carroll. This was posted Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

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Merger and acquisition transactions among private companies are down 58% compared to the first half of 2008 according to a survey released by the Alliance of Merger and Acquisition Advisors (AM &AA) http://www.amaaonline.com/, an association and credentialing body for middle market M & A professionals. The survey results for the 12 month period ending June 30, 2009, were compared to two prior survey periods: calendar year 2007, and the first half of 2008.

The interesting part of the survey indicates that, while the total number of transactions completed decreased by 44% compared to 2007 and 58% percent compared to the first half of 2008, the average dollar value of the transactions decreased by only 22% compared to 2007 and 12% compared to the first half of 2008. The average transaction size increased to $13.5 million compared to $9 million in 2007 and $7.8 million in the first half of 2008. The increase in transaction size seems to indicate that the difficulties in the credit markets have slowed smaller deals more than the larger deals in the middle market.Manufacturing continued to be the number one industry in both terms of the number of transactions and the total dollar volume.

There is no question that the past year has been a difficult time for mergers and acquisitions. Many sellers are undoubtedly waiting for a better economic environment before considering a sale of the business, while buyers are searching for bargains. By some estimates there is as much as $400 billion in private equity capital that is sitting on the sidelines waiting for the economic picture to clear. However, the loosening of credit availability will have to occur before deal momentum picks up.

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