Nearly one-third of businesses globally expect to grow through M&A over the next three years, up from 28% in 2012, concludes a new research from professional services firm Grant Thornton.
In the report ‘Dynamic businesses at the forefront of M&A activity’ the global accounting and consulting firm assessed the M&A expectations of more than 12,500 businesses across 45 economies. The results show that against the backdrop of further economic recovery the number of mergers & acquisitions is expected to rise. In North America 47% of the surveyed businesses indicate to consider acquiring or merging with other firms to realize growth plans, 10% more than in the previous year. Also in Europe and Latin America the view towards M&A is positive, with Asia-Pacific as the only exception (-6%).
Looking deeper into the results reveals that the M&A apetite differs across sectors. In for instance the professional services sector nearly half of the businesses (47%) will in the coming years eye an M&A target, while in a number of sectors (e.g. transport, food & beverage) the apetite is half that of the accountants, consultants, lawyers or other service providers.
Mike Hughes, global leader for M&A at Grant Thornton: "The global increase in forecast M&A activity is another sign that the recovery is on a firmer footing and that the focus of businesses is moving away from simply staying afloat towards a growth agenda. The fact that businesses are actually investing time and funding into investigating acquisitions now, rather than just stating an aspiration to acquire in the future, is a great indicator of a robust market."