Fourth Annual Survey Finds Businesses are Primed for Growth and Looking to Mergers and Acquisitions as a Key Workforce Development Strategy

October 8, 2018

Harris Williams, a preeminent middle market investment bank focused on the advisory needs of clients worldwide for more than 25 years, releases proprietary M&A research conducted as part of an exclusive partnership with Inc., the only major media brand dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies. This is the fourth year Harris Williams and Inc. have partnered to conduct research among business leaders. The study, fielded by Inc. and Harris Williams, surveyed more than 400 CEOs and senior business leaders of privately held, high growth companies, including those that have been recognized on the Inc. 5000 lists.

The research provides insight into companies across a wide range of industries about near-term plans for M&A and perceptions of the prospects for their businesses. The results show that more than nine in 10 say they were considering a transaction over the next three years and seven in 10 say that M&A is more important today than it has been in the recent past. Sixty percent said they would consider making an acquisition, while 44 percent said they would be interested in a sale.

With unemployment levels hovering around four percent, the stock markets at or close to all-time highs, and the president delivering on his promise of corporate tax cuts, levels of optimism among the respondents were enormously high.

  • Nearly nine in 10 business leaders (89 percent) say they are very optimistic or optimistic about business prospects in 2018, up from 76 percent last year
  • Ninety-six percent of those polled say their sales are on the rise
  • Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) say that sales revenue will increase by 10 to 99 percent this year, while 14 percent expect sales growth to exceed 100 percent
  • Twenty-nine percent anticipate more than 100 percent sales growth over the next five years

“High-quality companies continue to grow. There’s room to run and no reason to believe that’s going to stop and go the other way in the near term,” notes Jason Bass, a managing director at Harris Williams.

Please click here to review the full white paper analyzing the research results, which is published on Harris Williams’ website.

Harris Williams (www.harriswilliams.com), a subsidiary of the PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE:PNC), is a preeminent middle market investment bank focused on the advisory needs of clients worldwide.  The firm has deep industry knowledge, global transaction expertise, and an unwavering commitment to excellence.  Harris Williams provides sell-side and acquisition advisory, restructuring advisory, board advisory, private placements, and capital markets advisory services.

Investment banking services are provided by Harris Williams LLC, a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC, and Harris Williams & Co. Ltd, which is a private limited company incorporated under English law with its registered office at 5th Floor, 6 St. Andrew Street, London EC4A 3AE, UK, registered with the Registrar of Companies for England and Wales (registration number 07078852). Harris Williams & Co. Ltd is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Harris Williams is a trade name under which Harris Williams LLC and Harris Williams & Co. Ltd conduct business.