Survey Finds Significant Increase in M&A Interest from Leaders of Privately Held Companies, According to Harris Williams & Co.

Nearly 95% of Business Leaders are Interested in M&A and Timing is Underscored as a Key Consideration
October 13, 2016

Harris Williams & Co., a preeminent middle market investment bank focused on the advisory needs of clients worldwide for 25 years, releases proprietary research about M&A 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 second year Harris Williams & Co. and Inc. have partnered to conduct research. The study, fielded by Inc. and Harris Williams & Co., surveyed nearly 500 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 middle market companies across a wide range of industries about near-term plans for M&A and their current sentiment toward the market, among other things. The results show that nearly 95% of survey respondents are interested in M&A over the next three years, up from approximately 81% last year. The majority of respondents, nearly 58%, indicated that they consider the M&A market to be healthy. The growing interest in M&A suggests that middle market business leaders are interested in taking advantage of macro-trends within the marketplace. In the survey, respondents with prior M&A experience were asked to share advice for future transactions and, interestingly, timing was the prevailing theme. Similarly, timing was a key consideration for those who had been approached by a preemptive buyer. Results also showed roughly a 30% increase in popularity of private equity groups as a preferred type of investor. Please click here to review the full whitepaper analyzing the research results, which is published on Harris Williams & Co.’s website.

“The research findings provide a deeper understanding of the drivers of M&A for growing companies and how management teams perceive current market conditions,” said John Neuner, a managing director at Harris Williams & Co. “Partnering with Inc. to survey business leaders from privately held companies for a second time provides the firm with a unique opportunity to provide relevant insight to investors and buyers and to be a great resource for business leaders.”

Harris Williams & Co. (, a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE:PNC), is a preeminent middle market investment bank focused on the advisory needs of clients worldwide and has been executing transactions for nearly 25 years. The firm has deep industry knowledge, global transaction expertise, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. Harris Williams & Co. 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 authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  Harris Williams & Co. is a trade name under which Harris Williams LLC and Harris Williams & Co. Ltd conduct business.