William Blair’s Corporate Advisory team examines how shifts in the equity markets, macroeconomic environment, and M&A landscape are affecting public company board agendas for the remainder of the year.

Key takeaways

  • Despite the broadly subdued M&A environment, public company sale activity has been resilient this year. Heightened volatility in public equity valuations has created unique opportunities given the significant interest from private equity sponsors to continue to deploy capital and a desire among well-capitalized strategics to avoid losing out on must-have assets.
  • Portfolio optimization and divestiture activity remain in focus for public companies as boards continue to conduct strategic portfolio reviews. Carve-out activity has continued this year as the market rewards pure-play businesses.
  • Activism activity has remained elevated, and push-for-sale campaigns have been a particular area of focus. Many activists view this year’s market sell-off as an attractive entry point and are seeking opportunities to catalyze potential returns in the near term with robust M&A premiums.