Our investment bankers publish timely updates on activity and trends in the advisory and financing markets. These publications provide statistical analysis and interpretation of activity in a variety of sectors.

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European Technology | June 2017

Despite rising levels of geopolitical uncertainty, European technology M&A activity continued at a robust pace in 2016. For the year, €175 billion of transactions involving European technology targets or acquirers were completed, slightly exceeding 2015’s heightened levels.

View June 2017 report

Merger Tracker | May 2017

Despite strong equity returns and accommodative debt markets, global M&A activity has slowed in 2017. In the first quarter, the number of completed transactions fell 1.1% on a year-over-year basis. Tax reforms proposed by the Trump administration, however, could spur increased dealmaking by U.S.-based corporations.

View May 2017 report

Cloud Insights | May 2017

After a small pullback in SaaS public equity valuations in the fourth quarter of 2016, the SaaS index recovered during the first three months of 2017. As a result, the SaaS IPO market sprang to life in mid-March after a five-month hiatus, with four companies making their public debuts from March 17 to April 13.

View May 2017 report

Building Technologies | May 2017

The impressive financial performance and strong, defensible market positions of building technologies companies, as well as the opportunity to continue gaining market share amid the ongoing construction recovery, have attracted significant interest from strategic acquirers and financial sponsors in recent William Blair sales processes.

View May 2017 report

Leveraged Finance | May 2017

Favorable dynamics in leveraged finance markets dating to mid-2016 accelerated in the first quarter and showed signs of continuing over the course of 2017. In the latest William Blair Leveraged Lender Survey, 95% of respondents indicated that they saw lower or stable pricing and loosening or similar terms for borrowers during the quarter.

View Q1 2017 report

ECM Quarterly | April 2017

In the first quarter of 2017, 20 IPOs priced on U.S. exchanges generating proceeds of $9.1 billion. Robust equity market returns, low volatility, and strong pricing and aftermarket returns for the first-quarter IPOs point to increased activity over the next several quarters.

View April 2017 report

Chemicals Report | March 2017

A series of megadeals, such as ChemChina’s acquisition of Syngenta and Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto, pushed M&A activity in the chemicals industry to record levels in 2016 and set the stage for ongoing dealmaking and robust valuations in 2017.

View March 2017 report

Specialty Materials | March 2017

After a record-setting 2015, M&A activity and valuations in specialty materials decreased slightly in 2016. But dealmaking in the industry continued at a healthy pace as strategic buyers aggressively pursued companies with unique products and capabilities in attractive end-markets, such as the medical industry.

View March 2017 report

Specialty Finance | March 2017

An appellate court’s ruling in PHH vs. CFPB and Republican electoral victories in November have put the future of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in doubt and set the stage for an uptick in dealmaking and capital-raising in consumer finance.

View March 2017 report

Food For Thought | February 2017

Increased focus on cost-cutting, takeover speculation, and a favorable environment for commodity prices and interest rates led to expanding P/E ratios for food and beverage companies in 2016. We examine how these trends could impact M&A activity in the industry in 2017.

View February 2017 report

Consolidation in Cloud Services Accelerates as Ecosystems Grow and Mature | February 2017

Strategic and financial acquirers have been aggressively pursuing service providers focused on salesforce.com, Workday, ServiceNow, Amazon Web Services, and other leading cloud-based platforms. We examine the trends driving activity and valuations in cloud services M&A.

View full timely industry commentary

Strong Momentum in Specialty Distribution: 2016 Year in Review | January 2017

Across end-markets, specialty distributors’ compelling business models are generating impressive growth and strong interest from financial sponsors and strategic acquirers. In 2016 alone, William Blair completed 10 specialty distribution transactions across a range of end-markets.

View full timely industry commentary

Conversion to Specialty Materials Continues to Drive Strong M&A Interest, Most Recently in Kitchen & Bath Sectors | January 2017

As more homeowners upgrade to kitchen sinks, showers, bathtubs, and washbasins made of specialty materials, the acquisitions of Marmite and SCHOCK highlight the surging interest from strategic and financial buyers in leading manufacturers of high-growth, high-margin specialty building products.

View full timely industry commentary

PLMA Observations Thought Leadership | November 2016

On the heels of the Private Label Manufacturers Association’s annual trade show, we examine the industry’s strong financial outlook, driven by growth opportunities in the U.S. market and increasingly positive consumer sentiment toward private label products.

View full timely industry commentary

Healthcare IT Trends Shaping M&A and IPO Activity in 2016 | November 2016

As the healthcare IT industry continues to mature and grow in strategic importance, companies and shareholders are seeing increased opportunities to achieve attractive valuations through being acquired or accessing public equity markets.

View full timely industry commentary

Commercial Services | October 2016

Against a backdrop of accelerating technological disruption, the commercial services industry is on pace for record-breaking M&A activity in 2016. We examine the trends that are shaping deal processes and buyer behavior in an increasingly competitive M&A landscape.

View October 2016 report

Automotive and Aftermarket | September 2016

After seven consecutive years of vehicle production growth, cyclical concerns are shaping acquisition strategies across the automotive industry. We examine these and other trends that are driving M&A activity involving original equipment suppliers and aftermarket companies.

View September 2016 report

IT Security | August 2016

As public equity markets have become less receptive and the bar to go public has gone up, IT security companies are actively pursuing alternative paths to liquidity. We examine how the exit environment in IT security has morphed in the past year.

View August 2016 report

Packaging Report | July 2016

In our annual report on the packaging industry, we examine how the ongoing shift from rigid to flexible packaging and the industry’s attractive financial characteristics are contributing to increased M&A activity, such as ProAmpac’s acquisitions of Ampac and cei in 2015. 

View July 2016 report

WasteExpo 2016: New Opportunities in an Evolving Industry | June 2016

As the waste and recycling industry continues to grow and evolve, participants at this year's WasteExpo conference in Las Vegas focused on how regulatory and market pressures are creating new opportunities across the industry.

View full timely industry commentary

Industrial Technology | June 2016

Industrial technology continues to be a growing focus for many investors. Recent global trends have increased the need for solutions that focus on automation, connectivity, and sensing.

View June 2016 report

Webinar Recap: M&A Insights From the Waste and Recycling Industry | June 2016

As M&A activity in the waste and recycling industry continues at a robust pace, Waste Advantage Magazine convened a panel of experts from across the industry to discuss the particulars of selling a business.

View full timely industry commentary

Education Technology M&A and Capital Raising Trends: Highlights From ASU GSV Summit | May 2016

In April, more than 3,700 educators, investors, executives, and entrepreneurs met to discuss how technology is reshaping the education landscape. We examine four major themes in education technology and discuss what they mean from an M&A and capital raising perspective.

View full timely industry commentary

Shifting Healthcare Landscape Drives Interest in IT Solutions for Post-Acute Care and Human Services | May 2016

Rising costs and a shift toward value-based reimbursement are increasing the importance of post-acute care (PAC) and health and human services (HHS) across the healthcare landscape. The recent Brightree and Netsmart acquisitions highlight the growing M&A interest in IT solutions focused on these end-markets.

View full timely industry commentary

Wolf-Gordon Acquisition Highlights Growing Interest in the Specialty Distribution and Building Technology Sectors | March 2016

Saw Mill Capital’s recent acquisition of Wolf-Gordon, a leading specialty distributor of wallcoverings for diverse commercial end-markets, was driven by the convergence of several trends that are shaping deal-making activity for specialty distribution and building technology companies.

View full timely industry commentary

Themes From Environmental Industry Summit 2016 | March 2016

At the 2016 Environmental Industry Summit, held March 9-11 in San Diego, executives and analysts from across the environmental services industry met to discuss the biggest trends affecting the industry’s growth and profitability.

View full timely industry commentary

NPC Acquisition Driven by Surging Demand for Probiotics | March 2016

Increasing global protein consumption and pressure from regulators and consumers to limit the use of antibiotics in animal feed have combined to create massive growth opportunities for probiotics companies such as Nutrition Physiology Company.

View full timely industry commentary

IBS Highlights Growing Interest in Building Technologies | February 2016

At this year’s International Builders’ Show conference, private equity firms and strategic acquirers were taking notice as the housing market continues to strengthen and builders increase their use of more-advanced products and technologies.

View full timely industry commentary

Recent Successful Sales of Plaskolite and Nudo Highlight Growing Attractiveness of Specialty Materials for Building Products Applications | January 2016

Amid an ongoing recovery in construction activity, companies offering products or materials in the building products sector are generating strong interest from strategic acquirers and financial investors.

View full timely industry commentary

Private Equity Spotlight: How Private Equity Views the Waste and Recycling Industry | January 2016

When exploring the sale of a company, business owners need to understand the motivations and investment philosophies of the various types of buyers.

View full timely industry commentary

SEMA and AAPEX 2015 Highlights: What’s Driving Deal-Making in the Auto Aftermarket | December 2015

William Blair’s Todd Cassidy provides his annual review of the biggest trends at the SEMA and AAPEX conferences and what they mean for M&A and capital-raising in the automotive aftermarket.

View full timely industry commentary

Value Drivers and Valuation Trends in IT Solutions | December 2015

Ahead and Pomeroy acquisitions highlight increased interest in IT solutions providers and value-added resellers.

View full timely industry commentary

European Biotech: What U.S. Equity Market Trends Mean for the Capital-Raising and Deal-Making Landscape | December 2015

At the BIO-Europe 2015 conference in Munich in November, the outlook for IPO and M&A activity generated a tremendous amount of discussion among business owners and investors across Europe’s biotech community. We examine the most important trends shaping capital-raising and deal-making opportunities for European biotech companies.

View full timely industry commentary

Corporate Venture Capital: A High Impact Player in the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem | December 2015

Corporate venture capital (CVC) activity in the first three quarters of 2015 reached its highest level since the height of the Internet boom. We examine the growth of CVC and how it is shaping the capital-raising and deal-making landscape.

View full timely industry commentary

Focus on the Process: Understanding the Steps of a Successful Sale | November 2015

With waste and recycling company owners facing increased opportunities to sell their businesses, we outline the steps involved in a successful transaction process.

View full timely industry commentary

Highlights from Money20/20 | November 2015

On the heels of the Money20/20 conference in Las Vegas, we provide an overview of the trends that were generating the most buzz at the conference and discuss how they are shaping the M&A and capital-raising environment in financial technology.

View full timely industry commentary

Ophthalmology Futures Forum: M&A and IPO Trends in Eye Care | October 2015

At the September 3 conference in Barcelona, William Blair’s Brian Scullion discussed recent transactions, trends shaping the deal-making landscape, and drivers of venture capital investors’ surging interest in ophthalmology companies.

View full timely industry commentary

Environmental Services M&A: Selling Your Business is a Team Sport | October 2015

Building a team of trusted advisors is an essential first step in a successful sale process. In an article for the October 2015 issue of Waste Advantage Magazine, Brad Page, William Blair’s head of environmental services investment banking, looks at the role of different advisors and how each is involved in helping with an ownership transition in the solid waste industry.

View full timely industry commentary

OneSource Virtual and Fruition Partners: What’s Driving Value in Cloud Services | September 2015

Two recent William Blair transactions in cloud services highlight the business models and service offerings that are generating strong interest from strategic and financial acquirers.

View full timely industry commentary

The Power of Outsourced Health Information Management | September 2015

Outsourcing health information management (HIM) has emerged as a compelling solution to the immense challenges that hospitals face related to decreased reimbursement rates and other aspects of healthcare reform.

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Environmental Services: How M&A Valuations Are Determined | September 2015

As business owners prepare to sell a company, the most important question they will ask is, "What is my company worth?" William Blair's Brad Page, head of environmental services investment banking, explains in an article for Waste Advantage Magazine how this question is answered in the waste and recycling industry.

View full timely industry commentary

$125 Million Financing Positions Zeta Interactive for Continued Growth in the Data-driven Marketing Sector | August 2015

William Blair conducts a well-designed process that delivers enhanced financial optionality for leading customer life cycle marketing platform.

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Financial Technology Sector Update | July 2015

Financial Technology Sector Update includes an overview and analysis of key market trends and observations, current public market valuations, M&A activity, capital-raising activity, recent debt issuances, and relevant private-equity activity in the financial technology sector.

View July 2015 report

Medical Device IPO Trends: Why $20 Million in Revenue is the New $50 Million | July 2015

Performance of recent medical device offerings provides resounding evidence that investors’ threshold for commercial validation has decreased significantly.

View full timely industry commentary

Investment Services Industry Insights | June 2015

Investment Services Industry Insights covers trends in M&A activity, transaction multiples, and public company valuations for both the asset management and broker-dealer sectors.

View June 2015 report

Deal Engine: Trends Driving the Auto Supply and Aftermarket Landscape | June 2015

William Blair’s annual Deal Engine explores the blurring lines between the traditional OE supply sector and the aftermarket and examines the trends that shaped the deal-making landscape in 2014 and the ways they will drive M&A activity and valuations in the future.

View full timely industry commentary

William Blair Advises FirstService on Creation of Two Independent Public Companies Through Spin-off | June 2015

Market reacts very positively to announcement; market capitalization up over 20%.

View full timely industry commentary

Packaging Investment Banking Sector Report | May 2015

Packaging Investment Banking Sector Report analyzes industry trends, consolidation drivers, companies’ M&A transaction activity, and valuations in the plastics and packaging sector.

View May 2015 report

Supply Chain Services Sector Update | May 2015

Supply Chain Services Sector report explores the trends that are shaping the marketplace, and how these trends drive M&A activity and valuations.

View May 2015 report

Niche Focus and Multi-Channel Models Drive Outstanding Outcomes for Excelligence and Flinn Scientific | February 2015

Excelligence and Flinn Scientific acquisitions highlight trends that are shaping the dealmaking landscape for distributors and direct marketers in the education sector.

View full timely industry commentary

Highlights From SEMA and AAPEX: What's Driving the Auto Aftermarket Deal-Making Environment? | February 2015

William Blair & Company's Todd Cassidy discusses some of the hottest trends at this year's SEMA and AAPEX conferences and what they mean for potential transactions.

View full timely industry commentary

What CareTech Solutions Reveals About the Increasingly Competitive M&A Landscape | February 2015

As competition for healthcare assets intensifies, strategic acquirers are going to great lengths to stay in the game for companies like CareTech Solutions.

View full timely industry commentary

Internet and Digital Media | January 2015

Internet & Digital Media Insights is an overview of the global Internet and digital media sector. The report analyzes industry news and trends, public and private financing activity, consolidation drivers, and announced M&A and public market valuations.

 View January 2014 report

Energy Services & Equipment Sector Report | September 2014

William Blair's Energy Services & Equipment Report analyzes industry trends, M&A transaction activity, and valuations in the energy services & equipment sector.

View Fall 2014 report

Global Apparel and Lifestyle Accessories Report | September 2014

Global Apparel and Lifestyle Accessories Report  details sector trends and insights, as well as M&A activity and valuation data compiled through August 2014. Public comparable companies are divided into seven major groups: Global Leaders, Modern Lifestyle, Performance Apparel, Traditional Apparel and Accessories, Youth/Teen, and eCommerce.

View September 2014 report