Investment Banking

Statistical analysis and insight into activity and trends in M&A and capital markets.

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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Across the supply chain—from producers to distributors to retailers—food and beverage companies faced disruptive pressure from multiple directions in 2017. These forces have caused companies with traditional business models to pursue acquisition strategies for both offensive and defensive reasons.

Building on trends that gained momentum throughout 2017, the fourth quarter punctuated the year with strong market dynamics that further shifted pricing, leverage, and terms in favor of middle-market borrowers.

Building on September's momentum, the fourth quarter of 2017 saw the highest levels of IPO activity in more than two years. Given the strengthening global economy, improving corporate performance, low volatility, and a healthy pipeline, conditions are ripe for this momentum to continue into 2018.

As publicly traded packaging companies look to generate growth to support robust valuations and financial sponsors seek to invest in assets that should be less affected by a potential economic slowdown, M&A activity in the packaging industry has increased significantly over the last several years.

A new rule issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would make it easier for consumers to join class-action lawsuits against providers of financial services—and could be a significant headwind to M&A activity in the specialty finance industry.

As conversion trends in residential and commercial end markets gain momentum, three recent William Blair transactions reflect sustained interest in M&A of manufacturers of differentiated, highly engineered building products in the flooring, countertops, and outdoor-living subsectors.

At the WasteExpo 2017 conference in New Orleans, executives and other industry leaders addressed the opportunities facing waste and recycling companies and the ideas that will support the industry’s continued growth.

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.

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.

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.

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