91% Of U.S. Corporate Leaders Say Their Organizations Are Planning On Making An Acquisition In 2016: KPMG Survey

Sunday, January 17, 2016 - 20:34

In pursuit of growth, company leaders are turning increasingly to mergers & acquisitions. In fact, 91 percent intend to initiate at least one acquisition in 2016, up significantly from 63 percent in 2014, according to an annual survey by KPMG LLP.


In conducting its study, “U.S. Executives on M&A: Full Speed Ahead in 2016”, KPMG surveyed 553 corporate and private equity leaders, M&A professionals, investors, and advisors. As to the increased appetite for M&A, the study found that 43 percent of the corporate leaders expect to make five acquisitions or more in 2016.


“U.S. corporate leaders and private equity executives are indicating that we can expect a very bullish outlook for M&A in 2016,” said Dan Tiemann, KPMG’s national service group leader for Deal Advisory and KPMG Strategy. “They are pursuing aggressive growth plans using M&A to fundamentally expand their capabilities or evolve business models to access new customers or introduce new products.” 


The KPMG survey found that executives are shifting their strategic focus from consolidation and a desire to fortify their competitive position in 2015 to expansion. They indicate that entering new lines of business (37 percent) and expanding their customer base (37 percent) and geographic reach (36 percent) are their primary motivators for initiating deals in 2016.


Though the corporate leaders see more aggressive M&A growth ahead, they do note some factors that may inhibit stronger deal flow. Forty two percent of the executives see the potential for a slow growth environment, while 69 percent do not believe that current market valuations are sustainable.


Tech, Pharma & Biotech Expected to Drive Activity

The KPMG survey found that respondents anticipate the heaviest deal activity to take place in the technology sector (70 percent), up significantly from 47 percent in 2015. The pharmaceutical & biotechnology sector is also leading the way, at 60 percent up from 33 percent in 2015.  Other sectors of note are financial services (48 percent), healthcare (47 percent), and media/telecommunications (42 percent).


U.S. Market Tops for Transaction Investment

The U.S. remains the most attractive destination for M&A activity with 79 percent of executives planning to invest in the region in 2016, up from 56 percent in 2014. The United States far outpaces other regions such as Western Europe, the rest of North America and Asia.


“The U.S. is still the most vibrant, innovative, an attractive economy, offering the greatest potential for new market growth,” said Tiemann.


Regional M&A Activity        2014                2015                2016

United States                          56%                73%                 79%

Western Europe                      29%                14%                 21%

North America (non-U.S.)        n/a                  13%                 13%

China                                       29%                14%                 11%


About the 2016 M&A Outlook Survey

In collaboration with the Fortune Knowledge Group, KPMG LLP surveyed 553 corporate leaders and M&A professionals in October 2015. KPMG’s survey, “U.S. Executives on M&A: Full Speed Ahead in 2016,” is available here (http://kpmginfo.com/ma-survey2016/indexdraft.html).  




KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm (www.kpmg.com/us), is the U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG International’s member firms have 174,000 professionals, including more than 9,000 partners, in 155 countries