Mid-market M&A activity may be turning the corner in the US

For three days this week I have been at the summer conference of the Alliance of Mergers & Acquisitions Advisors, an affiliation that represents all types of mid-market M&A intermediaries throughout the Americas.

I have been meeting and talking with many deal professionals, all of whom have been telling me that they are very optimistic about the deal making signs they are seeing over in the US for the remainder of this year.

The consensus of opinion from these dealmakers, who specialise in transactions with enterprise values of between USD 5 million and USD 500 million, is that their pipelines are getting busier, debt markets are the best that they have seen since pre-2008 in terms of availability and cost, and that there are good deals to be done. They freely acknowledge that the first half of 2013 was slow, a hangover from the rush to get transactions completed before the end of 2012 because of changes in US tax law. They also admit that deals are harder to get past the finishing post and the time taken to get there is much longer.

What is so interesting about this is that in Europe and the UK especially, whilst many advisors would agree with the statements made by their US brothers that deals take longer, more fail and it is tougher to get deals to completion, the availability of debt still remains an issue, and the positivity that the US dealmakers feel has not yet spread to our side of the Atlantic. The number of announced and completed transactions in the mid-market space during the first half of 2013 supports this on a global level.

Here's hoping that an increase in deal activity in the US mid-market space has a domino effect on Europe in terms of US buyers looking to Europe to satisfy their need for deals.