NEW YORK, Dec. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Participants at The Deal Economy event, an annual predictive conference on mergers and acquisitions hosted by The Deal, a business unit of TheStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ: TST), were presented with an optimistic forecast for global M&A activity in the coming year.
While some panelists warned that political uncertainty and trade tensions could dampen activity, most said they expect M&A to show continued vitality in 2017, particularly in the U.S., thanks to resurgent economic growth fueled by tax reform, new infrastructure spending and the repatriation by U.S. corporations of foreign earnings under policies enacted by President-elect Donald Trump and a Republican Congress.
Jim Cramer, TheStreet, Inc's founder and host of the CNBC's "Mad Money," identified 10 companies ripe for acquisition in his keynote address — including technology companies Advanced Micro Devices, Xilinx, Marvell Technology, and Cypress Semiconductor; energy companies Apache Corp. and National Oilwell Varco; homebuilder KB Home; regional bank People's United Financial; and auto and aerospace suppliers Advance Auto Parts and Arconic.
"Every one of these deals should be done," Cramer said.
On a panel discussing the outlook for regulation, Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Leo Strine expressed concern that wholesale efforts to tear up trade pacts and roll back regulation could spark political backlash and complicate cross-border dealmaking.
However, most experts said they expected the benefits of the new U.S. political alignment to outweigh such concerns. Global Market Advisors chief strategist and former Trump campaign adviser Jonathan Galaviz described the potential repatriation by U.S. companies of foreign earnings as "one of the biggest one-time inbound inflows of capital that America has ever seen." He and other panelists said much of the capital would go into new deals as well as stock repurchases.
Still, most of the panelists said they did not foresee M&A dollar value next year to approach the record set in 2015, but instead said they expected the current emphasis on mid-size deals to continue.
"Everybody asks, 'Is 2015 the high water mark?'," McKinsey & Co. senior partner Michael Park observed during a presentation of his firm's dealmaking research. "I'd like to propose a possibility that in this environment we're going to see more M&A, not less." But Park insisted that the most successful deals going forward would focus on revenue growth rather than cost synergies and be transformative, disruptive or both, even if they fell short of megadeals.
The conference also heard key executives from Honeywell, Siemens, Microsoft and Wal-Mart explain how their companies approach M&A, including divestitures that often precede or follow acquisitions, and a panel on corporate governance identify ways to improve shareholder relations and governance when activist investors loom.
Over lunch, award presentations were made to 18 companies for excellence in overall M&A strategy, including choice of targets, deal execution and impact on stock performance. The Deal's "Most Admired Dealmakers" were selected by a closed-panel of leading deal practitioners.
Supporting underwriters for The Deal Economy event included EY, Pepper Hamilton LLP, McKinsey & Company, Morrison & Foerster LLP, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Latham & Watkins LLP, Donnelley Financial Solutions and Seal Software.
The Deal Economy, Predictions & Perspectives for 2018, will take place on Thursday, November 30, 2017. For sponsorship and speaking inquiries about next year's event, please contact Emily Newman (212-321-5565; email@example.com).
ABOUT THE DEAL
The Deal (www.thedeal.com) provides actionable, intraday coverage of mergers, acquisitions and all other changes in corporate control to institutional investors, private equity, hedge funds and the firms that serve them. The Deal is a business unit of TheStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ: TST, www.t.st), a leading financial news and information provider. Other business units include TheStreet (www.thestreet.com), which is celebrating its 20th year of producing unbiased business news and market analysis; BoardEx (www.boardex.com), the leading relationship mapping service of corporate directors and officers; and RateWatch (www.rate-watch.com) which supplies rate and fee data from banks and credit unions across the U.S.
Contact: Nicole Harris, 212.321.5567, nicole harris at thestreet.com
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SOURCE TheStreet, Inc.