Middle-market M&A slows to a crawl

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The number of middle-market mergers and acquisitions continued to slow in November, according to the latest reports issued by Milwaukee-based Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. and Chicago’s William Blair & Company.

"There was a total of 154 announced U.S. middle-market transactions in November, a 50.5 percent decline compared to the prior-year period and well below the LTM monthly average of 261 transactions," the Baird report states. "Middle-market dollar volume for the month of November was $6.3 billion, a 79.1 percent decline compared to last year."

Many of the yearly market gains were wiped out in November, the William Blair report states.

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"After holding up much better than the overall market for most of the year, the U.S. middle market has recently been just as weak," the report states. "In November, there was a 36.5 percent decrease in the number of transactions and a 65.3 percent decrease in dollar volume."

Both reports show a decline in total M&A activity in the United States. Baird says deal volume declined by almost 46 percent in November compared with a year before, with total dollar volume down about 86 percent. Blair shows a nearly 37-percent decrease in volume in November from a year earlier, with about a 62-percent dollar value decrease.

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