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Making a mark in the middle ground

The M&A market is heating up…

Comcast and Time Warner Cable, Facebook and WhatsApp, Publicis and Omnicom: not just big deals but strategic combinations of strong brands, solid product and the ability of the acquirer to see real value (if sometimes to overpay for it!). They are also signs that point to M&A picking up for midmarket companies too. So, is the value in your brand story clear? Can investors/acquirers see what truly differentiates you?

The middle market has been described as “an invisible, powerful market segment” and analysts appear consistent in the view that 2014 will be a year in which this segment will demonstrate its force. Catalysts such as the overall buoyancy of the market, increased consumer confidence, favorable credit terms, and opportunities in emerging markets are likely to drive M&A activity during the year, with a focus that is shifting from cost saving to strategic growth.

The evolving investor landscape – the huge variety of growth and investment choices – open to both buyers and sellers, means that competition among lenders will be fierce and differentiation key.  In a dynamic market driven by ‘optionality’, there will be an even greater need for clear positioning and differentiation through effective marketing that connects c-suite strategic ambitions with market place realities. Firms will need to communicate expertise, and present a management that clearly understands that growth is not simply about capital, but about partnership and vision.

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