May 11, 2023 - Economy & Business

Pace of unsolicited M&A pursuits increasing, JPMorgan says

Anu Aiyengar speaks with Axios' Nick Johnson at the BFD event in San Francisco. Photo: Tyne Phillips

The amount of companies engaging in unsolicited M&A outreach to potential sellers continues to climb, JPMorgan's Anu Aiyengar said on Wednesday.

Driving the news: "You've got 10 plus such deals already announced, and there are 10X of those in terms of conversations already happening," the bank's global head of M&A said at Axios' BFD event held in San Francisco on Wednesday.

  • "It's still a buyer's market," she said, adding that it's the most amount of strategic unsolicited activity in more than a decade.
  • Aiyengar said that valuations are much lower, and there is much less competition among buyers.
  • "When you look at all the challenges that exist, that does give people pause," she said.
  • "But having said that, if you are an investment grade, strategic buyer and you don't do a deal now, you're going to kick yourself," she added, explaining that prior targets are commanding much lower valuations.

Zoom in: The approaches coming from M&A suitors are more friendly than hostile, Aiyengar said.

  • "If you're a seller, don't sit there and be passive. Take control of your destiny. Figure our options when someone is picking up the phone and calling you," she said.

Editor's note: JPMorgan was a sponsor of the BFD event.

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