More than half (53%) plan to actively pursue M&A in the next 12 months – significantly above the long-term average of 43%. Nine in ten respondents expect their M&A pipeline to either increase or stay at the same level in the next 12 months.
Yet, their global counterparts have a less rosy market outlook. While respondents expect heightened levels of M&A, there is a decline in the percentage that expect to make acquisitions themselves in the next 12 months, with plans for M&A trending down to 46%. This puts global M&A appetite at the lowest point for four years, signaling that some global executives are looking to other companies to do the dealing rather than acquire themselves.
We have seen this dichotomy before in our survey. This is an indication that we will likely see a temporary pause in activity outside of our market. And it may be an important signal for the local Australian and New Zealand markets, which tend to lag global sentiment.