The 2017 Automotive Mergers and Acquisitions Outlook
Connected and autonomous vehicle technologies continue to drive activity.
As we stand here in early 2017, we are further away from the all-time high in valuations and deal activity that we witnessed in 2015; but despite signs that the extended expansion cycle for the industry may be plateauing, automotive appears poised to remain a leading sector for M&A activity through 2017. Prognostics for macroeconomic factors are mixed. We have now seen two interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, which all else being equal reduces the amount of debt financing for potential buyers in a particular deal. However, so long as the generally positive outlook for global economic growth is realized (driven in part by a strengthening U.S. economy and renewed optimism), we hope to see that any downturn in deal activity for 2017 to be modest at worst.
Steve Hilfinger is a partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. He has more than 25 years of transactional and finance experience, including representing private and public companies, senior lenders, mezzanine lenders and borrowers, venture capital funds and private equity funds, automotive suppliers and other manufacturers.
Joshua M. Munro
Foley & Lardner LLP
Joshua M. Munro is an associate and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. His practice includes counseling publicly and privately held companies and investors in acquisitions, dispositions, business formation, corporate restructuring, financing, general corporate matters and venture capital investments. Mr. Munro focuses on middle-market private equity advisory matters, including counseling on the formation and reorganization of portfolio companies, build-out acquisitions, financings and exit sale transactions.
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