December 11, 2018

M&A Outlook Downgrades to Neutral, According to Merrill Corporation Survey

Dec 11, 2018

St. Paul, Minn. — December 11, 2018 – Merrill Corporation (Merrill),, the premier technology provider for M&A professionals around the world, today announced a downgrade in the outlook for merger and acquisition activity from positive to neutral. The shift was gleaned from a monthly survey of global professionals, as part of ongoing industry polling conducted through Merrill Insight™ events, which cover industry trends in the M&A market through the eyes of industry experts.

In the monthly Merrill Insight™ events, attendees are asked “What direction is the M&A market headed?”, followed by the following answer options: Positive, Neutral, Negative. In the October 2018 survey, 65% of respondents saw the M&A outlook as positive. In early December, surveying more than 170 finance professionals, the number of respondents who had a positive outlook dropped to 39%, with a neutral outlook taking the lead with 49%.

“The shift to a neutral outlook isn’t surprising,” said Rusty Wiley, Chief Executive Officer, Merrill Corporation. “We believe it’s a caution flag in an environment where the fundamentals are still strong, but market tailwinds are softening. On a positive note, corporate carveouts are on the upswing as large conglomerates look to rationalize assets and current tax rates in the US create incentives for sell-offs. Private equity activity is also robust, prompted by large amounts of unused dry powder and an active secondary buyout market. Having said that, looming uncertainties around Brexit and other geopolitical shifts, coupled with ongoing tariff disputes and an unpredictable stock market, translate into a less positive outlook for market participants.”

In the same Merrill Insight™ December survey, 59% of respondents cited geopolitical concerns as the greatest hurdle currently impacting M&A. Stock market volatility came in second place with 30%.

About Merrill Corporation

Merrill Corporation is a leading global SaaS provider for participants in the M&A lifecycle. Clients trust Merrill’s innovative applications, excellent customer service and deep subject expertise to successfully navigate the secure sharing of their most sensitive content. Their flagship product, DatasiteOne, helps dealmakers in over 170 countries close more deals, faster. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Marta Carraro
Merrill Corporation 
Vice President, Communications
+1 (212) 367-6162 
[email protected]


Media Relations
Marta Carraro

Vice President, Communications


[email protected]

Investor Relations
Jennifer Percy

Senior Vice President, Finance & Treasury


[email protected]

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