It’s sunny, hot, and humid. Summer yes, but there are telltale signs that a change is in the air. Cooler misty mornings, ever so subtle color change in the leaves of some trees, tiny acorns dropping, and a few more leaves on the ground. It’s still 84 degrees, but not the same overall feel of 84 degrees in June. The air is just a little different. The overall look and feel just a little different.

So goes my read of the M&A market.

XLCS had a record year in 2018 with 17 completed transactions. This year 10 so far, and every indication that we will exceed last year-and possibly by a huge margin. But….it’s just a little different. A few less offers, some tighter performance based structures, a few more questions from lending sources, and bit of seasonal weariness. Make no mistake, it’s still summer in M&A, but seasons must change and it may have begun.

The question is, “Will it be an early Fall? Or is it late breaking days of Autumn warmth? A mild winter?”… One thing is certain, it has been a long summer. If only we had the M&A Woolly Bear Caterpillar.


By Robert Contaldo, XLCS Chairman and Managing Partner