Investors predict burst of private equity activity, then slowdown before 2020 election

Although private equity M&A slowed in 2019 compared to the year prior, some experts say the 2020 presidential election will temporarily reverse that trend and prompt an uptick in PE deals in the first half of the year, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Several PE professionals told WSJ they see a robust pipeline of prospective deals going into 2020's first quarter. Healthcare investors said they expect the coming three months to be busy, as they saw many companies begin new sales processes in the fourth quarter of 2019. 

Any increase in dealmaking would likely slow as the fall presidential election nears. "Some are saying, 'We won't want to sell in the second or third quarter,'" Uri Herzberg, a partner and a member of the M&A and PE teams at law firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, told WSJ. "Many are starting now so the election overhang isn't in everyone's mind."

Investors have cited questions around monetary, fiscal and regulatory policy and greater scrutiny of their industry from Democratic presidential candidates as election-related reasons to exercise caution, according to WSJ.

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