From middle-market capital providers to private equity firms, dealmakers in the Southeast generally anticipate quality deals continuing to proliferate in 2018. Encouraged by changes in tax and regulatory issues, dealmakers who attended the recent Atlanta ACG Capital Connection 2018 described the current mood as “upbeat.” Here are some of the sectors attendees identified as particularly promising for M&A:

FinTech

Technology, financial technology and healthcare are generally the hot sectors for the Southeast region. “FinTech is so big down here in Atlanta,” according to Bob Pearlman, senior partner of BDO USA LLP, who also serves as chair of the Atlanta ACG Capital Connection 2018 conference. “Seventy percent of transactions worldwide are processed through companies headquartered in Atlanta,” Pearlman says. FinTech “starts here, because it is here.”

Besides the technology and financial tech sectors, some dealmakers are turning their interests to some trending, and untapped markets that could result in future deal opportunities.

Bioethics

Healthcare in general is a hot sector, however bioethics is a subsector to keep an eye on. Bioethics is the use of ethics in the practice biology and science, typically referred to in modern science with convergence of human life, cloning and reproduction.

This is “a sector that may see growth,” Pearlman claims, “especially with the U.S. already lagging behind.” The evolution of genomic capabilities and technologies has introduced new ways to eliminate and reduce inherited diseases. So as new tools and legislation come about to either control or expand new genomic features, bioethics is one sector to look out for.

Concrete surface prep

From Nashville on down to Georgia and Alabama, strategic buyers and private equity firms have no problem getting their hands dirty to close the right deal. Bryheem Clayton of Capital King Partners denotes concrete surface preparation as “a growing industry.” Clayton says it’s a “nitty gritty” job that no one really pays attention to that essentially has to get done for any business with a standing location.

Proper surface preparation includes: inspection of the concrete substrate; removal and replacement of non-durable concrete; decontamination of a concrete surface; creation of the surface look; and repair of surface irregularities. Clayton points to companies such as Jon Don, a Roselle, Illinois-based service provider and equipment distributor for the concrete surface prep industry, as a good example.

Atlanta ACG

Atlanta ACG Capital Connection 2018 hosted its annual middle-market conference at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center on Wednesday, February 7. The nearly two-day conference welcomed a variety of dealmakers, including: intermediaries, corporate development professionals, accountants, lawyers and senior lenders in hopes of securing deals with capital providers and middle-market private equity firms.

ACG Capital Connection kicked off on Wednesday with a morning networking breakfast, followed by industry roundtables, and then a keynote address by Rich McKay, chief executive officer of the National Football League's Atlanta Falcon. McKay's speech detailed how the CEO contemplated renovating the Atlanta Falcons' Georgia Dome facility, however decided to go forward and bring Atlanta the new Mercedes Benz Stadium.

Adobe Stock

The conference also consisted of industry roundtables and panels covering trending markets such as healthcare IT and financial technolgoy. Industry professionals commuted to Atlanta representing a variety of businesses including: Greenberg Traurig, Cox Enterprises, Aprio, USI Insurance Services, Emory Investment Management, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (NYSE: BAC) and more. Day two of the conference also featured a conversation on the current state of debt financing with regards to the impact of the current regulatory landscape on leveraged financing. The day concluded with a closing session by the admiral Scott Monroe, a retired U.S. Navy SEAL and the former director of counter-terrorism at the National Security Council.

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