On the surface, the news seems good. The first half of 2015 delivered around 1,100 completed middle-market transactions and generated about $140 billion, according to preliminary data from Thomson Reuters. (See related graphic.) That’s roughly equivalent to the level of dealmaking conducted in the same period in the previous year. Considering that 2014 was the best year for M&A since 2007, the fact that 2015 is holding steady is a reason to cheer. And yet, there’s an undercurrent of doubt, with many dealmakers wondering: How much longer will the good times roll? Has the wave of M&A already peaked?
Building on momentum from the previous year, dealmakers experienced heightened activity during the first months of 2015. “Traditionally, June and July are our busiest months for new deal flow,” says Jay Jester (pictured, below) of Audax Private Equity, a lower middle-market firm based in Boston. “But in 2015, deal flow appears to have started even earlier. Q1 was very busy - only slightly behind the previous peak years of 2007 and 2008. And June marked the completion of our biggest Q2 ever. In addition, Q2 2015 was our second-best quarter ever, at 4 percent below our Q3 2012 record.” Audax announced several new platform deals in the first half of the year, including purchases of advertising company AllOverMedia in March, TPC Wire & Cable Corp. in May and medical-instrument maker Katena Products in June. Watch our video interview with Jester below or click here.