The month of May produced the lowest number of completed middle-market deals in 2014 so far. The poor showing stood in stark contrast with April’s solid performance.
In deal volume, a mere 135 middle-market deals closed in May, compared with 210 in April, according to Thomson Reuters. In deal value, the damage was even worse for transactions of $1 billion or less that involve a U.S. company as buyer or seller. In May, mid-market transactions generated a disappointing $14.2 billion, less than half the $30.1 billion in April.
Holidays contributed to the M&A slowdown and to light stock market trading worldwide in May. In the U.S., Memorial Day landed on the 26th of the month, the second-earliest possible date for the federal holiday, which is observed on the last Monday of May. In Europe, the Christian holiday Ascension Day closed banks and businesses on Thursday, May 29, and Friday, May 30.
Early signs bode better for June, which is producing a steady stream of transaction news in the first week. The positive sentiments expressed in Mergers & Acquisitions’ May survey also indicate the momentum seen earlier in the year may resume. For more, see “Early-Stage Deal Flow Expanded in May but More Slowly than in April.”