High Valuations are Greatest Corporate Challenge of 2018 while Black Swan Event, e.g., Brexit, is of Little Concern, According to Merrill Insight™ Poll

High Valuations are Greatest Corporate Challenge of 2018 while Black Swan Event, e.g., Brexit, is of Little Concern, According to Merrill Insight™ Poll

PR Newswire

LONDON, Feb. 12, 2018

42% of EMEA survey participants believe high valuations are greatest corporate challenge; one-third cite political and regulatory uncertainty

LONDON, Feb. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of a Merrill Insight event held in late January, Merrill Corporation, a global provider of virtual data rooms and services for regulatory disclosure, conducted a statistically relevant poll on the outlook for corporate development in 2018. The results showed 42 percent of EMEA participants (corporations and advisors) believe high valuations are the greatest corporate challenge of 2018.  

"You think sellers would take advantage of high valuations, but the flipside is the prospect of even higher valuations down the road", says Jonathan Rothenberg, senior vice-president, corporate development and M&A at GlobalLogic, speaking at the Merrill Insight event.

One-third (35 percent) of poll participants cite Artificial Intelligence (AI) as the trend likely to have the biggest technological impact on our lives in the next five years. A further one-third (32 percent) believe it is big data. Interestingly, the views of advisors and corporations vary significantly here. A far greater proportion of advisors than corporations cite AI. The opposite is true for views on big data.

"Artificial intelligence has the ability to change how everything works in areas of machine automation, unmanned transportation and data processing," says Justin Gans, director of acquisitions at Northrop Grumman Aerospace.

Hilary London, Chief Revenue Officer and General Manager for EMEA at Merrill Corporation comments: "We are not surprised to see high valuations as headwind for successful transactions. It is something our due diligence and regulatory reporting clients regularly mention. What is more interesting is to see EMEA respondents being far more concerned about political uncertainty and black swan events compared with US respondents". (EMEA: 33% & 18% vs US: 30% & 9%).

Merrill Insight™ panellists were Justin Gans, Director of Acquisitions and Alliances, Northrop Grumman Aerospace; Alan Konevsky, SVP and Strategic Initiatives Counsel, Mastercard; Jonathan Rothenberg, SVP Corporate Development and M&A, GlobalLogic; and Raechy Wang, Senior Director Corporate Development, Pfizer.

Link to Merrill Insight™ webinar:
www.merrillcorp.com/en/blog/merrill-insight-on-corporate-development-webinar-playback

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