MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray
(Piper Jaffray) Middle Market M&A Group released in a new report, "Middle
Market M&A Outlook 2003," that it is cautiously optimistic in its expectations
for middle market M&A activity in 2003. Piper Jaffray believes that
conditions have improved during the second half of 2002 and is encouraged that
there are several positive trends in place, which should provide the
foundation for strong transaction volume in the coming year.
"We believe that the M&A environment has stabilized and is perhaps
stronger than generally perceived in the public market place," said Walter
Murphy, a vice president in U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray's Middle Markets M&A
Group. "We expect that M&A activity within the middle market will continue to
strengthen in 2003 and are confident that any definitive evidence of improved
economic and/or capital market fundamentals will further accelerate deal
volume over the next 12 months."
The report states that despite recent economic and financial market
challenges, the middle market continues to be an attractive source of deal
flow, and interest in middle market acquisitions remains strong. Corporate
buyers, distracted to some extent by corporate governance issues, depressed
market valuations and shareholder scrutiny, have become more disciplined and
focused in their acquisition strategies, but are still willing to aggressively
pursue transactions that are highly complementary with their core lines of
business. Meanwhile, private equity groups have raised more than $200 billion
of equity capital over the past five years, and the pressure and competition
to invest these funds are intense.
"Though demand has been strong, the relative lack of high quality
acquisition opportunities has limited momentum over the past two years," said
Murphy. "However, given the modest number of transactions completed during
this period, there is a growing backlog of privately held companies and
maturing financial sponsor investments for which a sale process will be
considered over the coming 12 months. We believe that the release of this
overhang will be one of the primary drivers of middle market M&A activity in
To obtain a copy of the report, please contact Susan Beatty at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-303-5680.
U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, a subsidiary of Minneapolis-based
U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), is a focused securities firm comprised of three
divisions: Equity Capital Markets, Fixed Income Capital Markets and Private
Advisory Services. The firm provides a full range of investment products and
services to individuals, institutions and businesses. The firm has over 120
offices in 24 states across the country. The Equity Capital Markets Division
focuses on the needs of growth companies in the health care, technology,
financial institutions, consumer and communications growth sectors. The firm
has a national reputation for its expertise in fundamental research and equity
and debt financing. The Fixed Income Capital Markets business provides bond
issuers, individual investors and institutional investors expertise in
investment banking, underwriting, trading, sales and research. The firm
offers innovative solutions in corporate and government debt financings with
particular expertise in corporate, health care/hospitals, real estate, higher
education and government debt. The Private Advisory Services division
financial advisors provide guidance in retirement planning, education
planning, estate planning and wealth accumulation. Investors select from a
wide array of products, including fee-based products, stocks, bonds, mutual
funds, annuities, insurance and trust services. U.S. Bancorp offers a
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Asset Management, U.S. Bancorp Investments and U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray.
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SOURCE U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray