Fall is almost upon us, and with that marks the return of a number of traditional fall activities. Kids are going back to school (albeit mostly virtually), the NFL season has begun (without live fans, but still), and what is typically a busy time in the Private Equity and M&A world is shaping up to be busy this year as well. Yet before we look forward, we also wanted to look back to see how (un)traditional the Summer of 2020 was as it relates to deal activity.
While intuitively depressed deal flow makes sense, it becomes even more apparent when looking at the chart below. As has been our theme for the past several months in this update, we have focused on U.S. closed deals only, which means that many (if not all) of these transactions began their processes prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and therefore experienced a wide variety of delays, issues, and re-negotiation in order to simply get closed at all during these summer months. In the chart below, we have highlighted the summer months for 2019 and 2020 (blue and gold respectively), showing both capital deployed (bar chart) and total number of transactions completed (scatter plot). As you can see, the market continues to feel the impact of the pandemic. While August data is still coming in, were these numbers to hold true, August would re-set the low water mark set in May for the amount of capital deployed. And with that, it’s time to look forward again. Here’s hoping for continued health and safety for your loved ones, and a successful fall season in all of your business endeavors.