Glimmers of hope in the next 12 months.

Author:Heffes, Ellen M.

This year, those who live and breathe the U.S. mergers and acquisitions market see glimmers of hope. Sixty-eight percent of respondents to a recent survey say they believe the M&A market will be stronger in the next 12 months as compared to the prior 12 months.

These are among the findings of law firm Dykema's Mergers & Acquisitions Outlook Survey, which for the ninth year surveyed leading company executives and outside advisers to examine how the U.S. economy, financing challenges and other domestic and global matters will impact the M&A market in the coming year.

Among other key findings:

A POSITIVE OUTLOOK. In 2012, only 25 percent thought the U.S. economy would look positive over the next 12 months, compared to 50 percent of respondents in this year's survey.

CONTINUED UNEASINESS. When rating the most common obstacles experienced in deals within the pasl 12 months, financing went from the second most common to the fourth most common from 2012 to 2013. Uncertainty in the economy remained at the top spot.

"As the nation continues to recover and rebound financially, the business community appears to be more optimistic about their investment options and the U.S. economy this year," said Dave Cellitti, leader of Dykema's M&A practice. "Excess capital would seem to be one main reason for this surge in optimism...

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