AEC M&A multiples remain highly correlated with the target firm’s gross revenue, and the valuation arbitrage has increased significantly over the last several years in large firms’ favor.
However, the recent increased cost of debt and cloudy economic and geopolitical outlook have impacted the M&A environment, causing buyers to move down-market and focus more on buy-and-build strategies to create value. This shift in demand has caused multiples for small firms to edge higher, while multiples for large- and mid-sized firms have trended slightly lower.
Given the still record-high levels of dry powder that PE investors need to deploy, demand (and willingness to pay) remains high for very large AEC firms, particularly for those that remain employee-owned. We expect a robust M&A market in the upcoming half of 2023.
For M&A questions, or to access the unredacted version of this chart, email EFCG Managing Partner Jessica Barclay at email@example.com.