Swiss SMEs: M&A activity in 2017
The year 2016 was marked by an uncertain macroeconomic environment and geopolitical context, with highlights such as Brexit or the US elections. 2017 in contrast, was a more stable year, characterised by steady global growth and the robustness of the eurozone.
In Switzerland, M&A activities were mainly carried out by SMEs and private equity funds. The number of transactions observed in 2017 increased by 5.2%, due in particular to domestic transactions. CFOs are confident about the perspectives of Swiss companies. With good growth prospects in Switzerland and around the world, 2018 should confirm the 2017 trend and contribute to a dynamic M&A activity.
The year 2018 looks promising for Swiss SMEs. The prospect of a stable Swiss franc of around 1.20 CHF/EUR would stimulate exports and encourage investment by Swiss SMEs, in particular to expand or modernise capacity. In addition, innovative companies are best placed to adapt to volatile market developments since the financial crisis.
However, care should be exercised as global exchange rate fluctuations are difficult to predict. In addition, growth prospects of the Swiss economy could be influenced by certain macroeconomic risks such as the US trade policy, the long-term consequences of Brexit or global geopolitical tensions.
The acquisition of companies, whether in Switzerland or abroad, should continue to represent an interesting growth factor for Swiss SMEs. With the devaluation of the Swiss franc, Swiss SMEs remain attractive to companies in the eurozone, which should favour inbound transactions. The M&A activities could therefore benefit from the positive signals to continue their expansion and reach their 2013 and 2014 levels.
About the Deloitte Swiss SMEs Report
The Deloitte report "Swiss SMEs - M&A activity in 2017" investigates the M&A transactions of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). According to Deloitte, in order to belong to the SME segment, a company must satisfy 3 criteria: revenue exceeding CHF 10 million, less than 250 employees and a market capitalisation (transaction value) of between CHF 5 million and CHF 500 million. The transactions were analysed over the period from 01.01.2017 to 31.12.2017.