Expect strong M&A activity in 2021


In high-school history class, many of us learned some variation of the aphorism “history has a tendency to repeat itself.” Over the history of M&A, nowhere is this observation more salient than with the oft-repeated “roll-up” strategy – the programme of progressively acquiring and merging many companies in a fragmented market. The M&A world is addicted.

Roll-ups can be found in nearly every corner of the economy, from dentist offices, to consumer-product sellers on Amazon, to commercial service providers, and beyond. These strategies have long been pursued by major industry consolidators, but today are often and increasingly coordinated by private equity (PE) investors.

Despite significant prior consolidation, the industrial gas field has the potential to see an acceleration in roll-up efforts over the next few years, driven in part by a veritable treasure-chest of private equity capital eyeing the industry.

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