Surplus corporate cash, low interest rates and an America First policy should, on the face of it, result in a strong US domestic m&a year in 2017. But does this also mean a downturn in cross border m&a?
The answer is no. The fundamentals to support a US domestic surge also support cross border activity.
Even in a protectionist US, multinationals still need to export, buy technology, grow non-US markets and service global customers. If they don't, they will lose out to non US multinationals who will quickly fill the void created from a inward looking US. Deals which involve offshoring of US manufacturing may not be the flavour of the year, but in truth that opportunity was already shrinking. Instead, to maintain technological leadership, secure supply chains and develop a hedge against a US dollar, multinationals will still need cash reserves to seek out deals around the world.
While the tax reforms of the new administration may allow repatriation of overseas cash for a one off hit, most companies will still seek to keep sufficient powder dry offshore to invest in future opportunities.
Inversions may be dead but real m&a will continue space.
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