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Why corporate dealmaking plummeted in 2022

Justin Ho Jan 3, 2023
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A slumping stock market is among the reasons companies refrained from going public last year. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Why corporate dealmaking plummeted in 2022

Justin Ho Jan 3, 2023
Heard on:
A slumping stock market is among the reasons companies refrained from going public last year. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images
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It’s been a while since we’ve heard about a major merger or acquisition, let alone an initial public stock offering. These types of corporate deals hit records in 2021, but plummeted in 2022.

The number of IPOs, for instance, fell by more than 80%, according to Renaissance Capital. What gives? And what we can expect in 2023?

Let’s start with IPOs. At the start of last year, the prospects for companies that were considering going public started looking worse and worse. There were a number of reasons: Stock markets started falling, then Russia invaded Ukraine.

Uncertainty was swirling around the markets, said Avery Spear of Renaissance.

“And then came the interest rate hikes and looming fears of a recession,” she said. “So an already-narrowing IPO window just slammed shut.”

So did the window for mergers and acquisitions, thanks to rising interest rates and, in some ways, the Federal Trade Commission, per Marquette University professor Matteo Arena.

“They are really scrutinizing all kinds of mergers in a much closer way, and so it’s harder for companies to get approval,” he said.

All of these trends are likely to continue this year, Arena added. That, in theory, could limit opportunities for companies.

But Arena said less corporate consolidation can be good for consumers. “Consolidation means usually companies can then face less competition, increase their prices more aggressively.”

And that is exactly what the government is trying to prevent, he said.

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