Low Valuations Make Acquisition Targets Out of Great Companies

Today I was looking at a few tech companies in the public stock market. The market capitalizations (i.e., valuation) on some have been drastically reduced. I’d imagine it’s a big distraction to the leadership and employees. I was thinking that some of these companies could benefit from being part of a larger organization where they could execute on their strategy without worrying about market gyrations or scrutiny.

Nonfinancial companies issued $1.7 trillion in bonds in 2020. That was a record. Partly it was due to the uncertainty at the time, but it was also driven by interest rates reaching record lows. It was cheap to borrow, so companies borrowed.

Many great companies are valued at a fraction of what they were, yet the fundamentals of the underlying business remain solid. I’m sure this fact hasn’t gone unnoticed by the leaders and M&A teams at companies flush with cash. If valuations keep going down, I suspect we’ll see some of these companies putting that cash to work in acquisitions.