Michael Mufson, our Principal from Philadelphia, reports the deal activity in the US M&A Middle Market for the third quarter of 2021. Read the highlights below.


YTD M&A Activity in the US Is at an All-time High

For the first 9 months of 2021, US M&A as a whole reported over a 97% increase in total dollar deal value for reported deals with deal count increasing at 42%.

Middle Market M&A


  • Reported deals above $1 billion in EV experienced a YTD 132% increase for the first 9 months in 2021.
  • Middle market US M&A activity (transactions below $ 250mm in EV) saw an increase in a number of deals reported for the first 3 quarters of 2021, up 28% with transactional dollar value increasing 49%.

US M&A Middle Market YTD Deals

  • All US M&A valuations for the first 9 months of 2021 averaged 8.8x EBITDA vs. 8.4x for the 9 months ending 2020.

US Middle Market M&A Valuation Multiples

  • Private Equity Sponsor transactions for deals below $1 billion averaged 12.8x for the nine months 2021 vs. 14.4x in 2020.
  • Leverage financing per transaction edged up to an averaged 6.4x or 50% of overall transactional value vs. 6.1x in 2020 with debt leverage as a percentage of total funding at 48% in 2020.


The Credit Markets YTD Saw an Uptick in Leverage

  • Liquidity remains at historical levels with over $829 billion in dry powder for US Private Equity Sponsors, up from $766 billion or 8.2% from a year ago.
  • The $829 billion of equity buying power combined coupled with almost $2 trillion of cash sitting on non-financial companies balance sheets in the US, the M&A markets will continue to be a dynamo for the foreseeable future.
  • The credit markets for the first 9 months saw an uptick in leverage ~.50 to 1.00 turns for companies with EBITDA below $5 million, .50x to .75x for companies with EBITDA in excess of $10 million and ~ .50 turns for companies with $20 million or more in EBITDA
  • M&A Credit/Leverage statistics is provided by SPP Capital Partners; You can find the November Private Capital Market Report here.


We expect the remainder of the year to be particularly active with many closely held private companies seeking to beat a possible tax code change in cap gain rates and private equity sponsors bringing portfolio companies to market to take advantage of the valuations. You can download the full US Middle Market report here.

If you have questions or would like to speak to our M&A advisors, feel free to book a call here.

Michael Mufson

Michael Mufson
Managing Partner and Principal

Michael Mufson has almost 30 years experience as an investment banker to middle market companies. Prior to the founding of Mufson Howe Hunter in 2004, he served as the founder and head of equity capital markets for Commerce Bancorp (now TD Bank).

[email protected]
Ph: +1 215-399-5410

Reece Adnams

Global Managing Principal and CEO

Reece Adnams is the CEO and Global Managing Principal of Eaton Square, a Mergers and Acquisitions and Capital Services advisor for technology, services and other growth companies founded in 2008.

[email protected] 61 03 8199 7911 eatonsq.com