2H 2023 Business Services M&A Report

Deals in the Business Services industry, like most others, lagged in 2H23. Private equity firms largely sat on their “dry powder.” But as we peer into the sector, there do appear to be rational reasons, and reasons for optimism in the coming months. Interest rates, uncertainty, and consumer behavior appear to be top of mind. In the U.S., consumer debt climbed through 2H23, rocketing nearly $24 billion in November alone to cross the $17 trillion mark, with more than a trillion dollars of that in expensive credit card debt. Credit cards were averaging about 21% interest rates while store brand cards (think Home Depot) approached the 30% mark. Consumers have been stressed by rising inflation, the highest we’ve seen in years, and even as the rate cools, that doesn’t mean prices come back down.

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