News & Press

FMI Report: Merger and Acquisition Activity Still Strong in 2019, But Last Year was Exceptional

The engineering and construction market sector saw a record level of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in 2018, including a 25 percent increase over the year prior, according to a report just released by FMI Corporation.

In its “2019 M&A Trends for Engineering and Construction” report, FMI noted that while M&A activity in the engineering and construction sector is likely to remain strong in 2019, it also likely will return to more historic levels. “The key drivers of acquisition activity remain, including demographic succession needs and the desire for buyers to grow and diversify their business, expand service and capabilities, and address the shortage of qualified labor in the industry," said Alex Miller, a managing director with FMI Capital Advisors, Inc. and author of the report.

Nearly 60 percent of all current survey respondents said that acquisitions were part of the current business strategy, down from 70 percent who said the same in last year’s survey. FMI said it expects acquisition levels to return to what they were back in 2017.

Some of the report's other key findings include:

  • Over 75 percent of all survey respondents believe that industry valuations have risen over the past 24 months, primarily due to the increased market activity and improved performance of target companies.
  • 61 percent of survey respondents said that one of their competitors had been acquired in the past three years.
  • 66 percent of all respondents said that one of their competitors had made an acquisition in the past three years.
  • 46 percent of respondents have contemplated acquiring a technological solution or commercializing an in-house technology solution.

To read the full FMI report, go to