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Will M&As Go Up in 2012?

There may be more M&A dealmaking going on in 2012.

These days, when struggling with heavy regulatory burdens and high costs of operations, many industries are turning to mergers and acquisitions as a means of survival, including corporate accounting firms.

Writing for Accounting Today, Bill Carlino notes that there were more than 24 M&As between October and the end of 2011. He comments that the volume over the course of the year could represent a "high water mark," but that the activity will likely continue well into this new year.

Dave Sibits, president of CBIZ Financial Services, told the source that he expected the number of M&As to "escalate substatially."

"If you look at the reasons so many firms are dancing with each other, it's that people are beginning to recognize that being a mile wide and an inch deep is a tough way to grow," he added.

Steven Berger, who has worked for years on structuring mergers between CPA firms, told Carlino that downward rate pressure, smaller margins and realization rates are also driving the deals. He noted that implementing new technologies and locating the talent to succeed retiring partners also pose challenges.

Other sectors are also facing increases in M&A activity. CFO magazine notes that while the agreements may be experiencing a "slow start" in the first few weeks and months, there will be many takeovers and deals in 2012.