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CEO Advisor® Newsletter
April 2017

M&A Activity Slows in Orange County

According to the Orange County Business Journal, February 20, 2017 edition, mergers and acquisitions activity has slowed somewhat in the mid-market and lower mid-market companies. M&A deals sank from $31 billion in 2015 (exclusive of two enterprise deals-Broadcom and Sandisk), to $28 billion in 2016 (these figures exclude real estate transactions and healthcare facilities).

Reasons for the lower M&A activity include:

  1. The Federal Reserve increasing interest rates that made debt deals more expensive
  2. Asset prices trending too high during the eighth year of the current economic recovery
  3. Deal makers seemed to wait to see the outcome of the Presidential election and how that would impact the business environment and valuations.

The key contributing factors that enable M&A deals to occur include:

A) An abundance of capital
B) Receptive markets to higher valuations
C) Sustained low interest rate environment
D) Expanding, favorable stock markets

Different from 2014 and 2015 when all business sectors seemed to rise in uniform, in 2016 a change occurred and capital became more discerning. In Orange County in 2016, 80 technology companies were acquired, 56 industrial / manufacturing company deals were completed, 55 consumer product companies and 44 healthcare companies were acquired.

Deals that are the most attractive and pull in the capital at the highest valuations are companies with high growth rates and large markets. There were 278 acquisitions completed for privately-held companies in 2016 versus 323 deals completed in 2015. Acquisitions of public companies in 2016 were flat at thirteen deals.

CEO Advisor, Inc. provides mergers and acquisitions and growth capital advisory services to grow your company to the next level. Mark Hartsell has over thirty years of experience in buying and selling companies coupled with the business expertise to meet your growth and exit strategy plans. Please contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, President at (949) 629-2520, by email at, or visit for more information.

Mark Hartsell Judges Tech Coast Angels 2017 Fast Pitch Competition

On March 8, 2017, Tech Coast Angels held their Annual Celebration for Entrepreneurship Fast Pitch Competition at Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa, CA. Mark Hartsell, President of CEO Advisor, Inc. was one of ten esteemed judges chosen by Tech Coast Angels to select the 2017 entrepreneurial winners in four categories.

The event was a black tie optional affair attended by Tech Coast Angel investor members from Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange Counties, as well as, other investors, entrepreneurs and the press.

The judging was focused on two primary criteria: 1) Presentations by the CEOs of the finalist companies, and 2) Fundability, which was determined from a one minute pitch and four minutes of questions from the judges panel. Fast pitch competitions have been a focal point of Tech Coast Angels for twenty years.

About CEO Advisor, Inc.

CEO Advisor, Inc. provides business consulting, growth capital and mergers and acquisition advisory services affordably and effectively to meet the specific needs of CEOs, presidents and business owners of small to mid-size companies in a wide range of industries, including software, technology, media, professional service firms, healthcare, manufacturing and many more.

CEO Advisor's mission is to advise CEOs, presidents, business owners and principal executives with the needed expertise and focus, coupled with hands-on advice and work performed to grow your business to the next level or realize your life's dream through a successful exit.

Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. for a no cost initial consultation at (949) 629-2520, by email at or visit us at for more information.


"As a President of a mid-size technology company, I have been very pleased with the services provided by CEO Advisor®. He contributed in many areas, but identified marketing and sales as our primary need. His guidance and contributions have been invaluable in establishing and maintaining a meaningful marketing and sales program for the company. He is a knowledgeable business advisor and a pleasure to work with."
CEO/President, Engineering Services/Manufacturing Company

"CEO Advisor played an important role in acquiring the right type of growth capital and continues to be a valued resource as we expand into additional markets."

CEO, Software Company

"Mark Hartsell and CEO Advisor, Inc. provide a unique advisory service for CEOs. He not only tackles high level strategic issues to assist CEOs navigate through challenging times, but Mark also gets very involved in actually addressing important issues head-on by performing the work to achieve tangible results.

Whether it is growing a business to the next level, turning a distressed company around or preparing a company for an exit, Mark's firm, CEO Advisor, Inc, provides a broad range of services and Mark is there for the CEO every step of the way."



Haynes & Boone, LLP

Words of Wisdom

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up".

Thomas Edison

"Yesterday does not equal tomorrow. Forget the past and move towards your goals."

Tony Robbins
Motivational Speaker

"Yesterday does not equal tomorrow. Forget the past and move towards your goals."
Tony Robbins
Motivational Speaker
"Yesterday does not equal tomorrow. Forget the past and move towards your goals."
Tony Robbins
Motivational Speaker

Prime Minister of the U.K.