A lot of cash is expected to be chasing a few investment opportunities this year, according to a new report.
Law firm Chapman Tripp said the outlook for mergers and acquisitions favoured the sellers of businesses.
It said it expected companies to be sold privately rather than listed on the stock exchange, while public companies would favour schemes of arrangement over conventional takeovers.
The head of Chapman Tripp's Auckland corporate team, Tim Tubman, said there would be more demand than supply.
"These investors include flush corporates, financial investors and private equity firms - typically astute investors who are on the hunt for good-quality assets.
"However, we don't expect investors to buy for the sake of buying, nor bid assets up to unrealistic levels, as occurred prior to the (2008) global financial crisis," he said.
The key sectors to watch were aged care, construction, finance, food and beverages, and media and telecommunications, he said.
There was interest in media and communications assets after the Commerce Commission blocked the proposed merger between Sky TV and Vodafone, and the outcome of the proposed merger between NZME and Fairfax, which will be decided this month.
"Despite heightened global and domestic uncertainty, we remain optimistic for M&A (mergers and acquisitions) in 2017, but we do expect a slowdown in activity prior to the general election in September, and the year has already shown that regulatory intervention can and will have a major impact on transactions."