2019 Global M&A Report with legal league tables

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Mergermarket, the leading provider of M&A data and intelligence, has published its 2019 report which revealed that global M&A activity in 2019 was down 6.9% on the exceptional 2018 vintage to USD 3.33tn (across 19,322 deals), the sixth successive year at over USD 3tn. While this is up slightly on 2016 and 2017 levels, dealmaking slowed significantly in the latter part of the year, falling by 24.2% in the second half versus 1H19.

  • At USD 389m, the average size of deals with a disclosed value is up from USD 353m in 2018, and the second highest value on Mergermarket record behind 2015, a record year for global M&A. The past year also recorded 38 megadeals (>USD 10bn), also the highest number of such deals since 2015.
  • Hampered by sluggish Eurozone growth and Brexit, European M&A activity has suffered from a lack of big-ticket deals in 2019, posting a 21.9% year-on-year decrease to USD 770.5bn (vs USD 986.4bn in 2018). In contrast, the US market took the lion’s share of global M&A activity.
  • Despite a dip in activity in 2H18, the US was home to 47.2% of global M&A activity in 2019, the highest share since 2001 and the highest post-financial crisis. While APAC was down 17.5%, the US market, up 1.5% on 2018, showed strong resistance throughout, supported by a relatively strong economy and a number of large domestic deals. Indeed, 15 of the top 20 deals of 2019 in value were the result of domestic consolidation among US-based corporations, another record.

Beranger Guille, Global Editorial Analytics Director at Mergermarket commented: “On the back of the longest equity bull market in history, and amid persistently low interest rates, corporates and private equity firms alike have ample cash reserves and appealing debt financing options at their disposal. The feeling that these conditions may not last and the desire to secure future growth are pushing valuations up.”