2020 Global M&A Report with legal league tables

05 January 2021

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Mergermarket, the leading provider of M&A data and intelligence, released its 2020 global report, which revealed that USD 2.2tn of overall M&A activity in 2H20 represented the highest half-year figure on Mergermarket record. Meanwhile, the USD 1.2tn announced in the final quarter was the highest quarterly value since 2Q07.
  • In contrast, M&A activity in the first half was subdued (USD 971.0bn), leading to an overall 6.6% year-on-year decline by value. Amid the social and economic disruptions caused by COVID-19, deal count was down 15.5%, from 20,767 to 17,545. While a few sectors fell, others rose, making it a bumpy ride for deal professionals.
  • Technology, Media, and Telecommunications (TMT) climbed 56.8% by value compared to the previous year, from USD 543.4bn to USD 851.8bn, equivalent to more than a quarter of overall global activity. Volume, on the other hand, declined slightly to 3,943 deals.
  • The next best performing sector was Energy, Mining & Utilities (EMU), which also saw a 3.8% increase by value to USD 477.7bn, but a 13.8% decline in deal count to 1,326. Industrials & Chemicals rounds out the three best performing sectors in 2020, even with a 27.1% drop from the previous year - from 3,791 to 3,023 transactions.
  • Although M&A markets went into stasis, debt and equity capital markets came alive. In addition to a significant volume of high yield bond issuances and secondary equity offerings, special purpose acquisition companies (SPAC) became the phenom of 2H20, particularly in the US. A total of 255 SPACs were launched in 2020, raising USD 83.1 bn, compared to USD 15.5bn across 73 listings in 2019, according to Dealogic data (Mergermarket and Dealogic are owned by ION Group).
Mark Druskoff, Data-Driven Content Coordinator (North America) at Mergermarket commented: “Even as 2020 recedes into the distance, its impacts continue to shape the market. Corporates and sponsors alike have spent their way through the crisis in the second half of 2020, with unprecedented levels of deal making in the final few months of the year.”