Global dealmakers: Cross-border M&A in 2021

24 March 2021

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Mergermarket and Dealogic are pleased to present Global dealmakers: Cross-border M&A in 2021, published in association with Baker Tilly International.

Global M&A was shaken in 2020, however, the impact of Covid-19 may not have been as bad as expected. Deal activity for Q3 and Q4 were among the highest on record as dealmakers spent their way through the crisis. This unprecedented drive helped propel average deal value above that of 2019, averting a lull and more prolonged recovery similar to that in the post-GFC period. As confidence continues to grow, the question arises: Is it onward and upward in 2021?

This report dives into the trends that drove the global M&A recovery through 2020 while looking to future opportunity sectors and markets that hold promise in 2021.

Key highlights include:               

  • Global recovery: M&A rocketed to new highs in H2 2020, closing 122% higher in value (US$2.5tn) and 5% higher in volume (16,700 deals) from H1.
  • TMT leads: Tech-driven M&A led the charge, with the TMT sector accounting for 36% of deal volume and 31% of deal value in 2020.
  • PE scales new heights: Private equity closed out 2020 with one of its highest years since 2007, accounting for an impressive 23% of total global M&A deal value.
  • Outlook 2021: Low interest rates are creating enthusiasm among various buyers to pursue M&A to expand their businesses, however, current optimism hinges on the effectiveness of vaccine programs around the world and potential rising distress in certain markets and industries.