An opportunity in crisis: Italian M&A and PE activity in 2019–Q1 2020

26 June 2020

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Mergermarket and Unquote are pleased to present An opportunity in crisis: Italian M&A and PE activity in 2019–Q1 2020, published in association with Gatti Pavesi Bianchi. This report provides invaluable insights into M&A and private equity activity in Italy as the COVID-19 crisis takes hold in the region.    

Highlights from the report include:
  • 2019 in review. While the M&A market in Italy remained active across 2019, there were already signs that investors were taking less risks. The region witnessed an annual decrease in total deal value by 33% to €37.3bn, the weakest total since 2014. 
  • M&A figures for Q1 2020 supressed in the wake of COVID-19. There were 112 deals M&A deals recorded in Q1 2020, 12% fewer than Q1 2019 – making it the weakest quarter in six years. However, at €11.9bn, deal value across the quarter topped the same period in the previous two years, although much of this increase was due to a single deal, Intesa Sanpaolo’s €4.8bn bid for UBI Banca, which is still pending approval by shareholders and regulators.
  • Navigating a challenging environment. Looking forward, a prosperous M&A climate in Italy will somewhat depend on cross-border deals returning to the fore post COVID-19. Italy is an export-oriented economy that has strong trade ties with China. While outbound M&A by China-based buyers has fallen in recent years, there is some indication that Chinese firms will begin to look overseas for deals once again.