Mergermarket has released its Global M&A roundup for the first quarter (Q1) of 2020, including its financial advisors league tables.
A couple key findings include:
· After nearly ten years of growth, global M&A activity in 1Q20 is down 39.1% by value on 1Q19 to USD 563.7bn over 3,685 transactions, and back to levels not seen since the first half of 2013. Both the overall value and number of deals are comparable to those of 1Q08 (USD 592.3bn across 3,744 transactions).
· This year is unlikely to repeat the megadeals (> USD 10bn) frenzy of 2019, when 38 such deals were announced. Only eight were announced globally so far in 2020, down from eleven in 1Q19 and 14 in 1Q18.
· European M&A looks set to see a dramatic fall in the second quarter, following a relatively active start to the year before the coronavirus pandemic hit. With several European countries now under lockdown, the inevitable hit to the economy has grind dealmaking to a halt, and activity is likely to remain subdued in the coming months. On the face of it, M&A targeting Europe had a strong start to 2020 despite many worries over the economy coming into the year. Driven by high-profile defensive consolidation and continued blockbuster private equity investment, the continent recorded USD 199.4bn (1,387 deals) in 1Q20, a 30.2% increase on 1Q19 (USD 153.2bn). This was mainly driven by the USD 35.6bn tieup between insurance giants Aon and Willis Towers Watson announced in March – the largest European deal of 2020.