Mergermarket has released its Global M&A roundup for 1Q21, including its financial advisors league tables.
A couple key findings include:
- Globally, first quarter activity in 2021 reached USD 1.16tn in transactions, surpassing even red-hot 2018 and 2019, making 2021 the most active annual opening on record and one of the highest ever. Large deal values but fewer deals have led to the highest average deal value since 2006 of USD 518.7m (based on 2,243 deals with disclosed deal values).
- Cross-border deals were a significant contributor to overall activity, hitting a record of USD 516.6bn for first quarter activity and nearly returning to historical averages of more than 44.4% of total deal value.
- Foreign investment into Europe has reached USD 134.4bn across 359 deals so far this year, accounting for a 46% share of the total 1Q21 European value and 17.5% of the deal count. This represents a sizeable increase from 2020, in which 37.1% of the value was derived from foreign investment and 16.5% of the deal count.
- After a blockbuster final quarter of 2020, European M&A has recorded a robust first three months of the year, with a total of USD 291.3bn spent on European firms in 1Q21. This represents a 51.4% increase by value on the equivalent period in 2020. The largest deal in Europe so far this year saw National Grid acquire UK-based utilities firm Western Power Distribution from PPL Corporation, in a deal worth USD 19.8bn announced in mid-March. This represents the only deal in Europe worth more than USD 10bn so far this year.
- With corporates and sponsors alike looking to invest in innovation, TMT has remained active in 2021. A total of USD 80.5bn has been spent in the European TMT sector in 1Q21 across 471 deals, the sector’s strongest start to the year on Mergermarket record, and 228.7% ahead of the 1Q20 deal value (USD 24.5bn, 386 deals).
- The SPAC surge may take hold in Europe as an increasing number of the specialized vehicles are coming to market.