Global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity hit an all-time high in the first six months of 2021 with deals worth more than $2.6 trillion—up from $926 billion year-on-year and surging past the pre-pandemic five-year average (H1 2015-2019) of $1.6 trillion, according to new analysis by EY.
More than half of the activity was recorded in North America, which saw deals worth $1.4 trillion (up from $345 billion in H1 2020)—almost double the average figure of $784 billion seen in the five years prior to the pandemic.
North America was followed by the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, which saw M&A values of $446 billion, a jump from $222 billion in H1 2020 and an increase from an average of $317 billion in H1 2015-2019. Europe follows, recording $412 billion, up from $245 billion in H1 2020 and exceeding the H1 2015-2019 average of $356 billion.
Despite a fall in the total number of deals announced, a spike in billion-dollar deals is the key driver behind activity so far this year, according to EY analysis, with 479 such deals announced.
Despite many parts of the world economy still operating under restrictions, cross-border transactions have also staged an impressive comeback, increasing to $688 billion from $236 billion in H1 2020 and above the average of $480 billion recorded in the five years prior to the pandemic.
The United States tops the list of countries with the highest outbound transactions value, having recorded $221 billion in deals, up from $77 billion in H1 2020 and more than double the average seen between H1 2015-19 ($92 billion). Recording $58 billion (up from $14 billion in H1 2020), Canada comes in second, while the Netherlands and Ireland emerge as outbound M&A front-runners with $53 billion from an average of $21 billion between H1 2015-19 and $51 billion from an average of $4.3 billion respectively.
At the same time, the United States and the United Kingdom are emerging as the most attractive destinations for inbound M&A. The United States has recorded an increase in the value of inbound transactions by over 250 per cent compared with H1 2020 (to $200 billion), and 60 per cent compared with the H1 average ($125 billion) of the five years prior to the pandemic.
And the United Kingdom has seen an increase of 51 per cent (to $87 billion) compared to H1 2020, exceeding the inbound average between H1 2015-2019 ($80 billion).
Meanwhile, domestic deal-making in China is running at record pace with M&A value so far this year totaling $197 billion—eight times more than foreign-invested M&A deals and a 20 per cent increase on the average domestic transactions value of the five pre-pandemic years ($164 billion).
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)
Global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity hit an all-time high in the first six months of 2021 with deals worth more than $2.6 trillion—up from $926 billion year-on-year and surging past the pre-pandemic five-year average (H1 2015-2019) of $1.6 trillion, according to new analysis by EY. More than half of the activity was recorded in North America.