Despite a year of uncertainty and political upheaval, M&A activity continues across the world – and international deal flow, particularly, is proving resilient.
Lower volumes of domestic M&A in some regions are, first, offset in some cases by far higher values, and, second, tempered by significant inbound activity. The result is that in every region covered, overseas buyers are playing a vital role in driving M&A.
We are also seeing exciting M&A activity in not only the regions covered in this report, but also in the traditionally smaller markets: right next to Germany, Switzerland has seen a flurry of recent M&A deals; in the Nordics, both Norway and Denmark are seeing a significant increase in activity; and India, always second to China when it comes to emerging superpowers, has a booming M&A market, domestically and internationally.
While there is no denying M&A faces some challenging headwinds, in most cases, activity is proving remarkably robust.
Donald Trump’s presidency in the US, for example, has brought continued uncertainty for international buyers looking to North America. Yet, M&A in sectors such as energy, is thriving, and the US continues to see more M&A activity than all the other regions combined. Canada, meanwhile, sees sustained and significant activity, both domestically and inbound.
Brexit, too, has profound implications for buyers, but no major slowdown has yet to be felt. Domestic activity in the UK, if not Ireland, is quieter, but international buyers continue to look to Britain and Ireland first when investing in Europe. Between them, Britain and Ireland saw 380 deals involving international buyers in the first six months of the year, well ahead of the 331 in the DACH region. US buyers (closely followed by European buyers) continue to drive activity, and how this holds up will be a key indicator of future challenges for M&A in the region.
Finally, while there has been an undeniable slowdown in domestic M&A in China, international buyers into China are less deterred, as Asian activity continues and buyers from the US remain fairly constant. Furthermore, the Indochina region now also has India’s booming M&A market to drive activity, and it accounted for the majority of the 220 deals overall in the region in the first half of the year – 141 of them inbound. US buyers are active, with the Americas making up almost 40%, against about a quarter for Europe and a third from Australasia. Whatever challenges there are in the market, buyers, for now, continue to face them with considerable confidence across the globe.
Global Acquirer Trends is a bi-annual report focusing on M&A activity across key international markets.
For the full Global Acquirer Trends Report, click the link below.