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Mergers and acquisitions worldwide - statistics & facts

AT&T and Time Warner may be one of the most well-known recent mergers, but it was only the ninth largest all-time global M&A deal. The honor of the largest global deal goes to Vodafone AirTouch PLC and Mannesmann AG’s 1999 acquisition. Although the terms “merger” and “acquisition” are often used interchangeably, they represent different methods of company consolidation processes. A merger is a combination of two companies to form a new company, while an acquisition is the purchase of one company by another, in which no new company is formed. The value of global mergers and acquisitions deals has been falling since its 2015 peak of almost five trillion U.S. dollars.

How was M&A activity affected by the pandemic?

M&A deal values suffered in 2020, which is likely due to the uncertainty and global economic contraction caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The only region where the value of the M&A deals increased in 2020 was the Asia-Pacific region. Post-pandemic M&A growth is expected in sectors such as the energy and mining sector, as well as the pharma sector. However, this is dependent on the longevity of the pandemic, which is difficult to predict.

What drives M&A activity?

Several factors play a role in executives deciding to merge their company with another, or sell their company to another entity. For instance, the main driver for Chinese CEOs was to reduce costs when surveyed in 2019. Meanwhile, European executives from corporates and equity firms believed that undervalued targets will drive buy-side M&A activity in 2022. The same executives expected that distress-driven M&A will drive the sell-side in 2022.

Interesting statistics

In the following 7 chapters, you will quickly find the 42 most important statistics relating to "Global mergers and acquisitions".


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