Mergers and acquisitions in Europe - Statistics & Facts

Merger and acquisition deals play a big part in the corporate financing world. Ideally, M&A processes result in creating a company that is both larger and more efficient than the two that have been operating on the market previously.

M&A activity on the European market decreased in in terms of both volume and value in 2019. The value of mergers and acquisitions deals on the European market reached over 880 billion euros in 2019, signifying a two year drop from 2017. Cross-border activity is very important for European M&A, with some countries attributing approximately 90 percent of M&A deals to come through cross-border acquisitions by 2021. The United Kingdom (UK) is the second most attractive target country globally for acquiring companies in terms of deal volume.

The process of merging two companies together or acquiring a different company is typically executed in a multi-step fashion. Therefore, such deals are usually managed by leading financial advisory companies. On the European market, Goldman Sachs was the leading financial advisor for M&A transactions, with almost 460 billion U.S. dollars in deal value in 2018. Legal advisors also play an important role in the M&A process. As of the first half of 2019, Slaughter and May was ranked as the leading legal advisor firm for M&A transactions in the United Kingdom, consulting on deals with an aggregate value of approximately 15 billion British pounds.

On the Central and Eastern European market, the number of merger and acquisition deals decreased to under two thousand in 2019. When looking closely at sectors, the real estate and construction industries noted the highest levels of activity, followed by telecom and IT in 2019. The largest deal noted on that market in 2019 was the acquisition of the Russian mining company Arctic LNG-2 by the China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).

To dive deeper into M&A deal making and valuations, or to gain perspective on a global level you can read our DossierPlus deep dives on the topic.

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Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in Europe

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