2019 saw a slowdown globally in merger and acquisition activity, with a 6 percent decrease in total deal volume and 14 percent in total value. According to the Institute for Mergers, Acquisitions and Alliances (IMAA) the total value of M&A in 2019 was approximately 3.7 trillion U.S. dollars across 49.5 thousand deals. The largest deal to take place in 2019 was the 100 percent acquisition by pharmaceutical and beauty products manufacturer Bristol-Myers Squibb Company of the biopharmaceuticals manufacturer Celgene Corporation. This still fell far short of the biggest M&A deal to ever take place.
North America saw an 11 percent decrease in deals between 2018 and 2019 with all regions except Eastern Europe, and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) also seeing a downturn in the number of transactions. Europe saw the total value of deals made during the year fall under one trillion U.S. dollars for the first time since 2013, falling by 31 percent from 2018. Despite the three largest regions (North America, APAC, Europe) all seeing a fall in overall value, some emerging markets saw an increase during 2019. In the Middle East and North Africa average deal values nearly doubled between 2018 and 2019.
In terms of deal volume, four industries accounted for over a quarter of all deals made globally, with the software industry making up more than 7 percent of all deals in that year. The energy and power industry, alongside the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector dominated in terms of deal value.
Although falling short of 2018, mega deals (valued over one billion U.S. dollars) remained strong in 2019 in both value and volume. In 2019, mega deals accounted for almost two thirds of the global value of deals seen.
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