Global dealmakers 2022: M&A market update
As the global economy continues to recover into the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the market for M&A is maintaining its upward momentum, with no signs of slowing in 2022. At its close, 2021 was a year for the record books: US$5.9tn in deals, a 62% lift from 2020 and the highest value amount in more than a decade. Deal totals also rose, albeit more modestly, to hit 34,128 (0.4% above 2020).
The report ‘Global dealmakers 2022’ drills down into the details of last year’s M&A markets and explores whether 2022 has what it takes to match one of the biggest years on record.
When we conducted our annual survey Global dealmakers 2021: Cross-border M&A outlook at the half-year mark in 2021, 71% of respondents believed M&A would maintain its upward momentum – with optimism that the rebound then being experienced from the pandemic could translate to a strong year ahead. Now, six months later, we see that optimism was well founded.
Key highlights include:
- Global M&A value in 2021: US 5.9 trillion
- Global M&A volume in 2021: 34,128 deals
- 77% increase in annual global cross-border deal value
- 5% increase in annual global cross-border deal volume
- 6% increase in mid-market deals in 2021 compared to 2020
- North America top geography by M&A deal value in 2021
- Asia Pacific top geography by M&A deal volume in 2021
Expectations for 2022 remain positive
Last year’s stellar performance may prove difficult to match, but the appetite for dealmaking remains keen. With several factors underpinning deal activity, there is good reason to expect M&A to grow in 2022 and beyond.
For example, the global economy seems to be quietly recovering from impact of the pandemic.. Another example is the need for digital transformation.
Tech deals have continued to dominate thanks to COVID-led acceleration of trends such as the move to online retail and the growth of cloud-based remote working, as well as soaring demand for home entertainment streaming and the telecoms capacity needed to enable the shifts. Within the mid-market, the race to snap up innovative businesses with potentially transformative IP has been a key driver of increasing competition.
But as recent history continues to demonstrate, challenges can arrive abruptly and upend expectations. This was the case with the COVID-19 pandemic, and more recently with the dramatic escalation of events in Ukraine. Indeed, the escalation into war in Ukraine and the fallout from sanctions, higher energy costs and wider uncertainty, once again has the potential to reshape the dealmaking environment.