COVID-19 pandemic or not, H1 mergers and acquisitions soar 44% to $49.34 bn

Despite the second wave of Covid-19 scuppering normal life, the deal street was busy in the first half of 2021, closing 44 per cent more deals worth USD 49.34 billion than in the same period in 2020 that was also ravaged by the first wave of the killer viral infections, shows an industry report.

Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) were worth USD 34.3 billion in the same period in 2020.

Deal volume grew 5 per cent to 730 from 693 a year ago, according to the latest data from Refinitiv, the LSE Group arm that is into financial markets data.

Of the total, cross-border M&As amounted to USD 21.73 billion across 210 deals, up from USD 16.02 billion across 195 deals in the same period in 2020.

Globally, quarterly M&As surpassed USD 1 trillion for fourth consecutive quarter, making it the strongest year-on-year percentage growth on record.

Worldwide M&As totalled USD 2.8 trillion during the first half, up a record 132 per cent compared to the same period last year. This is the strongest opening for deal making since records began in 1980. Of this deals bigger than USD 10 billion have increased 94 per cent, while deals of USD 1-5 billion have registered triple-digit percentage gains.

US deals jumped to an all-time high of USD 1.4 trillion, up 264 per cent compared to last year, European deals rose 33 per cent to USD 556 billion and deals across Asia-Pacific rose 83 per cent to USD 551.6 billion to an all-time high.

Technology, industrials, financials, energy & power led the deal street so far this year.

While technology sector deals accounted for a record 24 per cent of the total at USD664.2 billion, up 363 per cent over last year, the industrials sector accounted for 11 per cent at USD306 billion, up 60 per cent. Financials accounted for 11 per cent at USD295 billion, more than double of the last year.

PEs-backed buyouts double to highest on record at USD512.7 billion, a 152% increase over last year. Private equity backed buyouts account for 18 per cent. By the number of deals, global PE-backed M&As rose 74 per cent, the highest since 1980.

From a dealmakers angel, Goldman Sachs maintained the top position for worldwide M&As boosted by the top ranking in the US, Europe and Japan, while Morgan Stanley took the top spot in Asia-Pacific.

Led by Evercore Partners and Lazard, 10 independent advisory firms were placed among the top 25 global financial advisors during the year.

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