London 3rd January 2019: Mergermarket, the leading provider of M&A data and intelligence, has released its 2018 report with league tables. According to the new research, 2018 saw that the number of deals struck over the year fell for the first time since 2010 to 19,232, after steadily rising for close to a decade.
The transactions that did make it to the signing table reached USD 3.5tn worth of activity, ranking 2018 as the third-largest year on Mergermarket record (since 2001) by value. Average deal size saw its second-highest total value on record with USD 384.8m, just below the USD 400.3m peak reached in 2015.
Yet, activity did suffer in some corners. Chinese buys of US firms fell 94.6% to USD 3bn from a record USD 55.3bn in 2016. Meanwhile, China’s bids in Europe increased 81.7% to USD 60.4bn from USD 33.2bn last year. Cross-border count fell by 6.6% to 6,405, while valuations inched higher to USD 1.35tn from USD 1.27tn the year prior. Domestic count slipped to 12,827 from 13,115, while value increased 15% to USD 2.18tn from USD 1.90tn.
Two of the sectors to watch in 2018 were Energy, Mining & Utilities (EMU) – which ranked first by hitting its second-highest value on record with USD 673bn – and Construction, which reached a new decade high of USD 116.5bn, driven by PE plays and infrastructure bids; the total value was just under 2007’s record of USD 116.8bn.
“With so many market-moving factors fluctuating throughout the year, mergers and acquisitions have understandably had a somewhat ambivalent 2018. Intensifying trade tensions, political instability, and increased regulatory scrutiny took their toll on the number of deals struck over the year, though deal values remained relatively high,” commented Elizabeth Lim, Research Editor (Americas) at Mergermarket.
Goldman Sachs & Co led the financial advisor rankings by deal value having advised on 382 deals worth US$ 1tn up 19.8% compared to US$ 885bn in 2017.
Deloitte led the financial advisor rankings by deal count, having advised on 468 deals worth US$ 61.94bn up from 390 deals in 2017.
Davis Polk & Wardwell led the legal advisor rankings by deal value having advised on deals worth US$ 507bn up 24.6% compared to US$ 407.1bn in 2017.
DLA Piper led the legal advisor rankings by deal count, having advised on 671 deals worth US$ 182.4bn up from 636 deals in 2017.
Click here to access the full report with financial advisor league tables.
Click here to access the full report with legal advisor league tables.