Mergermarket’s 2016 Global Trend Report shows that dealmakers were forced to navigate a sea of change during 2016, as the populist vote swept across the global political stage. Despite a series of political shockwaves, global M&A activity (17,369 deals, US$ 3.2tn) managed to reach its third highest deal value since 2007 (US$ 3.7tn), despite value dropping 18.1% compared to 2015. The outlook for 2017 remains uncertain, with Brexit negotiations, the nature of president-elect Donald Trump’s presidency, as well as the upcoming French and German elections, all under question.
Key highlights from the report include:
- The US continued to be the most sought after location for M&A deals by both value and count, with 2016 activity (4,951 deals, US$ 1.5tn) reaching its second highest annual value on Mergermarket record (since 2001).
- Arguably the most prominent trend of the year was China’s seemingly unquenchable apetite for overseas acquisitions. Chinese dealmakers engaged in 258 transactions worth US$ 185.3bn during 2016.
- Donald Trump’s surprise electoral victory in November brings with it an uncertain future for US M&A.
AT&T Inc’s high profile acquisition of Time Warner was the largest deal of the year worth US$ 105.0bn.
Morgan Stanley led the financial advisor rankings, having advised on 265 deals worth US$ 871.1bn.
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