London, United Kingdom, 1st October 2019: Mergermarket, the leading provider of M&A data and intelligence, has published its 3Q19 report which revealed that the slowdown in dealmaking spread to the US market in 3Q19, causing global M&A to drop 11.4% YTD on last year to USD2.49tn (across 13,304 deals). Activity was particularly subdued in the difficult to interpret third quarter of the year, when USD 622.2bn worth of deals were struck globally, down 21.2% on 3Q18 (USD 789.7bn) and with 1,164 fewer deals than last year.
The US market, which had so far seemed immune to the global downward trend at play since the middle of last year, is starting to be impacted. At USD 262.9bn in 3Q19, US M&A is down 32.1% on 3Q18 (USD 387.1bn). Worth USD 1.25tn YTD, US M&A is still marginally up on the same period last year (USD 1.23tn), just about retaining a 50% share of global M&A activity, down from 52.5% in 1H19.
After an abyssal performance in 1H19, Europe has enjoyed a relative recovery over the summer, with the value of deals in 3Q19 reaching USD 166.5bn across 1,545 transactions down only 2.3% compared to 3Q18 (USD 170.5bn across 1,974 deals). YTD, European M&A is still down 29.4% compared to the same period last year. The largest deal of the quarter, London Stock Exchange’s USD 27bn acquisition of US-based financial data provider Refinitiv, is only the tenth largest deal of the year so far. But it exemplifies the strength of European outbound M&A, which at USD 187.1bn is up more than 20% on last year and at its highest YTD level since 2016.
Beranger Guille, Global Editorial Analytics Director at Mergermarket commented: “Whether they are motivated by the desire to get more growth, or a way to secure future survival, deals are getting larger. On the back of the longest equity bull market in history, and amid persistently low interest rates, corporates have ample cash reserves and appealing debt financing options at their disposal to pursue M&A. This context and the growing feeling that it will not last forever are pushing valuations up.”
Goldman Sachs & Co led the financial advisor rankings by value having advised on 259 deals worth USD 981.3bn up 15.5% by value compared to USD 849.8bn in YTD 2018.
PwC led the financial advisor rankings by volume having advised on 372 deals worth USD 40.5bn up 16 deals compared to 356 in YTD 2018.
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz led the legal advisor rankings by value having advised on 52 deals worth USD 527.6bn, up 72.3% by value compared to USD 306.2 bn in YTD 2018.
Kirkland & Ellis led the legal advisor rankings by volume having advised on 475 deals worth USD 464.6bn, up 21 deals compared to 454 in YTD 2018.
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