The Strategist

PWC: Global M&A market up 94% to $2 trillion in H2 2020

01/26/2021 - 05:13

The number of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the world in the second half of last year increased by 18% compared with the first half, reaching 26.2 thousand. The total amount of M&A grew even more: by 94%, to more than $2 trillion.

This data was published by PwC in its new report.

The number of mega-deals worth more than $5bn also rose sharply - there were 57 mega-deals worth $688bn in the second half of the year compared with 27 such deals worth $266bn in the first half. 

M&A activity was strongest in technology, with a 34% growth in the number of deals and a 118% increase in their value, and in telecoms, with increases of 15% and 300% respectively.

Among other things, M&A activity during the pandemic was driven by the fact that many companies came to the conclusion that they needed to consolidate during the economic crisis. 

"COVID-19 gave companies a rare glimpse into their future, and many did not like what they saw there. Accelerating digitalisation and business transformation immediately became their top priority, and mergers and acquisitions were the fastest route to achieving that goal," says Brian Levy, Global Head of PwC's Transaction Services practice. 

In addition, some deals that were frozen due to the pandemic and lockdowns in the first half of the year were postponed until the second half of the year.