The global M&A market is smashing records (in 7 charts)

07 October 2021 3 min. read
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The global M&A market is this year poised to smash records for both deal value as well as deal volume, according to new research from KPMG. Seven charts on the market’s potentially record-breaking path. 

Global level

Volume and value
In the first half of 2021, global deal volume hit 11,756 deals, well above the average of 8,438 deals for the H1 period in 2010-2020. Compared to the year previous, global deal volume in H1 2021 was already at 61% of total 2020 deal volume.

Number of deals – yearly (2010 - H1 2021) - World

Similarly, total deal value in H1 2021 (€2.4 trillion) was the highest level recorded in the past decade, with value already at 84% of total 2020 annual deal value (€2.8 trillion). North America accounted for half of total deal value, at €1.2 trillion. 

Deal value (€bn) – yearly (2010 - H1 2021). World

Who’s buying?
Private equity further increased its share of global deal volume from circa 29% in H2 2020 to 33% in H1 2021, continuing a gradual trend which is seeing financial investors steadily increase their stake in the deal market.

Similar to the development observed in deal value, North America’s private equity industry is ahead of the rest. In the region, the share of private equity related deals increased to a new record, averaging 43% for H1 2021, well above the global average of 33% over the same period.

Financial vs strategic deals - monthly (H2 2020 - H1 2021)

Further reading: 8 charts on the global private equity deals landscape

At what price?
Global valuation levels in terms of median EV/EBITDA multiples reached the highest level in more than 10 years during H1 2021, with a median multiple of around 12.0x. North America showed a very strong increase in valuation levels with a median multiple of 11.6x in 2020 rising to a record-high 16.4x in H1 2021. 

EV/EBITDA multiple - yearly (2010 - H1 2021) - World

European level 

Volume and value
In the first half of this year, 4,881 deals closed across Europe – more than in any other first half over the past decade.

Number of deals - yearly (2010 - H1 2021) - Europe

The total value of deals in Europe reached €657 billion, more than double the amount closed in the same period last year.

Deal value (€bn) - yearly (2010 - H1 2021) - Europe

Industry analysis
From a sector perspective, the technology sector – not surprisingly given the acceleration of digitisation during Covid-19 – outperformed all other sectors in 2020. In Europe, from the top 10 most active sectors, the technology sector was the only that showed an increase in deal volume in 2020 compared to 2019, growing with 8.2%. 

Deals per target sector - monthly (H2 2020 - H1 2021) - Europe

KPMG’s research was conducted by its Deal Advisory team, which has over 14,500 professionals in 100+ countries.