Global M&A deals to increase over next six months despite regional imbalances, claims new report

BY Fraser Tennant

Global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity over the next six months is expected to increase by around 6 percent year-over-year (YOY) compared to the same period in 2018, according to Intralinks’ ‘Deal Flow Predictor’.

However, while the short-term outlook for M&A activity is positive, particularly in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, regional imbalances and signs of stress underpin the market’s recent growth.

Drilling down, in APAC, the number of announced M&A deals is predicted to increase by around 14 percent YOY over the next six months, within a range of 7 to 20 percent, led by the technology, media, and telecom (TMT), energy and power, and materials sectors. Furthermore, all APAC regions are showing double-digit increases in their volumes of early-stage M&A activity.

In contrast, the number of announced M&A deals in Europe, the Middle East & Africa is forecast to remain flat YOY during the six months ending Q1 2019. Among the five largest European economies, over the next six months, France, Italy and the UK are expected to show the highest growth in M&A announcements, whereas levels of M&A announcements are expected to be flat in Germany and to decline in Spain.

“Structurally, YOY growth in M&A activity in the first nine months of 2018 has exclusively been driven by the Asia Pacific region,” said Philip Whitchelo, Intralinks’ vice president of strategic business & corporate development. “The number of announced deals increased by 6 percent compared to a 7 percent decline in the rest of the world.”

In terms of North America, the number of announced M&A deals is predicted to increase by around 3 percent YOY over the next six months, led by the real estate, industrial, and materials sectors. However, in Latin America (LATAM), the number of M&A deals is predicted to decrease by around 5 percent YOY over the next six months, with Argentina highest, Brazil declining and Mexico flat.

“There are also warning signs of market stress such as rising US interest rates, declining global equity markets, overstretched M&A valuation levels and increasing protectionism against cross-border M&A deals and global trade flows,” adds Mr Whitchelo. “Taken together, these suggest that the current M&A up-cycle may be nearing its peak.”

Intralinks forecasts the number of future M&A announcements by tracking early-stage M&A activity – deals that are, on average, six months away from being publicly announced.

Report: Deal Flow Predictor


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