Executive Summary/Highlights

  • Following record-breaking M&A activity in 2021, M&A volume over the 12 months ending December 31, 2022 reverted toward the mean, with a significant slowdown in the second half of the year.
  • Global M&A volume in 2022 was US$3.6 trillion, down from US$6.2 trillion in 2021 and closer to the annual average of US$4.3 trillion over the prior 10-year period.
  • Despite financial market and macroeconomic headwinds and uncertainty, several mega deals were announced in 2022, albeit in the first half of the year, including Microsoft’s still-pending US$69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard and Broadcom’s US$68 billion acquisition of VMWare. Elon Musk’s headline-grabbing US$44 billion acquisition of Twitter was announced in April and completed in October after months of litigation in which Musk sought a way out of the deal.
  • Healthcare was the leading sector for M&A activity in Q4 2022, representing approximately 19% of the quarter’s total global M&A volume. The largest deals of the quarter included Schemaquarantatre SpA’s US$52 billion voluntary public tender offer for all shares in Atlantia SpA, Amgen’s US$28 billion acquisition of Horizon Therapeutics and Kroger’s US$20 billion merger with Albertsons.
  • Cross-border M&A volume was US$210 billion in Q4 2022, a decrease of 18% from Q3 2022 (US$254 billion) and a decrease of 68% from Q4 2021. 2022’s US$1.1 trillion of cross-border M&A volume was 50% percent lower than the total volume of cross-border M&A in 2021 and 25% lower than average cross-border M&A volume over the prior 10 years.
  • Acquisitions of U.S. companies represented the largest part of global M&A in 2022 (US$1.5 trillion), constituting approximately 43% of global M&A volume, in line with the proportion in 2021 and the average proportion of global M&A volume since 2013.

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