GLOBAL STATISTICAL UPDATE – XBMA Quarterly Review for First Quarter 2018

Executive Summary/Highlights:

  • Global M&A is off to a fast start in 2018, as global deal volume in Q1 was the strongest of any first quarter, and the third strongest quarter overall, since the beginning of the post-crisis recovery.
  • The momentum from a strong Q4 2017 in global M&A carried into Q1 2018.  Q1 saw more than US$1.2 trillion in deals for the quarter on the back of a robust M&A environment in Europe and North America, which together contributed almost US$950 billion in transaction volume for the quarter.
  • M&A activity in 2018 to date has been facilitated by optimism about synchronized global growth as well as record amounts of private equity “dry powder.”  Transformational changes in the healthcare industry and tax reform in the United States have also contributed to the boom.
  • The quarter was highlighted by several mega-deals, including Cigna’s approximately US$70 billion acquisition of Express Scripts, and JAB Holdings’ US$23 billion cross-border deal for Dr Pepper Snapple Group.
  • Robust cross-border M&A was an important driver of the global M&A boom, as cross-border M&A accounted for approximately 43% of global M&A volume in Q1, exceeding the recent historical proportion of approximately 36%.
  • Over the last four quarters, the Real Estate and Industrials sectors have been the most active sectors in cross-border M&A, generating nearly US$400 billion of cross-border deal volume in aggregate (or more than a quarter of cross-border deal volume across all sectors).

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