GLOBAL STATISTICAL UPDATE – XBMA Quarterly Review for Second Quarter 2020

Executive Summary/Highlights

  • Global M&A activity in Q2 2020 dropped to its lowest quarterly levels in more than a decade, as corporate dealmakers paused to weigh the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the responses of governments, businesses and consumers across the world, and many companies devoted all available resources to existence-preserving activities and not growth or diversification.
  • Global M&A volume was US$517 billion in Q2 2020, a decrease of 25% from Q1 2020 and 53% from Q2 2019 and the lowest quarterly volume since Q3 2004. Global M&A volume was US$1.2 trillion for the first half of 2020, a decrease of 42% from the first half of 2019 and the lowest first-half volume since 2013.
  • The decline in global M&A volume in Q2 2020 reflected a reduction in M&A volume in the United States, in large deals (transactions valued between US$1 billion and US$5 billion) and in mega deals (transactions valued at US$5 billion or greater), which had been primary drivers of the M&A boom over the prior several quarters.
  • Other regions of the world, however, experienced either less severe declines (Europe and India) or increases (Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan), the Middle East and Oceania) in Q2 2020 volumes as compared to Q1 2020.
  • Notably, Q2 2020 M&A volumes in Europe and China were each greater than U.S. volumes—the first time since Q2 2012 for Europe and since data has been available for China.
  • Cross-border M&A activity in Q2 2020 exceeded Q1 2020 volume but remained low by recent historical levels as governments, central banks, executives and investors grappled with the continued effects of unprecedented shutdowns, rising unemployment, social unrest and economic uncertainty. Cross-border M&A volume was US$241 billion in Q2 2020, a 20% increase over Q1 2020, but an 11% decrease from Q2 2019.
  • The largest deals in Q2 2020 included National Commercial Bank’s US$16 billion acquisition of Samba Financial Group and Liberty Global’s US$13 billion acquisition of O2 Holdings.

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