GLOBAL STATISTICAL UPDATE – XBMA Quarterly Review for Second Quarter 2021

Executive Summary/Highlights

  • Global M&A activity reached historic levels in the first half of 2021, amounting to one of the highest first-half deal volumes on record. The surge in M&A activity following the early-pandemic shutdown has continued for the last 12 months, driven by  a bull market, economic stimulus, corporate priorities to adapt to changes in the economy and lifestyles, the increased value of corporate stock acquisition currency, relatively inexpensive debt financing and surplus corporate cash and private equity dry powder.
  • Global M&A volume was US$1.6 trillion in Q2 2021, a 20% increase from Q1 2021 (US$1.3 trillion) and nearly three times the volume in Q2 2020 (US$564 billion). At the current level of M&A activity, global M&A volume in 2021 is on pace to reach US$5.7 trillion, an increase of approximately 53% from 2020 (US$3.7 trillion).
  • U.S. M&A volume was US$718 billion in Q2 2021, an increase of 14% from Q1 2021 (US$632 billion) and more than five times that of Q2 2020 (US$133 billion). U.S. M&A volume in Q2 2021 was the highest quarterly U.S. M&A volume since Q2 2007 (US$757 billion) and nearly double the average Q2 U.S. M&A volume over the last 10 years (US$380 billion).
  • For the fourth consecutive quarter, the High Technology sector dominated M&A activity in Q2 2021, representing 25% of aggregate M&A volume, an increase even above High Technology’s 21% share of global M&A volume in Q1 2021. Many of the largest deals of the quarter were in the High Technology sector, including Altimeter Growth’s US$34 billion de-SPAC merger with Grab Holdings.
  • Cross-border M&A volume reached US$444 billion in Q2 2021, which was a 6% increase from the already high level of cross-border M&A activity in Q1 2021 (US$419 billion) and the highest second-quarter volume of cross-border M&A since Q2 2018 (US$502 billion).
  • Despite the rise in cross-border M&A volume, the average proportion of global M&A volume attributable to cross-border M&A in Q2 2021 was lower than its historical average.  In Q2 2021, cross-border deals represented 29% of global M&A volume, below the proportion of global M&A volume attributable to cross-border M&A in Q1 2021 (31%) and the average proportion of global M&A volume attributable to cross-border M&A over the last 10 years (36%).

Click here to see the Review.