GLOBAL STATISTICAL UPDATE – XBMA Quarterly Review for Third Quarter 2019

Executive Summary/Highlights:

  • In Q3 2019, global M&A volume was US$784 billion, reaching US$2.8 trillion for the year to date.  Global M&A volume could, based on the current pace, exceed US$3.5 trillion in annual volume in 2019 for the fifth time in the last decade.  But there are signs of a slow-down.
  • U.S. M&A volume, the primary driver of global deal volume through the first two quarters of the year, slowed in the third quarter; despite that, year-to-date U.S. M&A volume still matched the historically high volume in the first three quarters of 2018.
  • Mega deals (transactions valued at US$5 billion or greater) continued to prop up global M&A volume, with mega-deal transaction volume of nearly US$1.2 trillion in the first three quarters of 2019, on pace for US$1.6 trillion in 2019, which would equal the second largest annual volume in the last decade.
  • After a slow start to 2019, European M&A volume increased 32% quarter-over-quarter, and year-to-date European M&A volume was roughly on pace with the average volume of European M&A in the first three quarters of each year over the last decade.
  • Cross-border M&A volume was US$313 billion in Q3 2019, a modest increase over Q2 2019, and US$842 billion for the year to date.  Cross-border M&A volume is on pace to reach US$1.1 trillion but to represent only 30% of global M&A volume, which would be the smallest proportion of global M&A volume since 2013.
  • Several significant deals were announced in Q3 2019, including London Stock Exchange’s $27 billion acquisition of Refinitiv and the US$25 billion Reverse Morris Trust transaction between Mylan and Pfizer.

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