GLOBAL STATISTICAL UPDATE – XBMA Quarterly Review for Third Quarter 2021
- The boom in global M&A activity reached new heights in the third quarter of 2021, resulting in a record volume of global M&A through the first three quarters. M&A activity has surged on the back of pent-up demand for deals following the Covid-19 shutdown in the early part of 2020 and the subsequent economic stimulus, surplus of corporate cash and private equity dry powder as well as relatively inexpensive acquisition financing.
- Global M&A volume reached US$1.6 trillion for Q3 2021, the largest single-quarter volume since Q2 2007 (US$1.8 trillion). Q3 2021 volume was also nearly double the average Q3 volume of global M&A over the last 10 years (US$883 billion).
- There was US$4.4 trillion of global M&A volume for the first three quarters of 2021, almost double the volume in the first three quarters of 2020 (US$2.4 trillion) and 50% more than the volume in the first three quarters of 2019 (US$3.0 trillion), before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. At its current pace, global M&A volume in 2021 is on track to amount to nearly US$6.0 trillion, which would be the highest annual volume of global M&A on record. Through just the first three quarters, M&A volume in 2021 has already exceeded the total annual volume of M&A recorded in all but just a few prior years.
- U.S. M&A volume was US$610 billion in Q3 2021, a decrease of 13% from Q2 2021 (US$704 billion). However, U.S. M&A volume continues to be historically large, with the level of U.S. M&A volume in Q3 2021 representing an increase of 34% over Q3 2020 (US$457 billion) and an increase of 102% over Q3 2019 (US$302 billion). U.S. M&A volume in Q3 2021 was 56% higher than the average Q3 U.S. M&A volume over the last 10 years (US$392 billion).
- The High Technology sector dominated M&A activity in Q3 2021 and was the leading sector for global M&A volume for the fifth consecutive quarter, representing 14% of global M&A volume in Q3 2021.
- Cross-border M&A volume reached US$746 billion in Q3 2021, an 83% increase relative to the volume of cross-border M&A activity in Q2 2021 (US$407 billion) and the highest quarterly volume of cross-border M&A in the last 10 years.
- In Q3 2021, cross-border deals represented 46% of global M&A volume, far above the proportion of global M&A volume attributable to cross-border M&A in Q2 2021 (27%) and the average proportion of global M&A volume attributable to cross-border M&A over the last 10 years (36%).
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