GLOBAL STATISTICAL UPDATE – XBMA Quarterly Review for First Quarter 2020

Executive Summary/Highlights

  • Global M&A volume was just US$730 billion in Q1 2020, a decrease of approximately 30% from Q4 2019 (US$1 trillion), approximately 25% from Q1 2019 (US$982 billion) and the lowest first-quarter global M&A volume since 2014 (US$657 billion).
  • The decline in M&A volume relative to prior quarters was particularly pronounced in the United States. M&A volume, which reached near-record highs in 2019, fell to US$256 billion in Q1 2020, about half the level in Q1 2019 (US$520 billion).
  • Europe saw the highest growth of any region in the world in M&A volume in Q1 2020 relative to Q1 2019, with US$237 billion, representing an increase of approximately 120% from Q1 2019 (US$108 billion).
  • Japanese M&A volume also increased significantly, reaching US$25 billion in Q1 2020, an increase of approximately 70% from Q1 2019 (US$14 billion).
  • A reduction in mega deals (transactions involving acquirers and targets valued at US$5 billion or greater), which helped fuel the global M&A market in 2019, also contributed to the decline in dealmaking activity in Q1 2020. Global mega deals totaled US$282 billion in Q1 2020, a decrease of approximately 45% from Q1 2019 (US$493 billion).
  • Cross-border M&A activity remained below recent historical average in Q1 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the global economy added to existing trade tensions and other macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertainty that has recently chilled cross-border M&A. Cross-border M&A volume was US$208 billion in Q1 2020, the lowest first-quarter volume of cross-border M&A since Q1 2013 (US$144 billion), representing approximately 30% of global M&A volume.
  • The largest deals in Q1 2020 included Aon’s US$30 billion acquisition of Willis Towers Watson and Thermo Fisher Scientific’s US$12 billion cross-border acquisition of QIAGEN.

Click here to see the Review.