HORIZONS | BDO'S GLOBAL VIEWOF MID-MARKET DEAL ACTIVITY 01
DEAL ACTIVITY SETTLES BACK TO PRE-COVID LEVELS
After a huge spurt in deal activity in the 15 months following the onset of COVID, deal activity now seems to have settled back to the pre-COVID levels. That in itself is great news for all of us involved in the M&A industry as the recent levels felt unsustainable. We struggle to remember when we last went through a period when the major constraint on deals was the availability of due diligence teams to start their work. Two-month lead times has become common, which was having an effect on the M&A market and the ability to get deals done in orderly time scales. The current level of around 2,000 deals/quarter feels much more sustainable.
Looking around the world, we saw a mixed picture with around half of the regions down on deal activity compared to the prior quarter and the other half up. The most marked shift was with the world’s two largest regions for deals, where North America was up over 18% and Greater China was down nearly 45%. This most likely reflects the return to lock downs in China as COVID infections have spiked again.
In terms of sectors, the first quarter of 2022 saw a vast amount of activity in TMT which was up nearly 20% on the prior quarter in number of deals. That meant that over one in three deals were TMT which is a near all time high for the sector. In contrast, most other sectors saw a contraction in deal volume of double-digit percentages with the exception of Leisure which is starting to make a comeback after a torrid time in COVID and Pharma, Medical & Biotech. The other sector giant, Industrial & Chemicals, unusually saw over 20% less deal activity and represented only 17.5% of total deal activity.
Looking at the mix of deals, we observe that private equity has continued to make up a larger proportion of transaction and remains well ahead of pre-COVID levels in terms of both volume and value. In the last quarter private equity led deals represented around one third by volume and value. Pre-COVID that was more like one quarter. We believe this reflects the huge amount of uninvested private equity funds and the continued growth of the industry, which we expect therefore to continue.
GLOBAL MID-MARKET M&A
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