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CMS publishes its European M&A Outlook

The amount of mergers and acquisitions fall but their value increases


  • Deal value worldwide has risen by 17% for the first half of the year while the volume of deals for the first half of 2015 dropped by 14% compared to last year
  • European M&A market remains attractive to foreign acquirers
  • Respondents believe private equity is now the most available source of financing
  • The TMC sector has overtaken Industrials and Chemicals as the most sought after this year

Brussels, October 8, 2015. M&A deal value is at its highest level since 2007, but Europe's executives are adopting a more cautious outlook on European M&A, according to research carried out by the top 10 international law firm CMS, in partnership with Mergermarket.

As regards Belgium, the total deal value increased from EUR 614 million in the first half of 2014 to EUR 15.9 bn in the same period in 2015. This result is explained by the gigantic merger between Belgian retailer Delhaize and its Dutch counterpart Ahold. For the year 2015, an increase of gross national product of more than 1% is envisaged. The main sectors active in mergers and acquisitions are industrials and chemicals, consumer, business services and TMC. In the Benelux, although the number of transactions decreased by 12% year on year to 230 deals, the value of the latter has increased by 59% to EUR 29.8 bn.

Vincent Dirckx, partner, Head of CMS Belgium’s Corporate M&A practice said: “Our report echoes the sentiment of increasing market confidence as evidenced by the high level of M&A activity this year and the increase in deal value in Belgium in H1 2015. These figures are encouraging but continued financial and political uncertainty, particularly in relation to the UK and a potential “Brexit”, may still hold back M&A activity in Europe.”

Press release - CMS European M&A Outlook 2015
PDF 117.2 kB

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