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Turning the Corner? CMS European M&A Outlook 2024

We are pleased to share with you the 2024 edition of the European M&A Outlook, published by CMS in association with Mergermarket.

Highlights: Turning The Corner? CMS European M&A Outlook 2024

The report offers a comprehensive assessment of dealmaking sentiment in Europe’s M&A market and reflects the opinions of 330 corporates and PE firms based in Europe, the Americas and APAC about their expectations for the year ahead.

M&A activity in Europe this year has been entangled in higher inflation, rising interest rates and an uncertain economic outlook. Against this backdrop, projections for M&A over the coming 12 months are undoubtedly mixed. Yet the vast majority of respondents to our survey anticipate engaging in M&A over the coming period, suggesting a healthy volume of activity in the near term. And, as valuations appear to have stabilised over the course of 2023, the stage looks set for a meeting of minds between buyers and sellers over the medium term – at which point M&A may well start truly turning a corner.

Key findings of the report include:

  • M&A expectations have moderated and diverged: dealmakers are showing greater hesitance overall about the prospects for European M&A than at this point last year, but views are undeniably mixed and a divergence has emerged between PE dealmakers and their corporate counterparts.
  • Macro backdrop weighs on dealmakers: respondents cite inflationary pressures and underlying economic weakness as key challenges to financing acquisitions over the next 12 months.
  • ESG scrutiny will create new deal opportunities: whilst respondents expect ESG scrutiny in M&A deals to increase, they believe ESG regulation will ultimately boost dealmaking in Europe.
  • Undervalued targets and turnaround opportunities: dealmakers cite these amongst the primary catalysts driving M&A activity in Europe for the coming year.
  • Digitalisation and the energy transition will drive activity: dealmakers predict the TMT and Energy sectors will experience the most significant surge in dealmaking across Europe.
  • Regional prospects have changed: expectations for M&A across the different regions of Europe have shifted considerably from last year.

Report extracts

Selected extracts from the report are available below. To download the full report please use the link provided at the bottom of the page.

Fill in the form below to download the full Outlook


Helen Rodwell
Helen Rodwell
Head of Corporate and M&A
Alexander Rakosi
Alexander Rakosi

Key contacts

Dr. Malte Bruhns, LL.M. (The University of Edinburgh)
Rechtsanwalt | Head of the CMS Corporate/M&A Group
T +49 221 7716 355
Louise Wallace
Head of the CMS Corporate/M&A Group
T +44 20 7367 2181
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