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CMS European M&A Outlook 2022: Road to Recovery

Louise Wallace
PE firms have limited timeframes to deploy capital so are expected to move quickly to get deployment levels back on schedule. Whilst corporates are currently focusing on reopening offices and sites as COVID-19 restrictions ease, we expect greater activity from these strategic buyers as well as from the European and US SPACs keen to deploy capital.
Louise Wallace, Head of the CMS Corporate/M&A Group
September 2021

We are pleased to provide you with this year’s edition of the “European M&A Outlook”, published in co-operation with Mergermarket

Watch CMS European M&A Outlook 2022 video

71% of dealmakers agree that private equity (PE) firms are better placed than corporates to take advantage of buying opportunities presented by COVID-19, according to the ninth edition of the European M&A Outlook, published by CMS in association with Mergermarket.

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

While financial buyers may be better placed than strategic buyers, more than half of survey respondents expect the overall level of European M&A activity to increase over the next 12 months, with both corporates and PE firms eager to make up for lost time. This stands in stark contrast to last year’s poll, in which 78% of interviewees were preparing for a decrease in M&A.

Key findings from our survey include:

  • A brighter outlook: 53% of respondents expect European M&A activity to increase over the next 12 months (compared to only 2% last year)
  • Low valuations and distress: 24% see undervalued targets as the most important buy-side driver of M&A activity. 22% identify distressed-driven M&A as the most important catalyst for sell-side activity.
  • Private equity in pole position: 71% agree that financial buyers are better placed than strategic buyers to take advantage of buying opportunities in the post-lockdown revival.

Our features in this year’s report include an editorial on Earn-Outs in the time of COVID-19 pandemic, an editorial on the CEE Hotel Investment Scene, ESG considerations in M&A deals for the year ahead and Brexit and FDI considerations.

Please note that our annual CMS European M&A Study will be published in spring 2022 when we will report back on how this market has impacted M&A transaction terms and conditions.

Download the report

Publication
CMS European M&A Outlook 2022
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PDF 3.8 MB

Authors

Helen Rodwell
Helen Rodwell
Managing Partner
Managing Partner, Prague and Bratislava
Prague
Alexander Rakosi
Alexander Rakosi
Partner
Attorney-at-law for corporate law/M&A
Vienna

Expertise

Key contact

Louise Wallace
Partner
Global Head of the CMS Corporate/M&A Group
T +44 20 7367 2181