M&A is still often the quickest way to achieve growth and success. The wall of worry will remain but that only will drive the need for more M&A, not its premature death.
Scott Moeller, Professor and Director, M&A Research Centre, Cass Business School
We are pleased to provide you with this year’s edition of the “European M&A Outlook”, published in cooperation with Mergermarket. The optimism amongst dealmakers for the future of European M&A has faltered somewhat since last year’s report. The past 12 months have seen a shift in sentiment in the M&A community and the beginning of a downturn in dealmaking activity with European M&A value down 22% year-on-year to EUR 652.2bn. We question whether the outlook of European M&A can still be considered bright or if this slowdown is predicted to continue.
Executives fear the European climate will worsen with nearly half of respondents not considering M&A at all. Furthermore, 73% of respondents expect the level of European M&A activity to decrease or remain the same over the next 12 months. However, while the outlook for M&A is broadly negative, executives expect an upsurge in distressed M&A and restructurings arising from deteriorating economic conditions in the coming year. Respondents almost unanimously (95%) expect distressed M&A to rise, with 94% believing that restructurings will increase in number.
Key findings from our research include:
Our features in this year’s report include articles on how “European tech M&A has a strong future ahead” and, of particular interest considering the current political climate, an infographic which considers the link between “Brexit and UK M&A activity”.
We hope you find the European M&A Outlook interesting. Our annual CMS European M&A Study will be published in spring 2020 when we will report back on how this market has impacted M&A transaction terms and conditions.