Strong M&A markets set to continue?

By Andrew Hancock

It’s that time of year again where we begin to try and look at what 2022 will hold for the world of M&A and most importantly, will the impressive rebound in deal volumes seen in 2021, 5,137 UK deals in the first nine months of 2021 compared to 4,277 in the same period the year before, continue into 2022.

Obviously no one has a crystal ball, although I would like one on my Christmas list, and with the shadow of the global Covid pandemic still hanging over the world, it can be difficult to say with certainty what the next 12 months will hold for the world of M&A.

However, the recently published Intralinks Global M&A Dealmakers Survey 2022 (produced in association with MergerMarket), shows that dealmakers in the M&A ecosystem are reasonably confident going in to 2022 with 64% of those surveyed expecting an increase in the level of M&A activity in the next 12 months and 24% expecting a significant increase.

Delving deeper into the Intralinks report respondents felt the likes of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) scrutiny are likely to increase in the deal process over the next three years. The reputation of European region (including the UK) producing “ESG-ready” companies is also a contributing factor in almost half (47%) of all corporates that responded expecting to initiate a deal in the region in the next 12 months.

With all of the above in mind it would appear that majority of dealmakers expect the current high levels of deal appetite to continue into 2022, potentially providing fertile ground for both buyers and sellers alike.

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