Deal Drivers: EMEA FY 2021

Report Data Insight 28 February

Deal Drivers: EMEA FY 2021

EMEA M&A markets went into overdrive in 2021, spurred by a number of propellant factors. The economic restart undergirded investor confidence to get back in the game. Piles of private equity dry powder sitting in reserve meant funds had to hunt for assets. Simultaneously, corporates have been under pressure to transact, raising cash to pay down debt secured during the first year of the pandemic, and repurposing their portfolios to future-proof their offerings.

This pent-up demand saw M&A in EMEA reach a new peak in 2021. Total value came to €1.37tn across the year—a 74%increase on the previous year and the highest annual total on Mergermarket record. Volume, meanwhile, increased43% year-on-year to 11,007 transactions—another annual record.

Private equity activity was especially buoyant, with buyout value surging 116% year-on-year to €423bn, while volume rose by 60% to 2,530 transactions. Funds weren’t only acquisitive; the rebound in economic demand and the backdrop of rising stock markets supported valuation multiples, allowing PE funds to liquidate existing holdings. Exit value increased by 49% annually, to €265bn, and volume by 58% to 1,368 deals.

Read our latest Deal Drivers: EMEA report to learn more about which sectors drove dealmaking in 2021, including the latest heat chart, league tables, and top bidders by value and volume.


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