Road to recovery: European M&A Outlook 2022

Report 2 November

Road to recovery: European M&A Outlook 2022

This report provides invaluable insights into the M&A landscape in Europe in 2021, and the opportunities and challenges facing dealmakers. Key findings include: 

  • M&A appetite rises: More than half of all respondents expect the level of European M&A activity over the next 12 months to increase. Corporates that have built up large cash piles through the pandemic and PE firms with record levels of dry powder are eager to make up for time lost in lockdowns to get deal timetables back on track.
  • Low prices and distress: Although asset prices have held up through the pandemic and vast government stimulus has kept businesses from insolvency, just under a quarter of respondents (24%) see undervalued targets as the most important buy-side driver of M&A activity over the next 12 months. A similar percentage (22%) identify distressed-driven M&A as the most important catalyst for sell-side activity.
  • PE in pole position: 71% agree that financial buyers are better placed than strategic buyers to take advantage of buying opportunities presented by COVID-19. Private equity 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 US and European SPACs.

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