Global Corporate M&A Professionals Predict a Bright Future

That said, I'm now pleased to present highlights from of our most recent global report on the M&A market. In association with mergermarket, the survey canvassed the opinion of 150 senior corporate development professionals from the Americas, the Asia-Pacific region and Europe on what the future holds for corporate deal making across the globe.


28 October 2009

If you have been following our recent blogs on the M&A market, then the recent flurry of deal activity in global M&A will be of little surprise. The writing was on the (virtual) wall: quarterly Deal Flow Indicator results for Q2 and Q3 (read the results here) showed the beginning of an improvement in M&A deal volumes as early as July. Indeed, these optimistic indicators were echoed by the panelists in our recent UK Corporate Development webinar (watch the replay here).

That said, I'm now pleased to present highlights from of our most recent global report on the M&A market. In association with mergermarket, the survey canvassed the opinion of 150 senior corporate development professionals from the Americas, the Asia-Pacific region and Europe on what the future holds for corporate deal making across the globe.

The results suggest that finally, we may be past the worst of things, as 73% of respondents said we have already seen the bottom of the M&A market. European respondents have the most positive outcome for corporate M&A over the next 12 months, with 41% expressing an optimistic outlook. APAC participants follow closely with 30% of respondents, while North American respondents appear to be a little more cautious with only 26% feeling optimistic (and an equal number being pessimistic).

Interestingly, North America was cited by 43% of respondents as the region to witness the greatest level of corporate restructuring, whilst Asia Pacific was predicted to be first region to see M&A volumes recover. The majority of respondents suggested market consolidation and distressed-driven deals are the two most likely drivers for M&A.

In terms of sector-based activity, financial services was widely predicted to be the most active, with 36% of North American and 26% of APAC respondents citing this as the primary industry for M&A in the next 12 months. However, in Europe the activity was predicted to be spread between the Consumer, Business and Financial Services sectors.

The main obstacles to M&A continue to be the general financing environment and lack of available cash: A majority (59%) of respondents globally citied this as a barrier, and the figure rises to more than three-quarters (76%) for European respondents only. Conversely, the main opportunity for companies in the wake of the global financial crisis seems to be the resulting M&A prospects and undervalued targets that are now available.

Not just the deal landscape but also the field it plays out on - that is, the information and technology that give it motion - is changing. Respondents cited timing and speed as major advantages gained by using online tools like Intralinks to manage the M&A process, with security and transparency of information as additional benefits. Even more interesting is the fact that 60% of respondents predict that the physical dataroom will be a thing of the past within 5 years.

Overall, I think these results paint an interesting picture of the M&A landscape for the next 12 months. Rest assured we'll be sharing more research and information that will help unravel the trends in, and opinions of, the global market.