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Alternative Market Briefing

North America M&A performance and volume lag behind rest of world during H1 2020

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Laxman Pai, Opalesque Asia:

North America experienced the sharpest fall in M&A performance by some margin, said a report.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on deal-making in the first six months of 2020 was significant but not unexpected, yet regional differences in deal performance and volume revealed by M&A data from Willis Towers Watson have been more dramatic.

Acquirers underperformed their regional index by -7.22% - with just 137 deals completed in H1 2020 (compared to 188 in H1 2019). This is the lowest number of North American deals for six months since 2009, said Willis Towers Watson's Quarterly Deal Performance Monitor (QDPM).

In contrast, European buyers performed +10.2% above their regional index in H1 based on an actual increase in deals completed (80 deals compared to 68 deals in H1 2019), the report said.

This is also the first time in two years that Europe has recorded three consecutive quarters of positive performance. Meanwhile, UK acquirers performed +16.9% above the index with 15 deals in the first half of this year.

Asia-Pacific dealmakers also fared better compared to their regional index in the first half of 2020, albeit with a more modest positive performance of +3.1% and based on a slight dip in volume (82 deals compared to 95 completed in H1 2019).

Perhaps more significantly, the region's outperformance in the last three months improved substantially at +8.0% based on 41 deals closed - the region's first significant positive q......................

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