Global mergers and acquisitions plummet in first half of 2022

  Preliminary data through June 27 via Refinitiv;  Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios  Preliminary data through June 27 via Refinitiv; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Global merger and acquisition activity fell 21.1% in the first half of 2022, including a 28% decline for US targets, according to preliminary data from Refinitiv.

Why it matters: Deal activity can be viewed as a proxy for business sentiment, and these numbers suggest pessimism.

Big picture: The dollar drop-off between the first half of 2021 and the first half of 2022 is entirely attributed to corporate mergers, as global private equity activity actually rose by 3.3% (although the number of private equity deals fell precipitously).

Where in the world: Of the four countries with at least $100 billion in first half deal activity, only India saw a year-over-year increase. China was off 32.5% and the UK was down 22.9%.

Industries: Tech continued to dominate in the first half, more than doubling dollar activity for finances, industrials or real estate. Within tech, software led with 11.3% of total M&A market share.

What to know: Refinitiv tracks announced deals, which is why its two largest first half deals have yet to close: Microsoft buying game maker Activision Blizzard and Broadcom buying cloud computing firm VMware.

Wall Street: The world’s top M&A advisors remained the same year-over-year, with Goldman Sachs in the top spot, followed by JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley.

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