Mergers and acquisitions hit an all-time high

The 2021 deal-making story is above and to the right.

The news is driving: Global M&A activity will break all records in the first three quarters of 2021, according to preliminary data from Refinitiv.

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According to the numbers: Transaction volume topped $ 4.3 trillion, nearly double what it was in 2020 so far. It’s also 34.4% higher than 2007, which was the previous record holder and one of just two years that ended September 3 Trillion US dollars have been exceeded.

  • The 2021 data includes $ 1.52 trillion for the third quarter, which is also an all-timer. Not just for a third quarter, but for every quarter.

  • The third quarter also reflected higher average deal sizes, or at least higher disclosed deal sizes, as the number of deals was hundreds below the previous four quarters.

  • Geographically, the volume of transactions in Europe doubled for the third quarter of 2020, while the US grew 32% and the Asia-Pacific region increased 21%. US volume represented 44.9% of global M&A since the start of the year and 36.9% in the third quarter.

  • Tech continued to lead all other industrial sectors with a market share of 20.7% (YTD), followed by financials (12%), industrials (11.3%) and energy (10%).

What’s happening? Animal spirits.

What is the fear? Did you miss the hint about 2007?

The bottom line: This isn’t just a deal-making boom. It’s a deal-making boom in the context of a global pandemic and expectations of tax and interest rate hikes. Yes, cycles will prevail again at some point. But right now the economical Teflon is unprecedented.

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