By: Duane Donner
Optimism abounds in the 2021 M&A market, priming it for high activity. Companies, across all industries, are looking to grow as a result of increasing competition, record amounts of cash sitting on corporate balance sheets, and low interest rates. The demand for high-quality businesses is strong, and there has never been a better time to enter the market.
As the North American economy continued to rebound in Q1, so too did M&A activity with over 5,388 deals closing in the quarter. This was a 26% growth from Q1 2020. Additionally, there were 11,394 deals recorded globally in Q1.
The above chart represents M&A activity by value Q1 2020 – Q1 2021 for North America. The upward trend in volume is a direct reflection of the current, positive market conditions. The expectation is for this upward trend to continue throughout 2021.
In Q1 alone there were over 5,621 deals announced targeting companies in the U.S. and Canada. This was the second highest first quarter total this century. Currently, the North American M&A market makes up 53% of the world M&A market.
The Industrials sector undertook the most deals in 2021 with 939 deals. While the technology, media, and telecom industry led the way in terms of valuation at $204bn. With low interest rates and potential tax changes, pent up demand for acquisitions is surging this year.
Sources: S&P Global, White & Case, Pitchbook