Global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity remained subdued with a decline registered both in deal volume and value in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2019, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Total M&A volume and value declined by 0.6% and 4.5% in Q4 2019 compared to Q4 2018, respectively. The decline could primarily be attributed to underperformance in the North American region, which witnessed decline in deal volume from ~3,000 deals in Q4 2018 to ~2,800 deals in Q4 2019. The region also witnessed a decrease in deal value by around 13% in Q4 2019 compared to Q4 2018.
The Middle East and Africa were the other regions to witness a decline in both deal volume and value by ~15% and ~40% in Q4 2019 compared to Q4 2018, respectively.
On the other hand, the South and Central America regions saw growth in value worth US$20.16bn in Q4 2019 compared to US$18.21bn in Q4 2018. However, it did not show improvement in volume, which declined from 290 M&A deals in Q4 2018 to 247 M&A deals in Q4 2019.
Amidst underperformance of several regions, Asia-Pacific and Europe emerged as the top performers for M&A activity.
Asia-Pacific witnessed growth in M&A deal volume and value by ~20% and ~10% in Q4 2019 compared to Q4 2018, respectively.
Moreover, Europe witnessed a slight growth from ~2,000 M&A deals worth ~US$118bn in Q4 2018 to ~2,100 M&A deals worth ~US$130bn in Q4 2019.
Some of the notable M&A deals announced during Q4 2019 included the acquisition of TD Ameritrade by Charles Schwab for US$26bn, the acquisition of Tiffany by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton for US$16.3bn, and the acquisition of Liberty Property Trust by Prologis for US$12.6bn, among others.