Finance Monthly - August 2023

8 Finance Monthly. The Monthly Round-Up M&A DEALS PLUNGE AS TOUGHER CONDITIONS THAN EXPECTED SPOOK MARKETS NORTH AMERICA STUCK IN GRIP OF PERSISTING SLOWDOWN Global M&A suffered a record decline in the first half of 2023 as interest rate rises and economic uncertainty hit financing, according to research on completed deals from WTW’s Quarterly Deal Performance Monitor (QDPM)1. Run in partnership with the M&A Research Centre at The Bayes Business School, the WTW data reveals activity for deals valued over $100 million slowed significantly around the world during the first half of 2023, with a total of 280 deals completed compared to 441 during the same period in 2022. This represents a 37% drop in volume and the lowest figure for the first half of a year since 2009. The challenging macroeconomic conditions are acutely evident in the North American market, where volumes fell for an unprecedented sixth consecutive quarter from a near all-time high of 173 deals in the third quarter of 2021 to just 61 deals between April and June 2023. In addition to the low number of M&A deals, acquirers that completed transactions in 2023 also underperformed the market by -2.1pp (percentage points). This represents a marked decline following the positive performance of +4.4pp in the second half of 2022. However, despite the continued volatility, global M&A still achieved an overall positive performance of +1.4pp for the last 12 months. Jana Mercereau, Head of Corporate M&A Consulting, Great Britain at WTW, said: “A perfect storm of higher inflation, interest rates, capital costs and greater regulatory scrutiny, combined with major geopolitical headwinds and a banking crisis, have triggered a steeper dropoff in M&A activity than anticipated by the market. “Buyers have had to shift gears to adapt to a more cautious M&A environment, although deal conversations have continued throughout this period of uncertainty. With these disruptive trends expected to continue into the second half of 2023, potential buyers will be kickM&A QUARTERLY ANALYSIS

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