Clifford Chance Logo

Clifford Chance Global M&A Toolkit

Monday 15 September 2014

Our Insights into M&A Trends - Global Dynamics

M&A - The Global Picture

The global M&A market has strengthened considerably in the first half of the year, driven by increased boardroom confidence to invest through M&A. We are seeing the return of strategic deals and transformational M&A, some of which have been in the pipeline for years, as well as increased appetite for unsolicited moves.

Guy Norman
Global Head of Corporate

The increased activity spans all of the key regions. As we predicted in our 2013 report, “European M&A – On the road to recovery?”, investment is flooding back into Europe, with US and Asian investors seeking opportunities to purchase European brands, patents and technologies, and to access European supply chains and consumers. We are also seeing strong M&A activity in the US and across Asia Pacific.

However, whilst boardroom attention is now refocused on M&A opportunities, safeguarding corporate reputation remains a priority and therefore caution and circumspection remain. As such, we are seeing continued focus on extensive and specialised business and legal due diligence, and detailed antitrust and regulatory assessment around deal feasibility and timing issues.

The deal pipeline is strong across all major regions and in certain key sectors as we move into the second half of the year. Whilst this of course bodes well for M&A activity levels for the remainder of 2014 and beyond, it is perhaps too early to extrapolate an M&A bull market from the current surge in activity. Dangerous asset bubbles, a change in the macroeconomic cycle and continued political instability in the Middle East and other parts of the world could yet impact a longer-term M&A revival.

Download the July update

Guy Norman

Global Head of Corporate, Clifford Chance LLP