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London Stock Exchange survey reveals global mergers & acquisitions plummet to decade low at $2.9 trillion in 2023

London Stock Exchange survey reveals global mergers & acquisitions plummet to decade low at $2.9 trillion in 2023


Worldwide M&A drops by 17%, hitting a 10-year low, with US and European markets notably affected

In a notable downturn, global mergers and acquisitions activity witnessed a significant decline, amounting to $2.9 trillion in 2023. This marked a staggering 17% decrease compared to the previous year, signifying the slowest annual deal-making period since 2013.

While the fourth quarter of 2023 showed a promising 23% increase from the third quarter, becoming the strongest quarter for worldwide deal-making since the second quarter of 2022, the overall annual figures painted a different picture.

The United States, a major hub for M&A, experienced a 5% decline in deal activity, accounting for $1.4 trillion during 2023. This slump marked the slowest annual period for US deal-making in six years, although it constituted 47% of the total worldwide M&A, up from 42% the previous year.

Europe witnessed a more significant decline, with M&A activity falling by 28% to a 10-year low of $598.1 billion in 2023. Similarly, Asia Pacific experienced a 26% decrease, resulting in the slowest annual period for the region's deal-making since 2013, totaling $602.1 billion.

Several sectors led the M&A scene, notably Energy & Power, accounting for $502.3 billion, a boost of 11% from 2022. However, Industrials and Technology saw declines of 14% and 47%, respectively, while Healthcare experienced an 8% increase.

Private Equity-backed buyouts accounted for 20% of M&A in 2023, reaching $566.0 billion—a 30% decrease from the previous year, marking the slowest full year since 2019.

Mega-deals valued over $10 billion dropped by 13%, totaling $646.6 billion during 2023, marking the lowest period for such deals since 2017. Cross-border M&A also witnessed a 12% decline, totaling $954.2 billion—a notable drop from the previous year and the slowest annual period since 2013, with key sectors impacted across the board.

The data was compiled by the London Stock Exchange in the LSEG Q4 2023 Legal M&A Review