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ANALYSIS: 2020 Cross-Border M&A Held Market Share Amid Pandemic

Jan. 14, 2021, 9:07 AM

While last year saw the lowest level of cross-border mergers and acquisitions deals—by both volume and count—of any year since 2013, cross-border deals’ share of global M&A activity essentially stayed the same in 2020 compared to 2019.

In 2020, there were 3,131 announcements of currently pending or completed cross-border mergers and acquisitions deals valued at $1 million or greater resulting in control of the acquired company or assets, with an aggregate value of $1.06 trillion. This cross-border deal volume accounted for 39.7% of all global M&A volume in 2020—nearly equal to the 39.3% market share cross-border deals had in 2019.

Based on this consistent proportional deal volume, it appears that the pandemic did not (at least to any noticeable extent) cause deal-makers to prefer domestic M&A activity over cross-border deals any more than they did prior to the crisis.

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The top five target countries that won the highest number of cross-border M&A deals in 2020 were the U.S. (652 deals); the U.K. (315 deals); China (245 deals); Australia (150 deals); and Germany (135 deals). By cross-border deal volume, the U.S. ($342.4 billion), the U.K. ($134.6 billion), the Netherlands ($63.3), Germany ($60.2 billion), and Canada ($38.7 billion) came out on top.

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By target region, Europe saw the highest volume of any region with $431.6 billion in cross-border M&A deals, marking a 3.6% year-over-year increase in volume. North American targets came in second place with $378.3 billion in cross-border deals, marking a 15.1% year-over-year decrease in volume, and Asia-Pacific brought in $204.4 billion in cross-border deals, marking a 13.9% year-over-year decrease in volume. Europe was the only global region to see a year-over-year increase in cross-border deal volume in 2020.

With assistance from Jacquelyn Palmer.

Bloomberg Law subscribers can find related content on our M&A Deal Analytics resource.

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