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M&A monitor

2020 wrap-up: after the fall, the biggest spike in history

It should come as little surprise that deal-making in 2020 fell sharply year-on-year, with M&A down 18 per cent by value and 14 per cent by volume from the previous 12 months.

However, despite activity being the lowest since 2013, the second half of 2020 saw an unprecedented fightback. The 79 per cent uptick by value from H1 to H2 was the biggest half-year jump on record, driven by more than $1tn in deals announced in Q3 (only the sixth time in history that quarterly deal value has crossed this threshold).

Technology, media and telecoms was the biggest sector by value for the eighth consecutive year, with tech and digital assets the target in four of 2020’s top 10 deals. S&P Global’s $43.5bn buyout of IHS Markit was the largest acquisition since Occidental/Anadarko in Q1 2019.