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Europe M&A

Latest update: 2 October 2020

European dealmakers started to see a recovery in M&A activity in the third quarter of 2020, with several large deals announced after a quiet second quarter, according to Mergermarket's 3Q20 Global Report. A total of EUR 140.1bn was spent on European firms in 3Q20 across 1,244 deals, representing a 45.2% increase on the second quarter value of EUR 96.5bn. The combination of a rise in cases, the possibility of more stringent measures returning and Brexit uncertainty, however, will be a cause for concern in the final quarter of the year.

  • There were 26 deals worth at least EUR 1bn announced in 3Q20, including NVIDIA’s EUR 32.5bn offer for UK-based semiconductor firm ARM, the largest deal in Europe so far this year. This compares to just 17 such deals announced in Q2. This all pushed YTD activity to EUR 417.3bn, down 20.3% on YTD 19’s value of EUR 523.6bn. While larger deals have been on the rise in Q3, the small and mid-market has remained stagnant, with the value of deals worth less than EUR 500m falling by around a third to just over EUR 80bn this year.
  • After a quiet second quarter, cross-border M&A rebounded in Q3 as economies began to open up once again. Foreign investment into Europe reached a total EUR 73.5bn across 182 deals, its highest quarterly value since 2Q19 (EUR 127.9bn). In the other direction, outbound M&A rose to EUR 47.8bn, higher than the first two quarters combined (EUR 41.6bn), following Siemens Healthineers’ acquisition of Varian Medical Systems for EUR 13.6bn and Sanofi’s EUR 2,7bn takeover of Principia Biopharma.
  • Tech is still a key driver behind European dealmaking, with 733 deals targeting the sector this year, worth a total EUR 73.9bn. Tech accounts for 18.5% of the total European deal count this year, up from 14.2% in 2019, following deals such as the aforementioned ARM acquisition as well as Clarivate Analytics’ EUR 6bn takeover of CPA Global. Despite a sizeable contraction in activity, the industrials & chemicals sector remains the most active by deal count, registering 780 deals worth a combined EUR 72.9bn.

Top deals 3Q20 

Announcement dateTargetTarget dominant sectorBidder SellerDeal value (EUR m)
13-Sep-20SVF Holdco (UK) Limited (UK)TechnologyNVIDIA Corporation (USA)SoftBank Group Corp; and SoftBank Investment Advisers (Japan)32.5
09-Mar-20Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company (UK)Financial ServicesAon plc (UK)
27-Feb-20ThyssenKrupp Elevator AG (Germany)Industrials & ChemicalsCinven Partners LLP; Advent International Corporation; Abu Dhabi Investment Authority; and RAG-Stiftung (USA)thyssenkrupp AG (Germany)17.2
26-May-20Siemens Energy AG (Germany)Energy, Mining & UtilitiesSiemens AG (Shareholders) (Germany)Siemens AG (Germany)16.0
07-May-20Virgin Media Inc; and Telefonica O2 Holdings Limited (UK)TelecommunicationsVirgin Mobile Inc/ Telefonica O2 Europe Plc JV (UK)Telefonica SA; and Liberty Global Plc (Spain)11.5

Mergermarket Individual League Table – Legal Advisors  Q1-Q3 Europe by deal volume

RankNameCurrent HouseValue (GBP M)No. of Deals
Shoan Panahi
White & Case LLP
Stephane Huten
Hogan Lovells International LLP
Mathias Berggren
DLA Piper

Mergermarket Individual League Table – Financial Advisors  Q1-Q3 Europe by deal volume

RankNameCurrent HouseValue (GBP M)No. of Deals
Alberto Gennarini
Vitale & Co.
Eugenio Morpurgo
Fineurop Soditic
Timo Klees

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