Header image

Germany, Austria & Switzerland (DACH) M&A

Latest update: 6 October 2020

The DACH region saw another uptick in activity in the last quarter of the year, after a sustained level of activity throughout the year compared to the rest of Europe. The region recorded 330 deals in 4Q20, higher than the quarterly average seen between 2015-2019 (317 deals). While uncertainties around valuations caused by the pandemic and differences in price expectations may have accounted for sellers’ reluctance at times in 2020, according to Mergermarket intelligence, the jump in the number of exits in Q4 may start to illustrate the expected strong activity in 1H21.

  • The DACH region recorded 330 deals worth EUR 25.1bn in 4Q20, pushing the 2020 total to 1,153 deals worth EUR 128.9bn. Although this represents a decrease by both value and count from 2019, it accounts for 16.8% of European M&A by count, its highest share since 2016 (16.9%). Inbound M&A was a key contributor to the region’s dealmaking activity, with foreign investment reaching EUR 91.8bn invested across 462 deals in 2020, versus EUR 88bn (575 deals) a year prior, with EUR 45.2bn (193 deals) coming from outside Europe.

  • Private equity activity returned to pre-COVID levels in Q4, with sponsors conducting 69 buyouts worth a disclosed EUR 7.3bn in Q4, compared to 68 buyouts (EUR 9bn) in 4Q19. In total, EUR 40.3bn of capital was deployed across 228 buyouts in 2020, reaching the highest annual value on record, driven by the Thyssenkrupp Elevator takeover, the largest European buyout since the financial crisis. Exits soared in Q4, with 42 deals worth EUR 10bn versus 23 exits (EUR 574m) and 20 exits (EUR 7.9bn) in 2Q20 and 3Q20, respectively.

  • Industrials & Chemicals M&A accounted for nearly a third of the region’s value in 2020 (EUR 41.7bn, 315 deals), propelled by the EUR 17.2bn buyout of ThyssenKrupp’s elevator unit in February. By count, it represents a 19.6% decrease over 2019’s figure (392 deals), following the lowest number of deals per quarter in 2Q20 (56 deals) since 3Q10 (48 deals). Meanwhile, technology M&A saw 25 more deals than 2019 in 2020 (229 deals), accounting for nearly a fifth of the region’s dealmaking, while reaching its highest value on record (2020: EUR 21.5bn)

Top deals FY20

Announcement     Date
Target      Company
Target Dominant     Sector
Bidder      Company
Seller Company
Deal Value (€m)
ThyssenKrupp Elevator AG
Industrials & Chemicals
Cinven Partners LLP; Advent International Corporation; Abu Dhabi Investment Authority; and RAG-Stiftung
ThyssenKrupp AG
Siemens Energy AG
Industrials & Chemicals
Siemens AG (Shareholders)
Siemens AG
Bombardier Transportation GmbH
Industrials & Chemicals
Alstom SA
Bombardier Inc; and Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec

Metro AG (70.26% stake)
EP Global Commerce as
 (Czech Republic)

Sunrise Communications AG
Liberty Global Plc


For more proprietary analysis and opportunities on DACH, click here.

Join our community

Deals+ is a global network of M&A transaction professionals offering you access to exclusive events, networking and research. Join the community for free to enjoy the below benefits:

  • perm_contact_calendar Priority invitations to virtual and hybrid events
  • play_arrow Latest trend reports and market research
  • email Regular newsletter on the people shaping global M&A markets