By Joshua Franklin and Pamela Barbaglia
(Reuters) – Global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity fell to a three-year low in 2020, as companies grappled with the financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, even as dealmaking came roaring back in the second half.
The value of M&A globally dropped 5% year-on-year to $3.6 trillion, the lowest since 2017, according to a preliminary tally from financial data provider Refinitiv. There were 48,226 deals announced, compared with 50,113 deals last year.
Technology, healthcare and financial services deals led the recovery after M&A activity plunged in the second quarter on concerns about global economic prospects. A stock market rally and access to cheap financing gave chief executives confidence to pursue transformative transactions again.
“The biggest story has to be the enormous rebound we have experienced. Talk about dog years, we went through a three-to-five year cycle in just six months,” said Cary Kochman, Citigroup