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IMAP closes 94 M&A transactions in H1 2024

IMAP dealmakers closed 94 M&A deals around the world worth more than $27 billion in the first half of 2024. The improvements in market conditions and mounting confidence observed at the start of the year, alongside fading fears of a recession, had suggested that even greater transaction activity would take place in Q2 but certain factors stalled momentum, including tight financing. Interest rates remain high and much anticipated rate cuts by the U.S. Fed and ECB this year have been delayed or minimized despite inflationary pressures subsiding. Increased visibility regarding the timing of interest rate cuts in the second half of the year will be a crucial driver for deal activity going forward.

Meanwhile, many of the trends observed in the M&A market in recent quarters remain in place today, including a converging but persistent gap between seller and buyer valuation expectations, flight to quality, longer due diligence and extended project durations. With many financial players sitting on the sidelines amid market volatility in recent quarters, there is substantial pressure built up in the PE arena. There are growing expectations that PE firms will soon ramp up the sales of ageing portfolio companies.

Moreover, PE funds are becoming increasingly active in search for opportunities to deploy their record amounts of unspent capital. An uptick in PE activity, when combined with an increase in the number of privately held midcaps coming to market and public companies’ strong balance sheets, suggests that a new wave of M&A activity could be just around the corner. In fact, most IMAP advisors are reporting strong deal backlog and pipeline.

About a third of IMAP transactions in H1 were cross-border as IMAP dealmakers continued to leverage their international reach and help clients seize opportunities abroad. From a sector perspective, IMAP was most active in the Consumer, Services, Technology, and Industrials segments.

 

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