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Mergers and acquisitions during the first six months dropped 40% globally to USD 1.34tn compared with the same period a year ago, as central banks continued to raise interest rates to tame inflation in the face of several bank failures.

Investment bankers suffered a 37% drop in worldwide revenue from advising on M&A transactions in the first half, one of the biggest drops on record. For the first time in a generation, bankers are scrambling to find deals, leading to consolidation among the smaller boutique banks, including Investec’s purchase of Capitalmind in Europe and B Riley’s acquisitions of ABTV and Farber Group’s corporate division in North America.

But amid the turmoil, fragile signs of a recovery exist. Stock markets are surging again as investors glimpse an end to the US Federal Reserve’s monetary tightening policies of the last 18 months. That led to global M&A volume rising in the second quarter by 23% to USD 739bn compared with the nadir of the first quarter.

Powered by Mergermarket data, M&A Highlights reviews M&A activity across North America, EMEA and APAC in 1H23. All data correct as of 30 June 2023

For full report, visit our ION Analytics Community.