2021 has been solidified as a strong year for deal activity with 2,465 deals in Q4 ticking up 1% from Q3. This brings the full-year total to 10,005 deals, exceeding 2020 and 2019 totals by 23% and 18% respectively.
While quarterly deal volumes in 2021 have also been above 2019 levels, Q4 did not offer a boost in deal volume and value as in previous years. Lifting global restrictions in Q4 2020 provided a material uplift to last year’s total figures but the same period saw increasing restrictions in 2021. This uncertainty resulted in a 20% deal value drop, exacerbated by a 42% fall in mega-deals. Uncertain conditions are seen in lower valuations with multiples averaging 10% below Q3.
2021 was a strong year for the global M&A market despite rolling restrictions, fluctuating market conditions and supply chain challenges; we expect this strength to persist through 2022 as market confidence returns.