Our annual M&A review covers key trends like ESG, activist investors and security screening as the post-Covid rebound drives acquirers back to the party.
With full year figures for 2021 confirming record levels of M&A activity globally, our new report titled “Global M&A Outlook 2022: FOMO overcomes FOGO” identifies continued drivers for strong activity in 2022.
Last year, corporates focused with ever more urgency on M&A, as a response to the imperative of building resilience, and as a fast-track to the imperative of fundamental business transformation. Private capital focused on deploying record levels of dry powder, fuelled by buoyant debt markets, with FOMO (fear of missing out) on the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities thrown up by the pandemic. This currently looks set to continue at the same pace into 2022.
There is good reason for caution. Inflationary worries currently top the list of concerns and are where attention will be most focused in 2022. But the long-term theme of accelerated business transformation that is driving so much of M&A – most clearly in digital transformation, decarbonisation of the energy sector, and the central place ESG is assuming in global investment – is not going out of fashion anytime soon. Pandemic-related FOGO (fear of going out) is a reality for some. But for now M&A shows no intention of heading back into lockdown just yet.