The state of play for M&A in 12 charts

November 3, 2017
After a banner year for M&A in 2016, deal volume through 3Q 2017 in North America and Europe has declined 23% and overall deal value has dropped 19% from the same period last year. Our 3Q 2017 M&A Report provides analysis into trends of all types, including how transaction metrics like median deal size lend insight into the state of the current cycle.

Here are 12 key charts from the report, which is available for free:

M&A activity in North America & Europe

After two years of massive M&A activity, the pace of consolidation has continued to slow to pre-2015 levels.
 

Median M&A deal size ($M)

The median M&A deal size has skyrocketed by roughly 66% thus far this year.
 

M&A activity in North America

This year's M&A activity in North America has totaled $925 billion across 7,348 transactions through 3Q—24% and 23% behind the first three quarters of 2016, respectively.
 

Median North American EV/EBITDA multiples

Median EV/EBITDA multiples remain the highest ever tracked in North America, edging up to 10.6x.
 

M&A activity in Europe

European M&A activity has totaled $439 billion across 5,810 transactions through 3Q 2017—20% and 32% behind the same period last year.
 

Median European EV/EBITDA multiples

Likewise, European EV/EBITDA multiple reached 10.8x for transactions completed in 3Q, bringing the European YTD median to 10x, the highest in our dataset.
 

M&A activity (#) by target company financing status

The proportion of target companies with institutional backing (i.e., PE or VC) at the time of acquisition has risen to an all-time high of 16.9%. Another 3.8% of targets were publicly traded when the deal was struck, the highest we've recorded since 2009.
 

M&A activity (#) by deal size

The middle of the market reached a new high for activity.
 

M&A activity (#) by sector

Dealmaking in IT has remained markedly resilient.
 

M&A activity in energy, materials & resources

The energy and materials & resources sectors have shown substantial YoY growth, with deal value in the two sectors increasing 122% and 15%, respectively, over the same period last year.
 

M&A (#) by acquirer type

Financial sponsors accounted for 31.4% of all transactions in 3Q 2017, the highest proportion in our dataset.
 

PE-backed exit activity (#) by type

Secondary buyouts this year have accounted for 52.6% of M&A transactions involving the sale of a PE-backed company through 3Q 2017, the highest proportion on record.
 
 

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