Cross-Border M&A on a Record Pace: A Look at the First Half Numbers

WorldWide CrossBorder 2Q2017

Acquirers proposed or announced 5,041 cross-border deals totaling $1,171.9 billion during the first half of 2017, according to Bloomberg Law data.  That deal volume surpasses the full year totals from 2008-2013 and is more than 50 percent of the totals from 2014-2016. 

If this pace continues, total cross-border deal volume will be more than $2.3 trillion, which would surpass the record-high of $2.24 trillion set in 2007.

Popular “Destinations” for U.S. Acquirers This Year

During the first half of the year, U.S. acquirers proposed or announced 272 deals valued at $100 billion for targets in Continental Europe.  If that trend holds, it will be the first year since 2014 that U.S. acquirers have sought less than 600 such acquisitions.

Looking at Asian targets, U.S. acquirers are on track to propose or announce more acquisitions than in 2016.  U.S. acquirers proposed or announced 94 acquisitions of Asian targets in the first half of the year, totaling $10 billion.

US Acquirers CrossBorder 2Q2017

That puts Asia as the only region among Continental Europe, the U.K., and Canada in which U.S. acquirers are on track to propose or announce more acquisitions than in 2016.

Europe the Overwhelming Choice Over the Last Decade

Since the beginning of 2008, acquirers have announced or proposed 63,995 cross-border acquisitions for non-U.S. targets.  U.S. acquirers have accounted for 14,103, or 22 percent, of those acquisitions.

U.S. acquirers continue to favor Europe (including the U.K.) as a location for M&A acquisitions: 51.4 percent of all cross-border acquisitions targets were located in Europe over the last decade, while the next highest location, Canada, represented 15.8 percent.

Although Continental Europe remains the strongest for outbound acquisitions, U.S. acquirers continue to strongly favor U.K. (20.1 percent) and Canadian targets (15.8 percent).

For more on the latest trends in cross-border M&A, Bloomberg Law subscribers can access our Quarterly Cross-Border M&A Market Update.