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Global M&A activity grew by 23% y-o-y to US$1.3 trillion in first five months of 2024: LSEG

Felicia Tan
Felicia Tan • 3 min read
Global M&A activity grew by 23% y-o-y to US$1.3 trillion in first five months of 2024: LSEG
In the same period, M&A activity in Apac fell by 26% y-o-y to US$179 billion, marking an 11-year low. Photo: Unsplash
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Global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) increased by 23% y-o-y to US$1.3 trillion ($1.76 trillion) for the first five months of 2024, according to the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG). In May alone, US$247 billion worth of M&A transactions were recorded, 4% more than the value recorded in April and 1% higher compared to May 2023.

Despite the y-o-y increase in total global transactions, the number was lower than the previous two January to May totals, adds LSEG.

In the first five months of 2024, M&A activity in Asia Pacific (Apac) fell by 26% y-o-y to US$179 billion, marking an 11-year low. This was dragged by a 25% decline in M&A activity in China on a y-o-y basis.

In the Americas, M&A transactions for the same period totalled US$797 billion, 44% higher y-o-y. The US led the region with US targets accounting for 56% of overall global M&A activity, the highest year-to-date (ytd) share in 1998.

Of the largest 20 deals announced in the period, 18 of them involved a US target; 16 of them were US domestic deals.

M&A activity in Europe came up to US$259 billion for the first five months of the year, 37% higher on a y-o-y basis. This was driven by M&A in the UK, which accounted for 34% of the total, marking the highest share of deal making in the region since 2015. M&A involving a UK target totalled US$88.3 billion in the same period, making the UK the second-most targeted nation for M&A globally so far in the year.

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In the Middle East & Africa, M&A transactions stood at US$36.1 billion, 54% higher y-o-y.

Across sectors, energy and power led the way in May and for the year so far thanks to ConocoPhillips’ offer of US$22.5 billion for Marathon Oil. The offer accounted for 17% of overall global M&A activity so far in 2024. ConocoPhillips is an NYSE-listed crude oil and natural gas company. Marathon Oil is also listed on the NYSE. It is an independent energy company that specialises in exploration and production.

High Technology was second with US$208.2 million in M&A transactions, while financials came in third at US$192.3 billion in transactions.

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In this time, 45 deals worth US$5 billion or more were announced globally, compared to the 28 deals that were announced in the first five months of 2023, and marking the highest January to May tally since 2021. Eight of the 45 deals were announced in May, down from 11 in April.

Goldman Sachs & Co topped the list of M&A financial advisors in terms of the number of deals conducted and the value. For the first five months of 2024, Goldman Sachs conducted 182 deals totalling US$378.35 billion in value, 71% higher y-o-y.

JP Morgan came in second with 138 deals transacted totalling US$321.49 billion in value, 35% higher y-o-y.

Morgan Stanley was third with 136 deals transacted totalling US$302.17 billion in value, 95% higher y-o-y.

Private equity-backed M&A grew by 30% y-o-y to US$289 billion in value, the fourth-highest total in the first five months of the year since LSEG’s records began in 1980.

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