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2021 was 'go big or go home' for M&A

2021 was 'go big or go home' for M&A

Year saw 38,000 deals worth US$3.8 trillion in total.

Credit: Dreamstime

Last year, the number of merger and acquisition (M&A) deals valued over US$1 billion rose by a staggering 62 per cent compared to 2020, new analysis has revealed.  

According to the analyst firm GlobalData, 2021 was a "standout" year for M&As, with over 38,000 deals worth US$3.8 trillion across the globe. 

The report follows Microsoft's recent acquisition of video game maker Activision Blizzard for US$68.7 billion, a deal that has been mentioned as the biggest in tech ever.

"When it comes to M&As, the motto seems to be ‘go big or go home’ for 2021, with total deal volume jumping up 38 per cent year-on-year (YoY)," said Sapana Maheria, GlobalData practice head of thematic research. 

"This healthy growth was to be expected following COVID-19, which left organisations realising they need to digitise to stay relevant and meet the needs of a flexible-work workforce.

"Increased demand for remote working, home deliveries, automation, online streaming and digital payments increased the relevance of technology themes such as AI [artificial intelligenve], e-commerce, fintech, healthtech and digital media.” 

Technology, media and telecom (TMT) continued to be the biggest sector in terms of both M&A deal value and volume—with 12,585 deals worth US$1.27 trillion recorded in 2021. 

"While technology themes continued to play a prominent role in driving M&A deals across all sectors in 2021, themes such as environmental social governance (ESG) also gained traction, with many large deals announced," Maheria added.

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