Global M&A snapshot 2015

Grant Thornton International Business Report 2015

Companies are increasingly focused on high-quality strategic transactions, with less time spent on investigating peripheral opportunities, according to our International Business Report (IBR), a survey of 5,000+ business leaders in 35 economies.

The results confirm that the M&A market has rediscovered its vigour, with the most dynamic businesses embracing acquisitions as a vital growth tool. M&A activity, both current and forecast is becoming more focussed as the quality of available targets improves and is matched this year by a five year high in the willingness of potential vendors to contemplate a sale. However, there are considerable regional variations - ranging from a bullish North American outlook to a fragile Eurozone.

There is also less activity in some of the previous powerhouses such as China - indicating that transaction activity will be far from uniform across the globe.

We have also seen a significant shift in the funding landscape with a growing number of businesses ready again to look at bank funding to support their M&A strategy, reflecting increased liquidity in the market.

2015 will undoubtedly present some new challenges and uncertainties in particular economies around the world. Overall, underlying growth remains relatively strong in many of the most
developed regions. Key metrics such as interest rates, employment and availability of funding are positive, 2015 would appear to represent an excellent window of opportunity to transact. In a historically cyclical transaction market we may well be at a point where the objectives and valuations of buyers are broadly aligned.