CMS European M&A Outlook 2022: Road to Recovery

We are pleased to provide you with this year’s edition of the “European M&A Outlook”, published in co-operation with Mergermarket.

71% of dealmakers agree that private equity (PE) firms are better placed than corporates to take advantage of buying opportunities presented by COVID-19, according to the ninth edition of the European M&A Outlook, published by CMS in association with Mergermarket.

The report offers a comprehensive assessment of dealmaking sentiment in Europe’s M&A market. It reflects the opinions of 330 corporates and PE firms based in Europe, the Americas and APAC about their expectations for the European M&A market in the year ahead.

While financial buyers may be better placed than strategic buyers, more than half of survey respondents expect the overall level of European M&A activity to increase over the next 12 months, with both corporates and PE firms eager to make up for lost time. This stands in stark contrast to last year’s poll, in which 78% of interviewees were preparing for a decrease in M&A.

Key findings from our survey include:

  • A brighter outlook: 53% of respondents expect European M&A activity to increase over the next 12 months (compared to only 2% last year)
  • Low valuations and distress: 24% see undervalued targets as the most important buy-side driver of M&A activity. 22% identify distressed-driven M&A as the most important catalyst for sell-side activity.
  • Private equity in pole position: 71% agree that financial buyers are better placed than strategic buyers to take advantage of buying opportunities in the post-lockdown revival.
  • ESG gaining importance: 72% expect ESG scrutiny to increase during the next three years.

Our features in this year’s report include an editorial on Earn-Outs in the time of COVID-19 pandemic, an editorial on the CEE Hotel Investment Scene, ESG considerations in M&A deals for the year ahead and Brexit and FDI considerations.

Please note that our annual CMS European M&A Study will be published in spring 2022 when we will report back on how this market has impacted M&A transaction terms and conditions.

For more details on CMS´s report click here.