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A year for the record books as deals hit highest value in over a decade.

As the global economy continues to recover into the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the market for M&A is maintaining its upward momentum, with no signs of slowing in 2022.

Baker Tilly’s annual M&A market update, produced in conjunction with M&A intelligence firm, Mergermarket, revealed a remarkable 77% increase in the annual global cross-border deal value in 2021, despite dealmakers facing continual macro uncertainties throughout the year.

More than half of the respondents (53%) in our annual outlook said mid-market deals would drive global M&A in the year ahead – and 2021’s totals are rapidly turning this prediction into a reality.

Mid-market deals accounted for 31% of global transactions in 2021, and with dealmakers’ sights set on mid-cap deals to fast-track growth, this figure is likely to maintain its upward climb.

Key highlights include:        

  • Global M&A value in 2021: US 5.9 trillion
  • Global M&A volume in 2021: 34,128 deals
  • 77% increase in annual global cross-border deal value
  • 5% increase in annual global cross-border deal volume
  • 6% increase in mid-market deals in 2021 compared to 2020
  • North America top geography by M&A deal value in 2021
  • Asia Pacific top geography by M&A deal volume in 2021
  • Tech M&A accounted for 33% of deal value and 36% of deal volume in 2021
  • 69% increase in mega deals in 2021
The outlook for M&A for the beginning of 2022 is strong based on transaction processes that started in 2021 that will complete early in the year. A meaningful number of companies will also be brought to market in the first half of the year and we believe there will be continued strong acquisition demand from strategic and private equity buyers.
Michael Milani, principal, Baker Tilly Capital’s mergers and acquisitions leader
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