Western European M&A value nearly doubles year-on-year

PE and VC investment down in April

The volume and value of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) targeting companies based in Western Europe declined in April to 1,741 deals worth a combined EUR 129,536 million, according to M&A information collected by Bureau van Dijk, a Moody’s Analytics company, and the leading publisher of company information. On a 12-month comparison, volume decreased at a slower rate of 12 per cent, while value increased significantly by 83 per cent from 1,979 deals worth EUR 70,899 million in April 2017.

Bureau van Dijk’s research shows that despite the decline by value over the four weeks, there have been a significant number of large deals announced during the month under review, with all the top 20 deals by value exceeding EUR 1,000 million, while one deal was worth over EUR 30,000 million and accounted for 26 per cent of total value. UK-based Sky featured twice in the top 5 announced deals targeting a Western European company in April, with the largest deal by value being the only one to exceed EUR 10,000 million during the four-week period. Sky agreed to be acquired by US-based Comcast for EUR 33,440 million in the month’s largest deal. This was followed by J Sainsbury agreeing to buy ASDA Group for EUR 8,291 million, bringing together two of the UK’s leading supermarket and petrol station operators.

Bureau van Dijk’s data shows that, in line with overall M&A results, the volume and value of private equity and venture capital (PE and VC) investment in Western Europe declined over the four weeks under review to 215 deals worth an aggregate EUR 12,136 million. In terms of volume, this represented a 23 per cent decrease, while value declined 30 per cent from 281 deals worth EUR 17,266 million in March. Three deals broke the EUR 1,000 million-barrier and together accounted for 60 per cent of total PE and VC value for the period. The largest such deal was also the fourth largest M&A deal and involved Cerberus Capital Management, through Promontaria Marina, acquiring an 80 per cent stake in Spanish real estate developer Anida Grupo Inmobiliario for EUR 4,000 million.

Lisa Wright, director at Bureau van Dijk, commented, “Despite the disappointing result in terms of deal values across both M&A and PE and VC deals over the four-week period, there have been a number of sizable deals announced during April with all of the top 20 M&A deals by value exceeding EUR 1,000 million. This shows there is a substantial appetite for deal making in Western Europe as we move into the second quarter. Value may have declined month-on-month but is still a significant showing when compared to April and September of last year and January 2018 as each of these months recorded values of less than EUR 75,000 million. In fact, deal making in April was the fourth largest month in terms of M&A value of the last 12-months under review, and if the coming months continue to see high-valued deals being announced, the first half of 2018 could prove to be an impressive six-month period for Western European targets.”

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