Zephyr Western Europe M&A Review, October 2018

  • Western Europe M&A volume and value decline in October
  • PE and VC value increases both month-on-month and year-on-year

Both the volume and value of mergers and acquisitions

(M&A) targeting Western European companies declined in October 2018, according to M&A information collected by Bureau van Dijk, a Moody’s Analytics company, and the leading publisher of company information. In all, there were 2,012 deals worth a combined EUR 93,428 million announced during the month under review, compared to the 2,205 deals worth EUR 137,176 million recorded in September 2018. Volume actually declined at an even steeper rate year-on-year, falling 21 per cent from 2,548 deals in October 2017. By contrast, value increased 27 per cent from EUR 73,821 million over the same timeframe.

Bureau van Dijk’s research shows that value was boosted significantly by a single large deal in September. The most valuable transaction with a Western European target to have been announced in September was worth EUR 28,007 million and involved Atlantia and ACS, via Abertis Holdco, picking up Abertis Infraestructuras. This was the month’s largest deal by some distance, accounting for almost a third of total value in the month under review. The second-placed transaction was worth considerably less as CK Holdings took over Magneti Marelli for EUR 6,200 million. Third place involved Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation paying EUR 2,585 million for First State Investments UK Holdings. In all, 15 deals broke the EUR 1,000 million-barrier during the month under review.

Bureau van Dijk’s data shows that, in contrast to M&A, the value of private equity and venture capital (PE and VC) dealmaking increased in October. In all, there were 215 such deals worth a combined EUR 14,414 million announced during the month. In terms of value, this represents an improvement on both September 2018 (EUR 13,834 million) and October 2017 (EUR 12,372 million). By contrast, volume declined both month-on-month and year-on-year, from 306 and 353 in September 2018 and October 2017, respectively. A number of sizeable deals supported value during the month under review; October’s top PE and VC deal in the region was worth EUR 2,585 million and involved Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation buying First State Investments UK Holdings.

Lisa Wright, director at Bureau van Dijk, commented, “While October has been a disappointing month in terms of M&A activity, PE/VC has been a bright spark as value improved on both September 2018 and October 2017. In addition, the EUR 28,007 million Abertis Infraestructuras deal proves that there is still an appetite for large deals and gives hope that high-value dealmaking will continue as we move towards the end of 2018.”

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