23 May, 2024

Key Findings

This 2024 Global M&A Dealmakers Sentiment Report offers a deep dive into the fluctuating dynamics and emerging trends in mergers and acquisitions across the globe. One key finding reveals a cautious yet optimistic outlook among dealmakers. Despite a challenging backdrop defined by economic volatility and geopolitical tensions, dealmakers view M&A as an essential mechanism to drive strategic growth and innovation.

Interestingly, digital transformation and the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) surfaced as prominent themes influencing deal activities. Many dealmakers are prioritizing investments in technology and digital assets, recognizing their critical role in maintaining competitive advantage in an increasingly digital economy.

Regional analysis shows varied sentiments across markets. North American dealmakers are particularly concerned about rising interest rates and inflation, which have created headwinds for corporate valuations. In contrast, European counterparts remain wary of geopolitical risks, especially concerning the ongoing unrest in Eastern Europe. Meanwhile, dealmakers in the Asia-Pacific region are buoyed by a relatively stable economic climate and are actively exploring cross-border opportunities.

The report also highlights the changing nature of deal structures. There is a noticeable shift toward strategic alliances and partnerships as companies seek to mitigate risks and leverage synergistic benefits without fully committing to traditional mergers or takeovers. This trend is complemented by an increase in private equity (PE) dealmaking, although corporate dealmaking still dominates, accounting for 82% of the global deal value in 2023.

Furthermore, the report underscores the resurgence of domestic deals, which constituted 72% of the global deal value. Nonetheless, there has been a notable uptick in cross-regional deal activities, growing to 17% last year. This suggests a more interconnected global M&A landscape where dealmakers are beginning to look beyond their borders for strategic acquisitions.

Lastly, the value of global M&A activity experienced a significant rebound, with a 41% jump in the last quarter of 2023. This resurgence underscores the resilience of the M&A market and reflects increasing confidence among dealmakers as they adapt to the new normal.

Overall, the 2024 Global M&A Dealmakers Sentiment Report paints a nuanced picture of an industry at a crossroads. While challenges persist, the combination of cautious optimism, strategic foresight, and adaptive deal strategies signals a dynamic year ahead for global M&A activities.

Which regions are expected to see the most M&A growth in 2024?

Asia-Pacific (APAC) has been a focal point for dealmakers, and 2024 is no different. This region's significance continues to rise, now accounting for approximately a quarter of global deal value—an impressive jump from 15% just two decades ago.

Countries like China, India, and Japan are leading this upswing, driven by strong economic fundamentals and rapid digital transformation. AI adoption, a pivotal trend for 2024, is creating new M&A opportunities across various sectors within APAC.

North America also remains a hotspot for M&A activity. The region's robust technology and healthcare sectors, coupled with ongoing economic recovery efforts, provide fertile ground for transactions. Although inflation and market uncertainties pose challenges, the appetite for domestic deals remains high.

According to recent data, these domestic transactions continue to dominate, representing 72% of the total deal value, while cross-regional deals are on the rise.

Turning to Europe, a complex landscape emerges. Geopolitical shifts such as Brexit and varying economic policies add layers of uncertainty. Nevertheless, sectors like renewable energy, pharmaceuticals, and fintech are expected to see substantial action. Europe's commitment to sustainability initiatives and digital innovation stands to drive significant deal flow.

In the Middle East and Africa (MEA), diversification strategies are catalyzing M&A activities. The region's efforts to reduce dependency on oil revenues are leading to investments in technology, healthcare, and renewable energy sectors. Countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia are at the forefront, creating unique M&A opportunities that could reshape regional economies.

Lastly, Latin America presents a mixed but promising outlook. While political and economic instability poses risks, regions like Brazil and Mexico are witnessing growing investor interest. Key sectors including agriculture, energy, and technology are the primary drivers, fueled by the region's vast resources and burgeoning consumer base.

What factors are influencing M&A in different regions for 2024?

North America

North America's M&A outlook is particularly sensitive to economic indicators like inflation and interest rates. The Federal Reserve's policy decisions will be pivotal in shaping the deal environment. Additionally, a maturing technology sector featuring advancements in AI and digital transformation is expected to drive substantial deal volumes.


In Europe, geopolitical tensions, including uncertainties surrounding Brexit and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, continue to play a significant role. High energy prices and supply chain constraints further complicate the landscape. However, there is optimism around consolidation in the renewable energy sector and increased cross-border activity.


The Asia-Pacific region faces its own set of unique challenges such as differing regulatory environments and the ongoing US-China trade tensions. Despite these hurdles, the region remains attractive due to robust economic growth, particularly in markets like India and Southeast Asia. Digital transformation and fintech are key sectors driving M&A activity here.

Latin America

Latin America's M&A activity is heavily influenced by political instability and economic volatility. However, there are bright spots in the form of an emerging tech landscape and opportunities in the renewable energy sector. Brazil and Mexico are expected to lead the charge in deal-making activities.


For Africa, M&A is buoyed by significant opportunities in natural resources and the burgeoning fintech sector. However, challenges such as political instability and infrastructure deficits continue to pose risks. Nonetheless, there is cautious optimism driven by international interest and investment inflows.

Overall, while the M&A sentiment is influenced by varied factors across different regions, there is a shared theme of cautious optimism. Dealmakers are leveraging tech innovation, navigating geopolitical complexities, and adapting to evolving economic landscapes to steer through 2024.

What are the major challenges for M&A dealmakers in 2024?

M&A dealmakers face a range of challenges in 2024 that are set to test their adaptability and resilience. Chief among these is enduring market uncertainty, a legacy of the economic turbulence experienced over recent years. Despite a forecasted steady rise in M&A activity, the path forward is paved with obstacles such as inflation and challenging market conditions, which have already made their mark in 2023.

Geopolitical factors also continue to play a pivotal role. Unpredictable domestic and international political climates can significantly affect dealmaking processes, with unforeseen regulatory changes and political tensions adding layers of complexity to cross-border transactions.

The global shift towards digital transformation and AI adoption is another pressing issue. While these innovations open new doors for M&A opportunities, they also require dealmakers to stay ahead of the technological curve, understanding both the potential and risks associated with integrating advanced technologies into traditional business frameworks.

Recession fears linger, as do the effects of inflation, both of which have already prompted a noticeable slump in M&A activity in 2023. This economic backdrop drives a cautious approach among dealmakers, who must carefully balance ambitious growth strategies with prudent risk management.

Lastly, the rise in distressed M&A activity poses its unique set of challenges. As more companies face financial difficulties, dealmakers must navigate complex restructurings and distressed sales, requiring expertise in evaluating troubled assets and executing sensitive negotiations.

In summary, while optimism remains, the M&A landscape of 2024 demands exceptional strategic agility to overcome obstacles and leverage emerging opportunities effectively.

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