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North American M&A activity driven to decade low by COVID-19

According to the latest statistics from Willis Towers Watson, COVID-19 has had a noticeable impact on North American M&A deals

|Jul 7|magazine3 min read

According to the latest statistics from Willis Towers Watson, COVID-19 has had a noticeable impact on North American M&A deals

Willis Towers Watson’s latest Quarterly Deal Performance Monitor (QDPM) has found that the far-ranging impacts of coronavirus have brought North American merger and acquisition (M&A) deals to their lowest level in more than a decade. 

The leading global advisory, broking and solutions company’s QDPM reports on M&A activity across all geographical regions, including mega deals and performance analysis. 

Willis Towers Watson said that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic was “significant but not expected”. 

The QDPM found that North America posted the sharpest fall in M&A activity and the sharpest fall in overall M&A activity worldwide. 

It said that acquirers underperformed their regional index by -7.2 percentage points - only 137 deals were completed in the first half of this year, compared with 188 in the first half of 2019. 

Willis Towers Watson noted that this is the lowest number of deals in the region over a six month period since 2009. 

Head of Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions for Great Britain at Willis Towers Watson, Jana Mercereau, said: “Global M&A activity tumbled to its lowest level in more than a decade in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, with most of this decline driven by North America. 

“Economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic seems to have had a far greater negative impact on the ability of US companies to initiate and successfully complete M&A acquisitions.”

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