October 8, 2021

Pending M&A Transactions: Signing a Deal is the Easy Part

Bloomberg Law just published this analysis of pending M&A transactions, and the results indicate that there are a whole bunch of deals announced in 2021 and in 2020 that have yet to close.  Here’s an excerpt:

According to Bloomberg data, more than 21,000 global deals announced since the start of 2020, valued at a total $2.5 trillion, remain pending in the period between signing and closing. Of the $4.1 trillion dollars in global M&A deals announced so far in 2021, for which definitive agreements have been entered into, $2 trillion have reached completion, $208 billion have been terminated, and $1.9 trillion remain pending and have yet to close. For the $3.7 trillion in deals announced in 2020, $2.8 trillion have reached completion, $179 billion were terminated, and $699 billion still have yet to close.

The sizable number of 2021 deals that still haven’t closed isn’t all that surprising – after all, regulatory clearances, shareholder approval and the satisfaction of closing conditions often take quite some time. But the fact that transactions representing nearly 20% of 2020’s total announced deal value hadn’t closed by the end of this year’s third quarter was a little surprising, at least to me. I can only imagine what things might look like this time next year if regulators continue to turn up the heat on M&A.

John Jenkins