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Survey Report

M&A’s success as a growth strategy

Ten years of QDPM

Mergers and Acquisitions

November 26, 2018

M&A deal making has been unequivocally shown to have delivered superior shareholder returns during the last decade, according to global M&A data compiled by Willis Towers Watson’s Quarterly Deal Performance Monitor(QDPM).

Based on share price performance, companies actively engaged in M&A deals (valued at over $100 million) from 2008 to 2018 outperformed the market by an average of 3.1pp (percentage points), demonstrating M&A as an effective tool for adding value.

Key findings revealed by the analysis of 10 years of QDPM data from the Willis Towers Watson global study in partnership with Cass Business School include:

  • Bigger is Better Mega deals, those valued at over $10bn, beat the index by 4.3pp, while large deals valued at over $1bn outperformed by 2.9pp.
  • The rise of China Chinese M&A activity reached historic highs in the last decade and doubled its market share, rising from $24.9 billion or 3.5% of the global M&A market in 2008 to $57.5 billion or 7.2% in 2018.
  • Industry winners and losers Compared to other industries, Telecoms and Technology companies completing M&A transactions performed the worst by actually destroying value over the last ten years.
  • UK shrugs off Brexit UK-headquartered firms have consistently beaten the European index by 3.7pp and have maintained this performance level despite the country's looming departure from the EU.
  • Regional winners and losers European dealmakers, as well as outperforming non-acquirers in their own region by 3.7pp, have been far more consistent than any other region, delivering on average a positive shareholder return in nine out of the last ten years.

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