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Cautious optimism for European M&A

Deal activity across Europe continued at a steady pace during 2022 despite an increasing number of economic headwinds, according to the latest annual European M&A study by global law firm CMS.

Deal activity across Europe continued at a steady pace during 2022 despite an increasing number of economic headwinds, according to the latest annual European M&A study by global law firm CMS.

The study reveals that the main driver for transactions in 2022 was entry into new markets (39%), a slight drop from 43% in 2021. There was also a decline in deals involving the acquisition of a competitor from 32% in 2021 to 28% in 2022 – most likely reflecting a step back from acquisitions seeking a post-pandemic consolidation of revenues and costs, according to CMS.
 
The “CMS European M&A Study 2023”, now in its 15th edition, covers 509 share and asset deals on which CMS advised during 2022 – a record number of deals in a year, showing that there have been plenty of deal opportunities despite the difficult macroeconomic environment caused by rising inflation and interest rates, slowing growth and increased geopolitical tension.

Louise Wallace, Partner and Global Head of the CMS Corporate/M&A Group, said: “The challenging M&A landscape last year has not resulted in considerable movement from the deal rhythm found in more benign years. We remain cautiously optimistic about deal activity in Europe in 2023 – notwithstanding that many of the adverse economic and political factors that have historically impacted on M&A growth are still evident.”
  

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