Key trends emerge as M&A recovery continues

Katharine Byrne, Partner, BDO Corporate Finance, featured in The Irish Times special report on Mergers and Acquisitions. Read Katharine's extract below. 


The hope is that 2021 will bring stabilisation across the different markets but Katharine Byrne, partner in corporate finance at BDO, does not think the recovery will be so equal. While many regions experienced a remarkable rebound in transaction levels in the last quarter of 2020, there are some regions that are still lagging such as Australasia, Latin America and Africa, Katharine says.

“This is attributed to the second wave of Covid-19 compounded by ongoing political uncertainties in some of these regions. The uptick in M&A is expected to continue into 2021 for countries with a vaccination rollout plan and where government supports continue to sustain businesses. Any further vaccination delays or misguided government policies will certainly impact on confidence levels which, in turn, will stall M&A activity.”

And, more broadly, as an increasing number of countries introduce tough travel restrictions, this lack of face-to-face deal-making will hinder the rebound of cross-border transactions, Katharine says.

“Increased use of AI and data analytics as well as digital execution of contracts has helped streamline the M&A process but where people and management teams are driving the business, the personal interaction is key to the success of the transaction, especially where the management teams need to implement integration plans. It is likely that mid-market M&A activity will slow down if borders continue to remain closed for long periods.”

Content adapted from The Irish Times special report, 'The emerging trends as the M&A recovery continues'

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