To say that 2020 was a challenging year would be a massive understatement. Yet, in terms of M&A, it was not as dramatic as one might have expected. Deals were generally postponed rather than cancelled, with just a 10 percent fall in the number of transactions.
When I think back to the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020, we had a trade war between the US and China, elections coming up in the US, and Brexit negotiations still in full swing. Yet, despite the uncertainties, interest rates were persistently low and there was ample cash available in the M&A market, setting the scene for a generally strong M&A year.
Then the pandemic hit. This is not the place to go into detail, but we must acknowledge what a difficult – and in many cases tragic – year it has been for so many people, on both a business and a personal level. Our genuine sympathies go out to all those who’ve been negatively impacted, and those who may be continuing to feel its impact.