By contrast with the second quarter of 2020, which saw deal activity in the global industrial sector at record lows as it felt the most significant impact of COVID-19, Q2 2021 has brought optimism for a return to pre-crisis activity.

As this quarter’s AlixPartners Industrials Quarterly M&A review reveals, there was a wealth of deal activity across the sector, exhibiting an encouraging prolonged return to pre-COVID levels.

This is exemplified by a 286% increase in deal value and a 46% increase in deal volume compared to Q2 2020. Despite a marginal decrease in valuation multiples with an average of 9.3x, down 6% on Q1 2021, multiples still remain higher than pre-COVID levels.

While uncertainty remains and supply chain challenges look set to increase in H2, the momentum in industrial M&A is significant and all indicators would point to a stellar year of deal activity.

In addition to downloading this quarter’s full report, you can also watch my interview with Abhishek Jain, M&A Director at Schneider Electric. With 13 deals completed by his company since March 2020 and transaction values well in excess of €4.5bn, Abhishek shares some fascinating perspectives on recent market activity, and reflects on the challenges and opportunities that the pandemic has presented to dealmakers.

Additional authors: Dario DuseMichael Wabnitz, Florian Stellner, Theunis Maritz, Utsav Patel and Daniel Brace.