Although M&A activity is slightly down in Q3 on Q1 and Q2, it remains firmly above pre-COVID levels. The fourth quarter is usually the most active period and, with 91% of 2020’s total deal volume completed by Q3, 2021 is on course to exceed both 2020 and 2019’s deal totals.

Corporate carve-outs of non-core assets are increasing as expected, but buyers are led by corporates rather than PE firms. Large corporates are returning to the M&A market looking to reignite growth strategies and fend off their own PE approaches and we expect to see this activity continue in Q4.

While the threat of unpredictability related to the coronavirus has not fully dissipated, near-term clarity and confidence is returning to the market and usual month-to-month variation is re-emerging. We expect private equity to play a prominent role in the remainder of 2021.

In this quarter’s review you can also watch our interview with Jon Fisher, Chief Executive of GRS Group, who provides his outlook for the building materials sector and assesses the growing importance of ESG in the sector.

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