Global M&A values to exceed $3 trillion in 2018 while UK M&A values to reach nearly $162 billion

New data shows

The easing of key economic and political risks and the emergence of positive macroeconomic deal drivers will accelerate global deal activity in 2018, reveals the third edition of the Global Transactions Forecast issued by Baker McKenzie.

2017 has been a period of apprehension for global dealmakers, with the UK as a standout case having followed a volatile path as a result of Brexit, and while economic growth has certainly slowed, the cliff-edge some were predicting has failed to materialize. Following the momentum created in the second half of 2017, The Global Transactions Forecast, developed in association with Oxford Economics, predicts a cyclical peak in 2018 for several macroeconomic and financial deal drivers, with 2018 marking the high point of the deal cycle for the world’s largest transaction centres, including London.

The forecast highlights why investors around the world are feeling increasingly confident as 2018 approaches, with appetites strengthened by positive trends such as more-buoyant world trade and economic growth, elevated equity valuations, and the prospect of cheaper financing in emerging markets.

“After a few soft patches in 2017 we have a more optimistic outlook for the global economy and dealmaking in 2018, as long as the brakes are not put on any further on global free trade. We see an uplift in both M&A and IPO activity as dealmakers and investors gain greater confidence in the business prospects of acquisition targets and newly-listed businesses,” said Paul Rawlinson, Baker McKenzie’s global chair. “However it’s not a done deal, with the threat of a Hard Brexit and a NAFTA collapse both still very real. Business will need to continue to make the case for liberal trade and investment frameworks.”

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