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M&A Risk in Review, 1H 2023

This survey of 50 senior executives from corporate development teams, private equity firms, and investment banks finds that dealmakers remain upbeat about the health of the M&A arena. Almost half of respondents (46 percent) expect the number of deals globally to increase somewhat or indeed increase significantly over the next 12 months compared to 2022. A further 20 percent expect figures for the year ahead to remain in line with current volumes.

This does not necessarily mean that sailing will be smooth – from ESG and cyber risk to market dislocation and geopolitical upheaval, rarely before have M&A strategies had their mettle tested by such varied risk factors simultaneously.

M&A Risk in Review explores these dynamics in detail, reporting on investors’ expectations for global M&A over the next 12 months, standout sectors, the key risks they see – and how best to mitigate them.


Highlights include:

  • 68 percent of respondents identify Technology, Media and Telecom (TMT) as likely to be the most prolific generator of M&A activity over the next 12 months. Conversely, the financial services sector is forecast by 32 percent of respondents to be the least prolific sector for dealmaking.
  • 72 percent of respondents expect financing conditions to worsen compared to 2022, including 38 percent who expect them to become much more challenging. In response, dealmakers are turning toward alternative financing sources, including private equity (64 percent) and non-bank lending (38 percent).
  • 96 percent of respondents expect ESG scrutiny in deals to increase over the next three years, including 48 percent who expect it to increase significantly. In addition, 24 percent say environmental litigation creates the most concern in respect of potential disputes in a deal.