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Freshfields Transactions

| 1 minute read

M&A in 2021 gets off to a flying start

The M&A bull run that began in Q3 2020 shows no signs of slowing, with deal activity through the first three months of 2021 breaking the $1tn barrier for the third consecutive quarter. Q1 may even end up as the largest quarter ever once the final numbers are reconciled.

We explore deal data and other key transactional trends in our quarterly M&A monitor, which this time round includes a deep dive into SPACs. We calculate just how much M&A activity they're responsible for, examine what underpins their explosive growth, look at what this primarily US phenomenon means for the rest of the world, and ask whether their outsize success will give rise to a wave of litigation. In researching the trend we discovered some eye-opening statistics, including that US SPACs have spent more on overseas targets in the past three months than in the previous 20 years combined.

Away from SPACs we examine what the GameStop short squeeze means for deals, explore rumoured Chinese interest in European tech, and consider why the pandemic has not led to the rush of distressed acquisitions many were expecting. You can also cut the data for Q1’s top 50 deals yourself to see where assets are located and identify the most acquisitive industries.

And if you’re interested in finding out more about SPACs, you can visit our website here .


global, mergers and acquisitions