It should come as no surprise that 2020 has proved to be a tough year for both Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) insurance and M&A transactions as a whole. As soon as the first lockdown was announced in March, almost all M&A activity ground to a halt leading to the slowest second quarter in decades (in terms of completed deals).
However, during the summer months, the M&A industry started to recalibrate and many transactions (that were initially halted) began to close. Activity picked up in robust sectors that were immune to (or even favoured) the pandemic, such as technology and renewables, and opportunities arose in healthcare, pharmaceuticals and FinTech.
Whilst private equity activity has remained at a low level for most of the year, as time has been spent supporting portfolio companies, the last quarter has seen private equity deals gathering pace, with increased auction sales. Although there has not been as much distressed M&A activity as expected earlier in the pandemic, this is likely to rise in early 2021.