Which Industries Dominated Mergers and Acquisitions in 2021?

March 1, 2022

Last year, we saw a historic year in mergers and acquisitions activity (M&A). According to Mergermarket, deal volume rose to a peak of almost 3,000 deals in the second quarter of 2021, slowing to around 2,000 to end out the fourth quarter of the year. The 2,000 deals to end the year were much more than what we saw in 2019 and 2020.

On deal value, deal value also peaked in the second quarter of 2021 at almost $900 billion, slowing to a still-very-high deal value of about $600 billion to end the fourth quarter of 2021.

By most any measure, M&A activity boomed in 2021, but which industries dominated?

Source: DealSite

Which Industries Dominated?

The following four views from Datasite, show which industries dominated M&A activity in 2021 according to value, volume, and top bidders by value and volume.

Top Sectors by Value

The first view is the top sectors by value. Interestingly, and perhaps surprising, the top sector by value in 2021 was TMT at $1.1 trillion. That’s $1.1 trillion! Far behind in second place was Industrials & Chemicals at $321 billion, Financial Services at $300 billion, Pharmaceuticals, Medical and Biotechnology at $300 billion, and Energy, Mining, and Utilities at $255 billion.  

Source: DealSite

Top Sectors by Volume

Shifting to the view of top sectors by volume in 2021, a similar trend emerges, albeit in a slightly different order. On top was TMT at 2,954 deals. TMT deals far outpaced second place deals counts in the Industrials and Chemicals industry at 1,363 deals. In third place was Business Services at 1,210 deals (Business Services did not show up in the top five for value). Fourth and fifth place belonged to Pharmaceuticals, Medical, and Biotechnology at 1,137 deals and Financial Services at 838.

Source: DealSite

Top Bidders by Value

Switching to the top bidders by value in 2021, the top country for deals was the United States at $2.2 trillion. America’s top spot far outpaced second place Canada at $197 billion. Rounding out the top five included Brazil at $71 billion, France at $65 billion, and the United Kingdom at $56 billion.

Source: DealSite

Top Bidders by Volume

Lastly, the following table has a view of America’s top bidders by volume in 2021. In first place was, unsurprisingly, the United States at 7,921 deals. Far behind in second place was Canada at 867 deals. Rounding out the top five are three countries that do not show up in the top five when viewing the top bidders by value. In third place was Brazil at 631, Mexico at 74, and Chile at 57. Activity was hot in 2021!

Source: DealSite

Summing Up

Overall, M&A deal activity in 2021 reach historic levels when measured by deal value and deal volume. And it was certainly an amazing year for investors in certain sectors.

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