Our latest European Financial Services M&A data card shows that deal activity is recovering across the region. A number of quantitative and qualitative findings also suggest that – barring fresh shocks - the improvement in M&A should continue during 2014.
A review of financial services M&A for the whole of 2013 shows that private sector deals in Europe only increased modestly from 2012’s levels. Instead, a wave of government-led banking rescues pushed up the value of public sector deals during the first half of the year.
Fortunately, data for the second half of 2013 tells a different story. Private sector M&A reached a total value of €20bn, the highest in more than three years. The total number of financial services transactions also increased strongly. Other encouraging features of the second half of the year included growing strength in mid-market deals and a resurgence in insurance M&A.
Although post-crisis restructuring continues to be a significant driver of transactions, the second half of the year saw growth-oriented deal strategies gain momentum. These include growing interest in the expanding markets of Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe, and increasing inbound investment from North America and Asia into Western Europe.
Sources of uncertainty remain, but a background of economic recovery, growing CEO confidence and increasing risk appetite suggests there is potential for a sustained improvement in European financial services M&A.