Global forest, paper and packaging deals insights: Year-end 2018

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Executive summary

The deal momentum continued on a high for global Forest, Paper, and Packaging industry, with deal value witnessing a year-over-year growth of 80% to $53.8 billion. Though geopolitical uncertainty, volatility in commodity prices, and regulatory factors are concerns, sub-sector M&A value remained elevated due to the ongoing consolidation. Paper consumption continues to be impacted by innovation and disruption with emphasis on sustainable packaging. Strategic investors were highly active driven by the need to expand in attractive markets, and increase capacity.

Key trends/highlights

  • Deal value in 2018 increased sizably by 80% to $53.8 billion over the previous year. The value in Q4 2018 grew by 6% to $10.8 billion vis-à-vis previous quarter. Four of the top ten deals during the year occurred in Q4 2018.
  • With a remarkable growth of 96% over the previous year, average deal size in 2018 reached $230.8 million. Although the average deal size for Q4 2018 declined slightly by 5% to $179.5 million compared to Q3 2018.
  • At the regional level, both North America and South America recorded 32% share each of deal value as acquirer regions in FY 2018. Within-border deals contributed ~70% of both value and volume during the year.

“Deal value in 2018 was at a three year high with paper and packaging leading the sub-sectors. Disruption and innovation will continue to drive deal value in 2019.”

Max Blocker - Global Forest, Paper and Packaging Deals Leader

Contact us

Max Blocker

US and Global Forest, Paper and Packaging Leader, PwC US

Tel: +1 (678) 419 4180

Harry Gruits

Forest, Paper and Packaging Deals Leader, PwC US

Tel: +1 (313) 394 3023

Jason Boyer

Canada Forest, Paper and Packaging Deals Leader, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 (604) 806 7096

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