Global metals deals insights: Q1 2019

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Executive summary

Deal volume in Q1 2019 saw a decrease from Q4 2018, despite total deal value rising quarter-over-quarter, primarily due to an announced $9.9 billion merger in the gold mining sector. The year also saw a slower start for deals in the Metals sector compared to Q1 2018 as both deal volume and value were lower in Q1 2019. Beyond the gold mining deal, transactions were strong in the aluminum space with an 85% volume increase over prior quarter. While the market uncertainty and slowdown of 2018 continued into the first quarter of 2019, ample levels of capital available to corporate and private equity buyers could lead to increased deal volume over the remainder of the year.

Key trends/highlights

  • With deal value of $16.4 billion, Q1 2019 witnessed a significant 37% decline from Q1 2018, while deal volume in Q1 2019 declined by 40% to 124 deals from 207 deals in Q1 2018.
  • Average deal size in Q1 2019 was $248.4 million, a 2.4x growth over the previous quarter due to an increase in deal value in the same period.
  • North America was the most active acquirer, contributing 62% of the deal value in Q1 2019. Asia and Oceania region led the deal volume of this quarter with a share of 53%.

“The ongoing trade negotiations, political uncertainty, and escalating tariffs that likely hindered deal volume in 2018 seem to have carried into the start of 2019.”

Brian Kelly, US Metals Deals Leader

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Brian Kelly

Metals Deals Leader, PwC US

Michael Tomera

US TAS Market Leader, Midwest Market, PwC US

Jock O´Callaghan

Global Metals Leader, PwC US

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