Global Transportation and Logistics deals insights: Q2 2019

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Executive summary

Deal value in the global T&L sector increased 34% from the prior quarter, driven by a 36% increase in average deal value. Financial investors provided the momentum, accounting for almost $19bn in deal value, their most significant contribution to sector M&A since Q1 of 2018.

With the exception of rail, all sub sectors contributed to the overall growth in value. While Asia and Oceania continues to dominate global deal activity, deals involving acquisition targets in North America. In contrast to Q119, when cross border eclipsed domestic activity, Q2 saw 66% of deal value attributed to local (within border) deals.


The Logistics category continues to drive M&A activity, accounting for 24% of all deal volume and 23% of investment value.

Despite challenges from slowing global economic growth, evolving trade policies, and increased scrutiny from governments on cross-border investments, M&A activity within the T&L sector remains positive. There were 62 transactions with disclosed values above $50 million announced this quarter, as volume remained relatively flat since Q4 2018. M&A value reached $25 billion, a 34% increase from the first quarter, as capital availability drove more financial buyer activity. In Q2 2019, average deal size increased by 36% from the previous quarter, reaching $409.3 million.

Largest transaction

In May 2019, private equity firm Onex Corp. announced it planned to acquire WestJet Airlines Ltd, Canada’s second largest airline, in a leveraged buyout transaction worth $3.7 billion. WestJet has faced increased competition from lower cost airlines while struggling with operational constraints due to the grounding of its 737 MAX jets.

Megadeals ($5B and over)

No megadeals have been announced so far in 2019. In comparison, one megadeal was reported during the first half of 2018.


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Steven J. Barr

Consumer Markets Leader, PwC US

Eric Shin

Consumer Markets Tax Leader, PwC US

Ron Kinghorn

Consumer Markets Advisory Leader, PwC US

Melissa Palmer

Consumer Markets Assurance Leader, PwC US

John Potter

Partner, US Deals Sector Leader, US Consumer Markets Deals Leader, PwC US

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