M&A and Private Equity 2024 – Q1 Results

In the first quarter of 2024, the European mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and private equity (PE) landscape demonstrated particularly buoyant activity, a sign of a dynamic market. With an increase of 48 percent in deal value over the previous year, total investments reached 192.5 billion euros. A surge that can be seen as an indication of renewed investor confidence and adaptation to new economic conditions from a strategic perspective. Trends in recent years show how the resilience and growth of the European market offer promising prospects for both existing and potential investors.

Andersen’s European M&A market professionals have published an in-depth analysis of these early 2024 trends, studying the trends, the most promising sectors, and trying to speculate what will happen in the coming months.

M&A market overview

The first quarter of 2024 saw a remarkable upswing in European M&A activity. The total value of the 3,677 announced deals involving European players rose to €192.5 billion, an increase of 48 percent over the previous year. The most significant transactions involved the materials and technology sectors, a sign of investors’ strategic focus on sustainability and digital transformation. Numerous transactions involved the capitalization of sustainable infrastructure projects and the media and entertainment sector, indicating a growing interest in digital consumption and technological advances.

Mergers and acquisitions

The summary of M&A transactions in 2024 shows a stable European market, with transactions’ total value fluctuating several times over the past year. There is a high peak in March, a sign of a market that is not only recovering but even thriving. This spike, accompanied by a significant number of transactions, underscores investors’ confidence in the European market, indicating their willingness to invest in meaningful opportunities. The charts in the accompanying in-depth report illustrate a dynamic landscape, reflecting broader economic optimism and strategic changes in investment.

M&A market trends in Q1

The United Kingdom leads Europe in terms of value and number of deals, reaching an impressive 67.9 billion euros in deals. It is followed by France, Italy – first in terms of private equity investment – and Germany, each with a value of more than €14 billion, reflecting their strategic economic positions within the region. This demonstrates not only a strong M&A presence in the largest economies but also the significant engagement of other nations, particularly in Eastern Europe.

The surge of Eastern Europe

The last period has seen a rapid rise in Eastern Europe in terms of investment in both M&A and private equity. Economic growth in the technology and sustainability sectors, coupled with a strategic geographic location that makes the region a “bridge” between Western Europe and the East, make the area an attractive destination for investors globally.

If the Eastern European economy is experiencing clear growth, outpacing many of its Western counterparts, it is due to several factors such as annexation to the European Union, increased domestic consumption and economic reforms that have led to market liberalization.

These reforms generally focus on improving the business climate through regulatory simplification, improving the legal framework for business transactions, and promoting a competitive market environment that encourages foreign direct investment.

M&A in Eastern Europe has involved almost all sectors, particularly energy technology and finance, but there has been no shortage of investment in industry, real estate, and entertainment.

M&A in the next months

The excellent results achieved in the first quarter bode well for an equally prosperous continuation of the year. It is expected that technology healthcare and the renewable energy sector will continue to drive the market.