Euromoney, is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 8 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2023
Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement
OPINION

Fortress bid for Morrisons shows efficiency in exuberant M&A

Private equity is the biggest driver of what may be a record year for M&A and has led to a pushback from public shareholders that could raise prices.

Peter Lee capital markets 1920px.jpg

For anyone who grew up in the north of England, Morrisons has always been somewhat iconic. Any Saturday morning spent people-watching over a cooked breakfast in the café at one of its bigger stores would reveal humanity in all its wonderous variety: from the radiant to the grotesque.

But it still comes as a surprise to find the UK’s fourth largest supermarket chain at the centre of the powerful currents now driving an extraordinary wave of M&A that is captivating corporate financiers, public market investors, private-equity sponsors, lawyers, bankers, analysts and rating agencies.

Global M&A in the first half of this year came in at just under $3 trillion, a record for any first half. The US has never been busier. The $930 billion of deals announced in Europe, the Middle East and Africa puts the region on track for its second-highest ever year, behind the all-time record of 2007 at the peak of the leveraged buy-out boom.

Private equity is back.

Sponsors have been a big driver of the near doubling of European M&A compared with the first half of 2020, and account for 38% of the six-month volume, up from an average of 27% during the first half of each year from 2018 to 2020.

In