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Global M&A volume in 2017 fell slightly lower as compared with 2016, finishing at US$3.15 trillion in deal value (representing a 3.2 per cent decrease from 2016), according to Mergermarket. Despite the modest decline, global volume remained strong overall in the context of the past decade, exceeding the $3 trillion barrier for the fourth consecutive year. Global cross-border M&A fell to a three-year low, ending the year at US$1.3 trillion, a 10 per cent decline compared with 2016, marking the slowest year since 2014 (Thomson Reuters). However, buyers were willing to pay more for targets in 2017, with buyers paying an average of 12.32x of a target’s EBITDA, compared to an average of only 11.1x in 2016 (Bloomberg). In 2017, global private equity buyouts fared better than overall M&A levels, reaching an annual aggregate deal value of US$346 billion (representing a 10.8 per cent increase from 2016) (according to data provided by Mergermarket). The number of private equity deals increased in 2017 to 2,539 buyouts globally, an approximately 7.4 per cent increase from 2016 (according to data provided by Mergermarket). On the sell side, private equity-backed exits increased with respect to both deal value and deal volume in 2017 to US$362 billion over 1,721 deals, compared with US$352 billion over 1,668 deals in 2016 (according to data provided by Mergermarket). Private equity capital fundraising increased in 2017, with total global fundraising values of US$453 billion, as compared with US$414 billion in 2016 (Preqin).

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