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M&A Trends Survey: The future of M&A

Deal trends in a changing world

M&A executives are sending clear and strong signals that dealmaking—particularly alternatives to “traditional” M&A—will be an important lever as businesses recover and thrive in the post–COVID-19 economy. Deloitte's Future of M&A Trends Survey polled 1,000 executives at US corporations and private equity investor (PEI) firms between August 20 and September 1, 2020 to assess current and future M&A plans; more than half of these US dealmakers (61%) expect M&A activity to return to pre–COVID-19 levels within the next 12 months.

The future of M&A in a post-COVID-19 world

In a post COVID-19 world, the role of M&A will be redefined. Transformation is key: a combination of offensive and defensive M&A strategies will emerge as companies strive to defend their existing markets, accelerate recovery and position themselves to thrive. Beyond traditional M&A, companies will need to deploy a wide range of inorganic growth strategies such as alliances and ecosystem partnerships. Deal making itself has to change to reflect the new environmental and societal priorities of the post-crisis world and deliver lasting impact beyond commercial success.

About the survey

Between August 20 and September 1, 2020, a Deloitte survey conducted by OnResearch, a market research firm, polled 1,000 US executives—750 at US-headquartered corporations and 250 at US-based private equity firms—to assess current and future M&A plans given uncertainty caused by COVID-19 and current economic conditions. Download the PDF for full response options and question details including which questions were single-select and which included multiple response options.

All participants in the survey work either for private or public companies with revenues in excess of $10 million or private equity firms. The participants hold senior ranks (at least director level). Forty-one percent of all respondents sit in the C-suite. All respondents are involved in M&A activity.

Respondents represent a variety of industries: technology, consumer, energy, financial services, life sciences and health care, among others. More than half of the corporate respondents (57%) work for privately held companies. Twenty-nine percent work at companies with more than $1 billion in revenue, and 17% work in companies with less than $250 million in revenue.

The private equity respondents come from a variety of funds. More than one-third (36%) of respondents work at funds with more than $3 billion in assets. Only 8% work at funds with less than half a billion dollars to invest.

This publication contains general information only and Deloitte is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. In addition, this publication contains the results of a survey conducted by Deloitte. The information obtained during the survey was taken “as is” and was not validated or confirmed by Deloitte. Deloitte shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this publication.

In the news


Deloitte Future of M&A Trends Survey: Dealmaker Optimism Remains High as Alternatives to Traditional M&A Take Center Stage


PR contactLauren Dolezal
Senior manager | Deloitte Services LP


Additional resources

M&A Alternatives Take Center Stage: Survey

The rise of alternative and virtual deal-making signals a new era of how deals get done.

M&A and COVID-19: Charting new horizons

As companies embark on the path to recovery, M&A is poised to have an outsized influence in shaping the “next normal.” But in the aftermath of COVID-19, it is inevitable that deal making will materially change to reflect the new priorities of a post-crisis world.





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