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2024 M&A Trends Survey: Mind the gap

Capturing value from a changed M&A market

M&A market uncertainty has only intensified since it was the focus of our last M&A trends survey in early 2023. However, now and for the year ahead, our new research indicates that pivots, shifts, and innovation in M&A activity are helping dealmakers adapt to a new normal.

Benefiting from M&A market uncertainty

There are typically headwinds that make the M&A market difficult and fraught with uncertainty, but most of the leaders who pursue and make deals show a growing tendency to shift course and persevere in the hunt for value. Beyond the generally positive outlook of the respondents in the 2024 Deloitte M&A Trends Survey, this new research shows strong signs that dealmaking may be poised for a rebound in the coming year.

In the 2024 M&A trends survey, we surveyed 1,500 corporate and private equity dealmakers, our largest survey ever. Nearly two-thirds (63%) were senior decision-makers at the C-suite or senior managing director level, another high-water mark. Most significantly, we’ve increased the proportion of private equity investors in the survey. For this research, private equity investors represent almost half (49%) of the overall sample.

2024 M&A Trends Survey: Mind the gap

Part one: Four M&A trends that signal a changing market

Let’s start by exploring the current and expected future state of the M&A market. Survey respondents, well aware of the new and multifaceted challenges, are pivoting in new and different directions while realizing synergies, premiums, and returns in new ways.

"The more the quantitative evidence of instability

and doubt seems to multiply, the bolder and

more successful dealmaking may become."

Part two: Three ways private equity and corporations are coming together

Corporations generally focus their energy and resources on synergy realization over the medium and longer terms, whereas private equity firms tend to focus on returns on investments and in shorter time frames. But digging a bit deeper, we also exploit an opportunity to “mind the gap” between the two types of dealmakers as a way to drive real value creation opportunities.

The right mindset for the rebound

The ultimate differentiator between dealmakers is that those who center their M&A planning, strategy, and execution around an embrace of uncertainty will likely experience the greatest success.

That’s why our M&A trends survey focus on “minding the gap” is apt as 2024 dawns. When your organization is more oriented to avoid or sidestep uncertainty and complexity versus fully understanding and exploiting the M&A world as it is, the gap may as well be a brick wall. Not anymore. In both corporate and private equity, decision-makers are building bridges, lengthening their view, and increasingly watching, analyzing, and embracing things that lie on the other side.

Is it the right time for a divestiture?

Plan effectively with our Diverstiture Readiness SelfAssess™ tool


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