IMAP Annual Review 2022

Global Results

IMAP partners around the world closed 238 M&A deals worth more than $26 billion in 2022. Total deal volume for IMAP in 2022 was down from the record high set in 2021, but beat expectations as the mid-market M&A environment held strong despite challenging macroeconomic conditions.

Persistently high inflation, rising interest rates, stock market volatility and geopolitical spillovers fueled uncertainty throughout the year. Constricted availability of financing and diminished valuations had an impact on the rate of M&A transactions closed, yet there was ongoing demand for high quality assets, particularly those in the mid-market sector with defensive growth models that proved resilient in a slowdown environment.

Industrials, Technology, Healthcare, Business Services, Transportation & Logistics, and Food & Beverage were the most active sectors for IMAP in 2022, accounting for almost 70% of total deal volume.

Roughly 26% of IMAP’s transactions in 2022 were cross-border, which is marginally lower than previous periods and likely reflects growing investor uncertainty surrounding the international environment.

PE buyers became more reluctant to make moves as 2022 progressed but well capitalised strategics continued to pursue buy-and-build transactions. The greater degree of scrutiny from buyers and an overall more discerning approach to M&A observed in recent months will continue this year.

Ireland and UK

Q4 2022 was defined by uncertainty. Throughout the UK and Ireland various macro factors impacted companies across every sector. This prompted a greater degree of scrutiny from buyers, a more discerning approach to M&A and an increasing prominence of trade buyers who understand industry specific issues in a way others can’t, in addition to synergies providing some downside protection.

"In Q1 2023 we expect a more discerning approach to M&A and an increasing prominence of trade buyers."
Richard Tunney, Key Capital

Q1 2023 is unlikely to materially improve from a macro perspective, however, we do anticipate an improved market for deal making as we get greater clarity on key issues such as labour shortages, energy costs and inflation. A greater degree of certainty will allow buyers to make informed decisions and should create a more favorable deal making environment.

Read the full Annual Review 2022 report, including IMAP partner firm commentary from around the world, in the download below.

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