Goldman Sachs emerged as the top adviser on merger and acquisitions by deal value in the first half of 2020, with 113 deals worth $205.9 billion (Dh756bn), though the Covid-19 pandemic muted deal activity globally.
JP Morgan came in second place with 105 deals worth $178.9bn, followed by Morgan Stanley with 92 deals valued at $170.8bn, Bank of America with 86 deals at $130bn and Citi with 63 transactions valued at $99bn to round off the top five financial advisers on M&A by deal value, according to GlobalData.
"The Covid-19 outbreak impacted deal making during H1 2020 with 15 of the top 20 advisers (by total deal value) witnessing decline in advised deal value in H1 2020 compared with H1 2019," Aurojyoti Bose, financial deals analyst at GlobalData, said. “Nevertheless, Goldman Sachs was the only adviser that managed to cross the $200bn mark in H1 2020 outpacing the majority of its peers by a great margin. It was the firm’s advice on some big-ticket deals that helped it top the list."
Globally, deal activity remained subdued during in the first half of the year on the back of volatile market conditions due to Covid-19 outbreak. In the first six months of 2020, the value of deals announced dropped 44.7 per cent year-on-year to $1.024 trillion in H1 2020. The number of deals also fell 15.1 per cent to 24,698, according to GlobalData’s Financial Deals Database.
Ernst & Young emerged as the top M&A financial adviser in the first half of 2020 by deal volume, according to GlobalData. The firm advised on 137 deals worth $30.6bn. Goldman Sachs occupied the second position with 113 deals worth $205.9bn followed by Rothschild & Co with 110 deals worth $82.4bn.
Ernst & Young "was among the very few firms that managed to showcase growth in advised deal volume as well as value in H1 2020 compared with H1 2019," Mr Bose said. “In contrast, 16 of the top 20 advisers (by total deals volume) witnessed decline in advised deal volume in H1 2020 compared with H1 2019.”
Globally, the coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 11 million people and killed more than 525,000, according to Johns Hopkins University, which tracks the pandemic. About 5.86 million people have recovered.
The International Monetary Fund projects the global economy will contract by 4.9 per cent this year, 1.9 percentage points below its April forecast, due to a worsening economic fallout from the pandemic. It expects the world economy to rebound by 5.4 per cent next year.
Rival data provider Refinitiv also named Goldman Sachs as the top M&A financial adviser in its review of deal activity in the first half of 2020 last week. It said the bank commanded a 22 per cent share of the market, ahead of Morgan Stanley with 19 per cent and Citi with 16.9 per cent. Its data showed a 41 per cent year-on-year decline in deal value.