Australian public M&A deal trends report

2020 Edition: The surprising resilience of M&A in a tumultuous year

Australia Publication September 2021

Before anyone could understand the full extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy, the start of 2020 already forecast a year that was to be far from “normal”, with Brexit, the US election and other significant events set to determine dealmaker sentiment.

In our Australian Public M&A report 2020, we take a look at the year that was for Australian public M&A activity, 18 months on from the ASX’s “big drop” when global markets tumbled to lows not seen since the Great Recession of 2008. From 23 March 2020 onwards, deal making was (not surprisingly) sluggish, as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic reached our local shores and both Commonwealth and State Governments implemented lockdowns and border closures.

We consider how the Australian public M&A market has fared during what has been a remarkable 12 months and attempt to forecast what the coming year may bring, as we see a steady return to deal maker confidence. 


This report covers:

  • 2020: A year in review
  • Structure and execution of deals
  • A breakdown of deals by: target industries, foreign players, consideration, source of funding, premiums, private equity involvement, conditionality and break fees

Read the full report

  • Regulatory developments affecting M&A deals
  • Five takeaways for targets
  • Five takeaways for bidders
  • Expectations for 2021


A snapshot of the top trends in 2020 with transaction values over $50 million

M&A Trends Snapshot 


Top 10 deals by value for 2020

Top 10 deals of 2020   

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