MarshBerry — 2021 M&A Activity Sets Record


MarshBerry tracks mergers and acquisitions. The company has finished compiling 2021’s results and says it set a record for the fifth straight year. All told, there were 798 transactions, a 12.2% increase over 2020’s 711.


Private capital-backed buyers did 591 of the 798 transactions. That’s 74.1% of them. Since 2018 these buyers have seen an average annual growth of about 14.8%.


MarshBerry says that means they’re continuing to expand their influence and presence in the marketplace.


Buyers and investors are continuing to push their way into the marketplace. It is a very favorable sellers market because there is still more demand than there is quality supply,” the company’s report said.


Demand by these buyers and investors is pushing up prices. Valuations by the end of 2020 were over 10-times the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. It ends up being a 12.9% jump over the upfront proceeds sellers got in 2020.


The total maximum purchase price has gone up more than 11% year over year from 2020 to 2021.


Others making purchases include independent agencies. They did 100 deals, or 12.5% of the total count. That’s down from an average of 23.2% in the past.


Looking at 2022, MarshBerry says purchasing will continue to be quite active but it probably won’t set another record. While the 2022 deal count will not necessarily eclipse the 2021 total, activity will likely remain at the 2019/2020 levels with somewhere between 650-750 announced transactions,” MarshBerry said.


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