Global insurance M&A at highest level for four years

Global insurance industry M&A rose in the first half of 2019 with 222 deals completed worldwide, up from 196 in the second half of 2018, according to today’s mid-year report from Clyde & Co. This marks the biggest increase in the volume of transactions since H1 2015 and the fourth consecutive six-month period of growth.

While the Americas was the most active region with 93 deals, the biggest increase in activity was in Europe, which saw an 40% rise with 88 completed deals compared with 64 in the previous six months as companies move on from the diversion of Brexit preparations. France was the leading European country – and second most active worldwide behind the US – ahead of the UK and Spain. There were 38 deals in Asia-Pacific, marking the fourth consecutive period of rising deal volume to the highest level since 2015. Japanese acquirers were again the most active ahead of Australia and India.

Ivor Edwards, partner and European head of the corporate insurance group at Clyde & Co, says: “Despite recent signs of market hardening, delivering a positive result for shareholders remains challenging and M&A is an attractive strategy to deliver growth for re/insurance businesses around the world. In Europe, now that the majority of re/insurers are Brexit-ready, they have been able to divert management attention back towards their growth ambitions. As a result, we have seen a surge in completed deals in 2019 that had been put on hold. Deal-makers elsewhere have been buoyed by a combination of strong economic growth, notably in the US, and positive growth prospects for the insurance sector, especially in Asia-Pacific.”

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