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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

Global M&A in 2024

Five trends to watch

Following a challenging year for mergers and acquisitions (M&A), the macroeconomic climate is now stabilising, and confidence returning to boardrooms. As a result, we expect the recent growth in M&A to gain momentum into 2024, with deal-making influenced by geopolitics, new technology, and the regulatory response to it. 

Sarah Jones, Global Head of Corporate, says: "With more stable macroeconomic conditions M&A activity will increase as corporates focus on their core businesses and supply chain security, the latter likely fuelling an uptick in cross-border activity. We also expect 2024 to be a more favourable year for private capital as financial sponsors clear a congested pipeline. Uncertainties caused by complex geopolitics and upcoming elections could put a dampener on this activity, however, so the full extent of the increase is hard to predict."

James Lloyd-Thomas, Senior Associate in the Corporate practice in London, says: "The global trends of decarbonisation, digitalisation and deglobalisation will drive deal-making. Investors will aim to capitalise on supportive government policies and access emerging technologies. However, these trends are also driving the proliferation of new foreign investment regimes and increased regulatory scrutiny, which will contribute to deal uncertainty and increase execution risk.

The energy and healthcare sectors are ones to watch. Expect substantial M&A activity in these areas as the energy transition intensifies and drug patent cliffs encourage the pursuit of inorganic growth. Generative AI is also expected to bring about significant transformation in the tech sector."

Explore our 2024 M&A Trends below.

What's ahead for 2024?

Energy Transition: Shifting government policies drive M&A

Government policies and tax incentives are set to stimulate more investment in clean energy and decarbonisation projects in 2024. While COP 28 resulted in the 'UAE Consensus' to transition away from fossil fuels, there should, nevertheless, continue to be, consolidation in the oil & gas sector in 2024.

What's next?

Here's what our global team expects to see in 2024.

Tech: AI in the M&A spotlight

AI is the great technological advance of our era. As governments and regulators  respond, we expect tech M&A to continue to be in the regulatory spotlight. The fragmented legal landscape around AI, and related uncertainty, will impact business strategies, leading to M&A activity.

What's next?

Here's what our global team expects to see in 2024.

Antitrust: Extended timelines and closer scrutiny

As regulators increase their scrutiny of potential transactions in 2024, it will be more important than ever to have a coherent global merger control, FDI and EU Foreign Subsidies Regulation strategy to support investment decisions and deal execution. The rise of independent-minded regulators wielding increased powers adds unpredictability and risk to the process.

What's next?

Here's what our global team expects to see in 2024.

Supply Chains: Pursuit of supply certainty fuels M&A

The quest to secure supply chains will drive M&A activity across various industries in the coming year, from automotive to retail and e-commerce, and healthcare. Expect vertical acquisitions, strategic alliances, and joint ventures to ensure access to scarce resources and stability in supply chains.

What's next?

Here's what our global team expects to see in 2024.

Private Capital: Unblocking deal pipelines

Private capital deals will be a key component of the increase in M&A volume and value this year. Stabilising interest rates and inflation levels, combined with more widely accessible debt, will give dealmakers confidence in underlying valuations, paving the way for more transactions, although more expensive debt and increased scrutiny from buyers will put pressure on valuations, returns expectations and deal timeframes. Despite challenging market conditions, many GPs will be focused on ensuring liquidity and the return of capital to investors, which should necessitate a pragmatic approach to sell-side deals in 2024.

What's next?

Here's what our global team expects to see in 2024.

Meet our M&A team around the world

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Sarah Jones

Sarah Jones

Global Head of Corporate
New York

+12128783321

Sarah

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Sarah Jones is Global Head of Corporate. She is also Co-Head of the Americas Corporate practice and Head of our global Consumer Goods group. She has extensive experience in advising multinational corporations on high profile, complex, cross-border M&A and joint ventures across a wide variety of industries

Sarah has been a partner with the firm since 2001 and has been based in its New York office since 2006. She is admitted as a solicitor in England & Wales and to the New York Bar.

Mohammed Al-Shukairy

Mohammed Al-Shukairy

Managing Partner
Dubai

+97145032707

Mohammed

‏Mo Al-Shukairy has extensive experience advising corporate, investment banking, private equity and other clients on takeovers and mergers, capital raising and stock exchange issues in London and the Middle East.  

Andrew Crook

Andrew Crook

Partner; Practice Area Leader – Asia Pacific Corporate
Hong Kong

+85228258042

Andrew

Andrew Crook is a highly regarded corporate practitioner with extensive expertise in private equity and M&A. His experience includes advising private market firms and multinational businesses on a range of transactions in APAC and globally.

With a focus on complex transactions Andrew has worked across a variety of sectors including healthcare, technology, industrials, education, energy and resources, infrastructure, financial and real estate.

Andrew heads our APAC Corporate and private equity practice.

Melissa Fogarty

Melissa Fogarty

Joint Head of Corporate, London
London

+44 207006 4699

Melissa

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Melissa Fogarty specialises in domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions and corporate and commercial advisory work.

Melissa is Co-Head of our Corporate Practice in London. She is an experienced M&A practitioner who is particularly well regarded for her ability to lead multi-jurisdictional and cross-practice teams to support clients on complex transactions. Melissa also regularly advises clients on corporate law and corporate governance matters.
 

Thomas Krecek

Thomas Krecek

Regional Practice Area Leader Corporate for Continental Europe
Frankfurt

+49 69 7199 1524

Thomas

Thomas Krecek advises on domestic and cross-border transactions including acquisitions, dispositions, mergers, joint ventures and public takeovers, private equity investments with specific focus on financial institutions, as well as Franco-German transactions.

Benjamin Sibbett

Benjamin Sibbett

Partner
New York

+1 212 878 8491

Benjamin

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Benjamin Sibbett's practice encompasses a broad range of domestic and cross-border M&A transactions for a "roster of top corporate clients." He has particular expertise leading multi-jurisdictional and multi-practice teams supporting non-US corporate clients that are investing in the United States. 

Ben is Co-Head of the Americas Corporate practice and a member of the firm's Americas Management Committee and Global Corporate Leadership Group.

Nigel Wellings

Nigel Wellings

Joint Head of Corporate, London
London

+442070068011

Nigel

Nigel Wellings has extensive experience advising on the full range of corporate transactions.

Nigel is a partner in the London private equity team working on European and Energy Market private equity. He spent five years in our Dubai office working on a range of transactions in the MENA region. He has a broad practice covering private company M&A, joint ventures, equity investments and reorganizations for financial sponsors. He works across a number of sectors, most notably financial services, FMCG and infrastructure.

Nigel is the Africa Practice Leader for Private Equity/M&A.

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