Transportation and logistics M&A in good shape through first three quarters of 2015, says PwC

m&aWhile third quarter transportation and logistics merger and acquisition (M&A) activity saw a decline, year-to-date deal making matched up well with recent years as deal value for the first nine months of 2015 hit its highest level going back to 2006, according to data issued in the Intersections report byPwC this week.

Deals cited by PwC in its data report represent all announced deals for the quarter-as opposed to completed deals only-and the report does not parse out deals that are withdrawn, intended, or pending, and only deals valued at $50 million or more are included.

PwC said in the third quarter there were 44 transportation and logistics transactions valued at $50 million or more for a total value of $28.8 billion, which represented a 30 percent decline in deal volume and a 27 percent decline in deal value compared to the second quarter of this year and a 28 percent decline in deal volume and a 36 percent gain in deal value, due to average deal size increasing over the last four quarters, said PwC.

On a year-to-date basis, deal-making activity was steady annually, with value shooting up 55 percent compared to the same period a year ago from $63.1 billion to $97.9 billion.

In the third quarter, there were six megadeals, which PwC said are deals valued at $1 billion or more, cumulatively valued at $18.3 billion and accounting for 63 percent of total third quarter deal value. PwC said these deals were spurred on by companies trying to increase scale, enhance operations, build transportation networks, and expand geographic reach.

Some other notable takeaways of the report included:
-cross-border expansion was a key driver particularly in advanced economies, with more than half (55 percent) of the deals involved trans-national activity, and strategic investors looking to build a global transportation network and expand operations were involved in 48 percent of all cross-border deals for the quarter (and 52 percent of overall deal activity for the quarter);
-financial investor activity was up to nearly 48 percent compared to 44 percent in the second quarter;
-logistics companies represented 23 percent of T&L activity in the third quarter and that trend is expected to continue growing; and
-marine shipping and related services deals drove more than a third of the quarter’s volume at 34 percent compared to 13 percent in the second quarter

PwC U.S. Transportation and Logistics Leader Jonathan Kletzel told LM there have been various drivers for the gains in deal volume and value in recent quarters.

“Despite a dip in deal activity in the third quarter, we continue to see interest in transportation and logistics M&A from companies across the board including logistics, trucking, shipping and other sub-sectors,” he said. “While executives may have pushed the pause button in the third quarter following a recent surge in consolidation over the last several quarters, activity for the year as a whole remains robust. In fact, in the first nine months of the year, T&L companies have already surpassed the total deal value for all of 2014.”

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