Continued deal momentum across the Nordics

Welcome to the summer edition of the Nordic Deal Trend Report covering the second quarter of 2021.


After an unpredictable last year, characterized by the decline in number of deals following COVID-19 lockdowns and then a surprisingly sharp increase in M&A activity kicking off in the fourth quarter of 2020, we are still witnesses to a continued, high M&A activity level also in the second quarter of this year.

Comparing number of announced deals in the first half of this year to that of last year, we almost see double the amount of deals from 583 to 1084. Interestingly, the three most recent quarters have the highest number of announced deals recorded by this report. I’m not sure I would have foreseen this development little over a year ago.

Sector breakdown by deal count Q2'20 vs. Q2'21

dounut graph

Looking into the sector characteristics, they carry over from the first quarter of the year, again clearly positioning tech, consumer and industrial manufacturing top of the Nordic heat chart making up almost three quarters of the total deal count this quarter. In particular when comparing the sector breakdown of the second quarter this year to that of last year – both in terms of percentage distribution per industry and number of deals – the figures speak for themselves.

Especially the tech and consumer segments have without a doubt benefitted vastly from the sudden forced-upon-us changes in consumer behaviour and new working from home lifestyles. It will be interesting to see to which extent this development will carry on now that we are experiencing opening up of societies and COVID restrictions are loosened. My best guess is that behavioural changes are here to stay for, at least, some time to come.

Looking ahead at the remainder of the year, we expect to see a continued fast-paced sentiment to doing deals in our part of the world. Across the region, there now seems to be increased control of infection rates as a result of the imposed restrictions and ongoing vaccination programmes – smaller businesses are again open for business and travel restrictions are increasingly being lifted.

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