Delightfully, we present to you the most recent edition of KPMG’s Nordic Deal Trend Report. This version of our report is slightly customised for our Danish readers, although the figures presented are based on developments across the wider Nordics.

As the summer holidays are behind us and the first three quarters of the year are coming to a conclusion, I ponder the question I raised in this exact report one year ago, “Is winter coming to M&A in the Nordics ?”. Following what feels like a record-warm month of September, it’s difficult to expect a cooling of temperatures. Figuratively speaking, the same goes for the M&A temperature level across our part of the world. In Q3 2023, 531 deals have until now been announced across Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

Looking at the figures earlier in the report, this could seem like a slight cooling of, but remember that due to a delay in registered deal announcements, this figure will increase following release of this report. For instance, last year, 392 deals were announced at time of release of the Q3 2022 report – this more consolidated figure now stands at 775 deals. 

Sector breakdown by deal count Q3'23 vs. Q2’23

Nordic deal trend report

While we are at the exercise of looking back in time, we note that from Q3 2022 onwards there has been a steady increase of announced deals quarter on quarter. From the mentioned 775 a year ago to 880 in Q2 of this year. In my book, that can’t really be perceived as a cooling off period. I expect total number of announced deals for this year only to be surpassed by the record-setting 2022 and least be on par with 2021.

Amidst the backdrop of increasing interest rates, pressure from inflation, supply-chain challenges, and geopolitical upheaval, one aspect of deal making in the Nordics seems constant – the industry split of announced deals, where nothing has shifted in Q3 comparing to Q2 of this year. One could state It almost looks like a copy/paste from the previous quarter. Again, the tech segment leads the way totalling 27 % of announced deals, followed by manufacturing, services, real estate and consumer markets – ranging from 9 % to 15 % each. The biggest five sectors total 74 % of announced deals. In short, one of the key signatures for Nordic M&A is the contribution to the global tech segments and as technology continues to reshape industries worldwide, Nordic companies are at the forefront of innovation, attracting significant investment and acquisition interest.

As touched upon in an earlier version of our Nordic Deal Trend Report, the emerged, and seemingly continuing pragmatism between buyers and sellers, with a greater emphasis on strategic rigor and financial diligence continues to steer deal-making in the Nordics to a heightened, thriving activity level. Still, the Nordic market continues to exhibit robustness when measured against historical benchmarks and we see nothing on the cards indicating the deal robustness from the latest four to five quarters should not continue well into 2024.

Wishing you a great autumn, I look forward to seeing what the fourth, and final, quarter of 2023, and going into the next year as well, will have in store for us from an M&A temperature perspective.