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Creating value in a turbulent world - M&A trends in IM

Despite a sluggish 2022, IM M&A is expected to pick up in 2023, driven by depressed assets, portfolio rationalization, and a surplus of cash.

Following a record-breaking year in 2021, the last 12 months saw sluggish M&A activity in the industrial manufacturing (IM) sector, with deal volume falling by 17 percent, and deal value plummeting by 51 percent. This trend was repeated across the various subsectors.

According to a recent KPMG survey of deal makers in manufacturing, the major barriers to dealmaking were the high cost of capital and interest rates, with half of respondents expecting to see a further decrease in activity in 2023.1

Private equity’s (PE) share of industrial manufacturing deals remained steady at 40 percent, although PE buyers accounted for just over half of total IM transaction value. PE deals overall fell by 19 percent to 3,602, with value down by 28 percent to $201.3 billion. The largest deal of the year by some margin was Blackstone’s $63.0 billion purchase of Italian infrastructure giant Atlantia.2

Across subsectors, aerospace & defense (A&D) experienced the greatest decrease in deal volume (29 percent) while automotive suffered the lowest fall of just 11 percent. Strategic deal value in transportation and logistics (T&L) fell by a huge 68 percent, although the impact was softened by a marginal (1 percent) increase in PE deal value. Automotive PE deal value was also heavily down by 76 percent; however, the value of strategic automotive deals fell by less (19 percent), as corporates continued to invest in EVs.

Respondents to the KPMG survey remain optimistic about M&A prospects for 2023. Looking ahead to 2023, we see the following trends driving IM deal activity:

  • Rationalization of complex portfolios to focus on core strengths, with regular divestments creating value for shareholders
  • A rise in buying and separating, calling for strong value-creating capabilities on the part of buyers—something that PEs have proved adept at

In a challenging macro-economic environment, combined with often unrealistic seller expectations over price, buyers will require an “all-synergies-on-deck” approach to prevent value leakage.


  1. Source: KPMG Annual Senior Executive M&A Survey, December 2022
  2. Source: “Blackstone and Benetton family take Atlantia private in blockbuster infrastructure,” Bocconi Students Investment Club,May 1, 2022

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