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There were 449 mergers and acquisitions completed in the global insurance sector last year, up 7.4% from 2021, according to a report Monday from law firm Clyde & Co. LLP.
The total was the highest in a decade, the report said. There were 418 deals in 2021.
The increase came despite a marked downturn in the second half of 2022 as economic and inflationary pressures impacted investor sentiment, the report said. The 207 deals completed in the second half compared with 242 in the first half.
Globally, there were 19 deals valued at over $1 billion in 2022, versus 25 in 2021.
The Americas remained the most active region in 2022, with 236 deals, up from 224 in 2021. There were 132 deals completed in the first half of last year, the highest level since 2011, but just 104 in the second half.
Asia-Pacific saw 60 deals last year compared with 42 in 2021, an increase of 42.86%, the largest year-over-year increase in percentage terms. It was the only region that saw an increase (22%) in deals in the second half.
The Middle East and Africa saw 24 deals last year, compared with 14 in 2021. Deal volume plunged from 16 in the first half to eight in the second.
Europe saw the smallest annual increase, with 127 transactions in 2022, compared with 125 the prior year.
Uncertainty remains a barrier to growth in the insurance sector, with significant headwinds coming out of the events of the last year, said Eva-Maria Barbosa, chair of Clyde & Co.’s corporate and advisory group. However, there is optimism that the economy is set to recover as inflation stabilizes, she said.
“When it does there remains plenty of capital to be deployed and likely no shortage of M&A targets. As investor sentiment improves, ambitious insurers, particularly at the top end of the market – as well as private equity houses – will move to seize these opportunities,” Ms. Barbosa said.