Drivers of Strong 2016 Chemicals M&A Activity Poised to Continue in 2017

A series of megadeals pushed M&A activity in the chemicals industry to record levels in 2016 and set the stage for ongoing dealmaking in 2017.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Against a backdrop of sluggish GDP growth and low interest rates, cash-rich strategic acquirers in the chemicals industry became increasingly aggressive in their pursuit of high-quality assets. While megadeals involving industry giants such as ChemChina, Bayer, and Praxair dominated headlines and accounted for a majority of 2016’s record deal values, middle-market dealmaking has continued at a robust pace as companies look to achieve the scale and growth necessary to remain competitive amid ongoing consolidation.

Many of the factors that drove 2016’s record-breaking M&A activity should remain in place in 2017, but trade policy changes in China and the United States could alter the dealmaking landscape for cross-border transactions. We examine these and other trends that are driving M&A activity in the global chemicals industry.

Highlights include:

  • Strong fourth quarter caps record-breaking year
  • Consolidation surge likely to continue in 2017
  • Trade and tax policy could shape dealmaking 


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