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MUMBAI : Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) worldwide fell in April to their lowest level since September 2002, according to data from financial markets tracker Refinitiv, as lockdowns hamper deal-making.

Deals with a combined value of $69 billion were announced globally in April 2020, down 72% from March and the lowest monthly total since September 2002, said Refinitiv. Year-to-date activity is at the lowest level in seven years, Refinitiv said, with $789.8 billion worth of deals announced globally during the first four months of 2020, down 39% compared to a year ago and the lowest year-to-date level since 2013.

The biggest dent was in cross-border activity, with deals worth just $18.4 billion announced in April 2020, down 67% from March, marking the lowest monthly total since February 2002. Year-to-date, deals of $231.3 billion were announced, down by a third from the previous year and the lowest year-to-date total since 2013.

April also saw a major drop in mega deals, or transactions worth over $1 billion. Just nine deals worth $1 billion or more were announced, compared to 56 in April 2019. The combined value of April 2020’s billion-dollar deals is $27.4 billion, the lowest monthly total since August 2003.

“Not a single deal valued at $1 billion or more was recorded during the week commencing 12 April 2020, marking the first weekly shutout since 2004," said the financial markets tracker.

M&As in Europe were the hardest hit, with M&As involving a European target totalling $6.1 billion in April, dropping 91% from March to the lowest monthly total since August 1992. Deal activity in the Asia- Pacific region fell 35% from March to a three-month low.

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