Uncertainty defined the global M&A market in 2019. Geopolitical and international trade tensions, increased activism, and high valuations slowed M&A activity, as businesses worldwide reassessed risk. Many companies refocused on their core strengths, and looked for opportunities to expand in those areas, leading to a rise in spin-offs and divestitures, as well as bolt-on strategic acquisitions of technology and talent.

In corporate governance, board composition—with respect to diversity, tenure, and independent leadership—remained front and center in 2019. Corporate purpose also took the spotlight, as the Business Roundtable challenged the shareholder primacy standard. Activist investors increasingly focused on M&A activity, targeting several high-profile deals announced in 2019.

Will these trends continue in 2020, and which sectors and geographies will lead the way for M&A? Read Jones Day's 2019 Annual M&A Review to learn more.


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