Private equity and strategic buyers spent more than $1.7 trillion on mergers and acquisitions involving U.S. companies during the first six months of the year – the highest amount in four decades – according to data provider Refinitiv. Total U.S. M&A deal volume was also higher than comparable periods in 2019 and 2020. Driving M&A in 2021 are factors such as record sales and earnings that resulted in cash-rich companies, continued low interest rates, and a record level of dry powder held by the private equity industry.
According to the 2021 Insights & Data Analytics Market & Top 50 Report published last month, U.S. Insights & Data Analytics revenue grew almost 4% in 2020. This is slower than prior years when the market registered nearly 7% and 8% growth, but remarkable considering U.S. GDP contracted 3.5% in 2020. Overall growth was driven by new and emerging segments such as Self-Service Platforms and Enterprise Feedback Management, each of which registered double-digit growth. In contrast, the more traditional market research segments posted a slight revenue loss during the period. The relative outperformance for the Insights & Data Analytics market catalyzed M&A activity, which we saw play out in the first quarter of 2021 and continue into the second quarter.
The first half of 2021 saw several players complete noteworthy M&A deals in the Insights & Data Analytics space. In the Established Market Research segment, Kantar acquired consumer and market intelligence company Numerator in a deal valued at $1.5 billion, extending its leadership in shopper insights into the U.S. and Canada. In Enterprise Feedback Monitoring, Thoma Bravo announced that it was taking Medallia private for $6.5 billion. In the Self-Service Platform segment, Qualtrics acquired conversational analytics firm Clarabridge in a deal valued at $1.1 billion. In the Industry Reports & Research segment, Verisk subsidiary Woods Mackenzie expanded its energy transition expertise by acquiring Roskill, a metals and materials supply chain intelligence leader.
We hope this newsletter provides some helpful insights as to what happened in 2021 so far. As you evaluate your opportunities, please feel free to call us at 310.478.9000 for more pointed insight.