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Total transportation and logistics M&A deal value plunged 31 percent to $122 billion in 2016, according to a new report from PwC
Merger and acquisition activity in the transportation and logistics sector declined in 2016 despite increasing in the second half of the year, according to a quarterly analysis of global deal activity in the sector by multinational professional services and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
Compared with the full year in 2015, total deal value for mergers and acquisitions in the sector plunged 31 percent to $122 billion, as the number of deals slipped 6 percent to 225 transactions for the year.
For the second half of 2016, however, deal value was down 22 percent, but volume grew 6 percent compared with the first half.
PwC noted in a previous report the M&A activity seen in the transportation and logistics sector during the second quarter of 2016 represented the third highest quarter by aggregate value in the last three years.
According to the latest Insights
report, although deal value and volume were down in the sector during the year, “2016 was not without industry-altering activity in the Trucking, Shipping and Passenger Air categories.”
The trucking sector accounted for 28 percent ($34.5 billion) of total deal value in 2016, thanks in large part to a 141 percent year-over-year increase in average deal value, followed by shipping (24 percent) and passenger air (19 percent).
Megadeals - transactions valued at over $1 billion - drove deal value again this year, but at a lower rate than in 2015, making up 60 percent of total deal value in 2016 compared with 68 percent the previous year. A total of 19 megadeals took place in the T&L sector in 2016, down from 28 in 2015.
SF Holding’s $16.8 billion acquisition of Maanshan Dingtai in Q4 2016 was the largest deal of 2016, according to the report.
Although total transportation and logistics deal value declined in 2016, PwC noted it was “still significantly higher than in 2014 ($90 billion) and likely impacted by temporary factors” like uncertainty surrounding the U.S. presidential election and the United Kingdom’s decision to exit the European Union.
Looking ahead, the firm said it continues to see the outlook for M&A activity in the sector as strongly positive.
“As we look forward to 2017, parcel, courier, and express companies will continue to be center stage of M&A and capital market transactions as they seek to boost their size and upgrade services to maintain their market share in a rapidly growing online retail market,” the report said.
“New technologies will likely play an ever larger role in disrupting the sector, as evidenced by Uber’s $680 million acquisition of the self-driving truck company Otto in August 2016,” it added. “Finally, consolidation will continue to drive M&A as certain sectors struggle with overcapacity, most notably shipping, airline freight, and railroad.”
“Total T&L deal volume and value declined in 2016, likely impacted by uncertainties around the U.S. elections and Brexit, but sub-sector dynamics could drive an M&A uptick in 2017,” said Darach Chapman, PwC U.S. transportation and logistics deals leader and co-author of the report.
analysis is compiled using transaction data from Thomson Reuters.