Europeans lead way in cross-border M&As

In 2000, outward investment stood at US$320bn ($227bn in 1999) with more than $224bn flowing into North America compared with $88bn in the opposite direction. The UK and France were the top transatlantic spenders bidding $96bn and $43bn respectively.

The KPMG Corporate Finance cross-border analysis, based on figures supplied by Computasoft Research/CommScan, is the most comprehensive of its kind, representing data on cross-border mergers, acquisitions and strategic investments during the year.

“In 2000 the value of purchases of North American companies by Western European bidders was two and a half times that of the investment flow back into Europe from North America,” commented John Griffith-Jones, European head of KPMG Corporate Finance. “This shows the willingness of European corporations to invest outside their own borders partly as recognition that to be a serious global player you need to capture market share in the US.”

The mixed track record of Europeans investing in the US did little to dampen their enthusiasm for transatlantic deals with European companies closing 453 acquisitions of North American companies last year – a 20% increase on 1999.

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