PMCF’s View on the M&A Market
Global Plastics M&A volume recorded 25 transactions in February, a decrease of 14 deals over the same period in 2019 and a slight increase over January 2020 levels. All subsectors were lower or flat compared to last year except for Specialty, which increased by 1 transaction. While the decrease in M&A activity for the month appears sizeable compared to 2019, we are careful not to draw any negative conclusions given last year’s monthly data was uniquely high compared to historical averages (24 transactions were recorded in January 2020). Private equity continues to play a major role in plastics deal activity, increasing in February over last year and tracking at similar levels on a year-to-date basis.
M&A volume for Global Packaging decreased by 2 transactions in February compared to last year but is up slightly for the first two months of the year. Plastic based packaging deals (both flexible and rigid) declined in February and both sub sectors are lower for the first two months compared to last year. Flexible plastic packaging is down considerably while rigid plastic packaging is only down by 2 transactions. Paper Packaging transactions, on the other hand, doubled in February compared to last year and are up over 40% for the year. The large increase in paper packaging so far this year has been due to an influx of corrugated packaging transactions. From a buyer’s standpoint, strategic and private equity platform buyers both increased their share of total transactions, while private equity add-on transaction volume decreased for the month and is lagging last year on a year-to-date basis.
Global stock markets experienced sharp declines in the latter part of February as fear of the negative economic impact of the COVID-19 virus caused a major selloff by investors. PMCF’s Plastics & Packaging stock market indices were all negatively impacted, posting above or close to double-digit losses for the month. The impact of the virus on plastics and packaging M&A activity is not yet determined.
PMCF Industry M&A Activity Tracking
Notable M&A Activity
Major News in Plastics & Packaging
- Plastics News: Plastics medical products manufacturers expect growth in 2020
- Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus Toll on Shipping Reaches $350 Million a Week
- Fastmarkets RISI: US economic activity in manufacturing sector expands in February
- Nasdaq: Coronavirus and the Stock Market: The Power of Panic
Public Entity Performance