PMCF’s View on the M&A Market
Global M&A volume fell sharply in both plastics and packaging sectors in March 2020 as the COVID-19 virus negatively impacted a large number transactions in process. Global Plastics M&A volume recorded 24 transactions during the month, a decrease of eight deals over the same period in 2019. Blow Molding, Injection Molding, and Film subsectors all experienced declines in March, continuing a downward trend that started in February. Resin / Color & Compounding and Specialty were the only subsectors that have not been negatively impacted, both showing increased activity for the first quarter 2020.
M&A volume for Global Packaging declined by more than 50% in March after having consistent levels of activity through the end of February. Reported M&A transactions declined progressively throughout the month with the second half of the month reporting only a handful of transactions. All subsectors posted declines for the month with Flexible Plastic being impacted the most with only 2 transactions recorded in March and 6 transactions in Q1 2020 (compared to 21 transactions in Q1 2019). Paper and Other are showing some resilience with both subsectors reporting increased activity for the year.
Global stock markets dropped significantly in March as the increased spread of COVID-19 caused major economies to largely shut down with the timing of reopening still uncertain. The Dow and S&P 500 stock market indices had their worst month of performance since 2008. PMCF’s Plastics & Packaging Indices posted similar declines, finishing the month with double-digit decreases across all subsectors.
COVID-19 has certainly had an unprecedented impact on the global economy, stock market performance, and M&A activity in a very short time period, plastics and packaging M&A was no exception. Deals are still getting done in this environment, but it appears to be with companies that haven’t been materially impacted by COVID-19. We expect to see lower M&A activity in plastics and packaging for the next couple of months as a result.
PMCF Industry M&A Activity Tracking
Notable M&A Activity
Major News in Plastics & Packaging
- Plastics News: Despite coronavirus, US economy ready to bounce back
- Fastmarkets RISI: US boxboard market busier in March on carton and take-out virus-related demand; industry eyes conditions ahead
- Wall Street Journal: War on Plastic Takes a Back Seat in Coronavirus Crisis
- Plastics News: Plastics firms work to fill shortage of masks and other protective equipment
Public Entity Performance