Big Deals Are Collapsing All Over Europe

Scrapped deals are piling up in Europe.

Company takeovers totaling $78.3 billion have been abandoned in the region since Jan. 1, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s up more than 500% from the same period in 2020 and ranks as the highest amount for this point in a year since 2007, the data show.

By far the largest deal casualties have come in France, where this week information technology company Atos SE decided not to pursue a takeover of $6.5 billion U.S. rival DXC Technology Co. That came just a fortnight after the country’s supermarket giant Carrefour SA and Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. abandoned talks on a proposed $20 billion merger following stern opposition from the French government.

Big Deals Are Collapsing All Over Europe

Another large transaction to have fallen through since the turn of the year involved U.S. casino operator MGM Resorts International, which said it wouldn’t make a firm offer for Entain Plc after the U.K. gambling company dismissed an 8.1 billion-pound ($11 billion) takeover proposal.

There’s also uncertainty over EssilorLuxottica SA’s proposed 7.3 billion-euro ($8.8 billion) acquisition of optical retailer GrandVision NV. The Franco-Italian maker of Ray-Ban sunglasses is reconsidering the deal, having become worried about the way the Covid-19 crisis has impacted GrandVision’s business, people familiar with the matter said in December.

European transactions account for the overwhelming majority of this year’s scrapped deals, which stand at $86 billion globally, the Bloomberg data show. Last month, Visa Inc. walked away from an $5.3 billion acquisition of financial technology firm Plaid Inc. due to antitrust concerns.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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