M&A, IPO, Venture Capital and Private Equity Insights 2021
8 March 2022 | Minutes to read: 3

M&A, IPO, Venture Capital and Private Equity Insights 2021

By William Buck

As a follow up to our extensive 2021 M&A and VC Report launched in August, below you’ll find our half-yearly update, which takes into account dealmaking activity throughout the complete 2021 calendar year. We will continue to publish our comprehensive reports annually, mid-year, with a six-monthly update such as below. You’ll find highlights on Merger and Acquisition (M&A) activity, Private Equity, Venture Capital and IPO.


Last year saw a significant increase in the number and aggregate value of M&A transactions. The aggregate value of M&A Transactions in Australia increased by an incredible 75% on 2020 to $43 billion.

Foreign buyers accounted for 29% of the volume of transactions in Australia and 55% of the aggregate value of total M&A transactions. Foreign buyers are often involved in the largest transactions which boosts their proportion of aggregate value. An example is Coca-Cola Euro Pacific’s $9.8bn acquisition of Coca-Cola Amatil.

The average transaction value in Australia in 2021 for foreign buyers was $347m and $89m for local buyers.

The largest sectors by value in 2021 were Materials, Financials, Communication Services and Consumer Staples. While the largest deals in each sector respectively were the acquisition of Boral Ltd for $4.8bn, Milton Corporation for $3.8bn, Vocus Group for $4.6bn and Coca-Cola Amatil for $9.8bn.

The Information technology (IT) sector, one of the most active within the Australian M&A market, accounted for 5.12% of the aggregate transaction value within that market and saw the number of transactions continue to increase year-on-year. The average EBITDA multiple for this industry was 11x in 2021. The total aggregate value however did not exceed that of the prior year making IT one of the only sectors to not experience growth in value on the COVID-affected 2020.

Over the 10-year period between 2012-2021:

  • Transactions under $100m made up around 87% of all transactions, with those under $10m accounting for the majority, averaging 55%, those between $10-$50m averaging 25% and those between $50-100m averaging 7%.

IPO Insights

Throughout 2021, the number of IPOs exploded to 174 – a 23% increase on the number of IPOs in 2020. The aggregate value of IPOs doubled to $10.6 billion.

Some of the largest IPOs in 2021 were: PEXA Group Limited ($1.1bn), APM Human Services ($985m) and Judo Capital Holdings Ltd ($650m).

VC Insights

Globally, 2021 saw the highest aggregate value in Venture Capital (VC) over the last decade at US$793.5bn.

In Australia, we saw the highest total deal value in a decade last year at US$6.6bn.

Over the last ten years, the number of VC deals has increased significantly, by 289% from 2012 to 2021 in Australia.

IT has been the top performing sector, accounting for 52.5% of all VC deals in Australia over this period. Within the industry, the top verticals by aggregate deal value and number of deals were Mobile Apps, Cloud Computing and Fintech.

Regarding their stage, 43% of the number of deals were seed and 24% were Series A in Australia over the last decade.

Private Equity insights         

Globally, 2021 saw the highest aggregate value in Private Equity (PE) over the last decade at US$833bn, with an average deal size of US$602m. The Median Enterprise Value/ EBITDA Multiple was 11.9x – a 20% increase from 2020.

North America made up 52.6% and Asia made up 35% of total PE deal count, while Australasia made up only 2%.

At home, we also saw the highest total deal value in a decade at US$14.9bn, with an average deal size of US$347m.

Over the last decade, Consumer Discretionary was the top performing sector, accounting for 26% of all VC deals in Australia, a similar trend was seen in the Global PE market. Some of the largest deals within this industry over the last decade were Nine Entertainment – US$3,070m, Virgin Australia Airlines Pty Ltd – US$2,401m and Arnott’s Biscuits Ltd – US$2,200m.

William Buck provides Board, CEOs and senior management with pragmatic advice to identify opportunities for business improvement and enhanced shareholder value and to successfully undertake a range of transactions. For more information, contact your local William Buck Corporate Advisor.

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