10 recent M&A deals 2022 and what to expect in 2023

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10 recent M&A deals 2022 and what to expect in 2023

By Daniel Mather
December 2, 2022
8 min read

Just as Morgan Stanley M&A bankers expected, the boom in M&A activity has continued in 2022, even despite geopolitical turmoil, plunging stock prices, rising energy prices, and supply chain issues. So far, there have been more than 22,000 deals, with total deal values of $1.85 trillion. 

The article below gives an overview of the biggest recent mergers and acquisitions 2022, including Elon Musk’s $44 billion Twitter buyout.

Top 10 biggest M&A deals of 2022

Because of the challenging environment, 2022 saw a 32% drop in deal value and a 13% fall in deal volume in comparison with a year earlier.

Nevertheless, companies and private equity firms have continued to complete M&A transactions, trying to create a competitive edge and achieve maximum value. 

Let’s have a look at the biggest M&A deals of 2022 so far. Interestingly enough, the majority of these mergers occurred in the gaming and tech sector. 

Overview: The 10 biggest M&A deals of 2022

  1. Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard
  2. Broadcom’s acquisition of VMWare
  3. Oracle’s acquisition of Cerner
  4. Kroger and Albertsons merger
  5. Prologis’ acquisition of Duke Realty
  6. DSM merger with Firmenich
  7. Adobe’s acquisition of Figma
  8. Orange merger with Grupo MásMóvil
  9. Johnson&Johnson’s acquisition of Abiomed
  10. Vista Equity Partners’ acquisition of Citrix

1. Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard

Value:$68.7 billion
Date:January 2022
Type:Market extension

The largest merger of 2022 comes from Microsoft. Microsoft acquired the Candy Crush game creator Activision Blizzard in January 2022, in an all-cash transaction worth $68.7 billion, with a share price of $95.

Video gaming represents the fastest-growing entertainment form in the world, attracting over three billion users

With this acquisition deal, Microsoft became the owner of iconic gaming franchises like Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Call of Duty and Candy Crush, all the way to global eSports activities through Major League Gaming. Similarly, Activision Blizzard became the third-largest gaming company in the world revenue-wise, behind Sony and Tencent. 

  • Result.
    According to Microsoft, this merger and acquisition deal will accelerate the growth in the company’s gaming sector across mobile, PC, console and cloud.

2. Broadcom’s acquisition of VMWare

Value:$61 billion
Industry:Information technology
Date:May 2022
Type:Vertical merger

Broadcom makes it to number two of our list of the largest mergers in 2022. 

As a leading semiconductor device supplier, Broadcom acquired the software firm VMware in May 2022, in a cash and stock deal worth $61 billion. VMware is a leading provider of multi-cloud services for all apps, pioneered virtualization technology, an innovation that positively transformed x86 server-based computing.

  • Result.
    Following the closing of the transaction, the Broadcom Software Group will rebrand and operate as VMware, incorporating Broadcom’s existing infrastructure and security software solutions as part of an expanded VMware portfolio.

3. Oracle’s acquisition of Cerner

Value:$28.3 billion
Industry:Health tech
Date:June 2022
Type:Vertical merger

Oracle, the second-largest software company in the world, aims to revolutionize health care. This is why Oracle acquired Cerner, a supplier of health information technology services and hardware. 

By expanding Cerner’s digital capabilities and integrating telecommunications with data storage, Oracle seeks to create a personalized portal for patients and doctors.

The deal closed on June 8, 2022, when Oracle bought 69.2% of the total shares of the target company, Cerner, for $28.3 billion.

  • Result.
    Healthcare is the world’s largest and most important vertical market, worth $4.3 trillion in the US alone. Oracle expects Cerner to be one of its biggest growth engines for years to come.

4. Kroger and Albertsons merger

Value:$24.6 billion
Date:October 2022
Type:Horizontal merger

This mega-merger is one of the biggest deals in the history of the American grocery industry. It aims to expand supply chains and allow Kroger to better compete with Walmart — the most significant player in the market.

The two companies merged together in October 2022. One of the biggest mergers and acquisitions of the year is worth $24.6 billion in total. 

Kroger acquired all of the outstanding shares of Albertsons Companies common and preferred stock for an estimated total consideration of $34.10 per share, implying a total enterprise value of approximately $24.6 billion.

  • Result.
    Following a successful merger, the new company employs over 710 thousand associates and operates nearly five thousand stores, 66 distribution centers, and 52 manufacturing plants.

5. Prologis’ acquisition of Duke Realty

Value:$26 billion
Industry:Real estate
Date:June 2022
Type:Congeneric merger

Prologis and Duke Realty entered into a definitive merger agreement by which Prologis would acquire Duke Realty in an all-stock real estate transaction. 

With this acquisition, Prologis partners with Duke Realty, thus expanding its presence in major regions in the US and adding Savannah, Georgia, the fourth-largest US gateway for container imports.

Prologis announced the completion of its all-stock acquisition of Duke Realty Corporation in October 2022. Valued at approximately $23 billion, including the assumption of debt, the completed real estate transaction expands Prologis’ presence in key US markets.

  • Result.
    With the transaction, the new firm created an impressive portfolio of logistics properties. That includes 153 million square feet of operating properties in 19 major US logistics locations and 1,228 acres of land owned and under option with a build-out of approximately 21 million square feet.

6. DSM merger with Firmenich

Value:$21 billion
Industry:Food and beverage
Date:May 2022 — first half of 2023
Type:Congeneric merger

DSM is merging with Firmenich in a deal valued at roughly $21 billion, with the proposed merger expected to be completed after approval of antitrust regulators in the first half of 2023. 

The target company’s shareholders want to combine the strengths of the two entities — biotechnology and nutrition from DSM and molecular technology and flavors and fragrances from Firmenich.

The merger will take place in a dual procedure that includes a public offer for DSM shares in exchange for DSM Firmenich shares (exchange ratio 1:1).

  • Expected result.
    DSM shareholders will own a total of 65.5% and the Firmenich shareholders will own a total of 34.5% of the merged company called DSM-Firmenich.

7. Adobe’s acquisition of Figma

Value:$20 billion
Date:September 2022 — 2023
Type:Horizontal merger

Adobe announced it has entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire Figma, a leading web-first collaborative design platform. This cash and stock deal is expected to close in 2023, subject to the receipt of required clearances and approvals from antitrust regulators and shareholders.

The combined company will have a massive, fast-growing market opportunity and capabilities to drive significant value for customers, shareholders and the industry.

Adobe has agreed to acquire Figma for approximately $20 billion, comprising approximately half cash and half stock, subject to customary adjustments.

  • Result.
    Figma’s web-based, multiplayer capabilities will accelerate the delivery of Adobe’s Creative Cloud technologies on the web, making the creative process more productive and accessible to more people. 

8. Orange merger with Grupo MásMóvil

Value:$18.6 billion
Date:July 2022
Type:Horizontal merger

Following the period of exclusive negotiations that began in March, Orange and MásMóvil have signed a binding agreement to combine their businesses in Spain in July 2022. The total transaction is worth $18.6 billion.

In this deal, Orange partners with MásMóvil for extra efficiency gains, which will allow the combined company to accelerate investments in FTTH and 5G.

Orange Spain’s enterprise value is set at €7.8 billion and MásMóvil at €10.8 billion.

  • Result.
    The joint venture would own network assets that provide it with a competitive edge in the market.

9. Johnson & Johnson’s acquisition of Abiomed

Value:$16.6 billion
Date:November 2022
Type:Horizontal merger

Johnson & Johnson, the world’s largest healthcare products company, and Abiomed, a world leader in breakthrough heart, lung and kidney support technologies, announced that they have entered into a definitive acquisition agreement in November 2022. 

The transaction broadens Johnson & Johnson MedTech’s position as a growing cardiovascular innovator.

Johnson & Johnson acquired through a tender offer all outstanding shares of Abiomed, for an upfront payment of $380 per share in cash, corresponding to an enterprise value of approximately $16.6 billion.

  • Result.
    As one of the biggest mergers and acquisitions of the year, this investment is aimed at strengthening Johnson & Johnson’s MedTech Business with the addition of a world leader in heart recovery like Abiomed.

10. Vista Equity Partners’ acquisition of Citrix

Value:$16.5 billion
Industry:Information technology
Date:January 2022
Type:Horizontal merger

To accelerate Citrix’s defined growth strategy and SaaS transition, Vista Equity Partners, a market-leading investment firm that invests in software and big data companies, acquired Citrix, a software producer. According to the agreement, Citrix shareholders received $104 per share.

One of the year’s largest mergers saw an all-cash transaction valued at $16.5 billion, including the assumption of Citrix debt.

  • Result.
    The Vista Equity Partners’ acquisition made the new firm one of the world’s largest software providers, now serving 400,000 customers, 98% of whom belong to the Fortune 500.

The most popular M&A deal of 2022: Elon Musk`s purchase of Twitter

Value:$44 billion
Industry:Social media
Date:April 2022
Type:Leveraged buyout

One of the largest mergers and acquisitions and certainly the most-talked-about deal of 2022 began on April 14 and was completed on October 27 when Elon Musk purchased the social media company Twitter, Inc.

A “free speech absolutist,” as Musk describes himself, now wants to make Twitter a more freewheeling place for all types of commentary. Thus, he has already reversed the permanent ban against former American President Donald Trump, who was permanently suspended by social media

The new owner started the takeover of Twitter by firing executives by email, establishing new product deadlines, and ordering massive layoffs. Before Musk, Twitter had nearly 7,500 employees. Now it has about 2,700 and is hiring again. 

“The bird is freed”, tweeted Mr. Musk and later added, “Let the good times roll”. Now the users are actively discussing what the platform will look like under Mr. Musk’s ownership.

The biggest mergers and acquisitions: What to expect in 2023? 

We’ve seen the top 10 list of the largest successful mergers, but what’s in store for 2023? At the moment, it’s safe to say that most dealmakers will ride the last year’s wave by staying under the radar.

A weaker start of the year is evident, with JP Morgan analysts expecting the S&P 500 to re-test the lows of 2022 as the Fed overtightens into weaker fundamentals. However, M&A activities are cyclical by nature.

While the global economy is still too fragile and unpredictable for any major risks, that doesn’t mean we won’t see merging companies across various markets, including the following: 

  • The gaming business
  • Aviation industry
  • Healthcare and pharmaceutical
  • Chemical industry 

On the other hand, we don’t look out for Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) to take off any time soon, mainly due to the investors’ strategic goal to opt for safer stocks. All in all, it looks like the first half of the year will be a period of consolidation, while the expansion might start in the second half of 2023.