Chief executives were reluctant to explore transformative deals without more certainty about the financial outlook of their companies, deal advisers said. Instead, they seized on favorable financing conditions to raise capital by selling stock and borrowing cheaply, driving equity and debt issuance to record highs.
“It was the quarter for capital market activity. Companies are making sure their balance sheets are strong and durable for what comes next,” said Michael Carr, global M&A co-head at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
Global M&A totaled $485.3 billion in the second quarter, down 55% from a year ago and its lowest since the third quarter of 2009, according to Refinitiv.