The Aerospace, Defence and Security sector has been highly active in terms of merger and acquisition (M&A) deals in 2023, recording a total deal value of $38bn for the calendar year, representing a 14.2% increase over 2022, where M&A activity was valued at $34bn, according to GlobalData’s ADS thematic intelligence centre.

GlobalData’s report ‘Thematic Intelligence: Aerospace, Defense and Security M&A Deals Q3 2023 – Top Themes’, identifies the largest M&A of 2023 as the BAE Systems definitive stock purchase agreement to acquire Ball Aerospace business from Ball Corporation for $5.6bn. BAE bought the Ball Corporations’s aerospace division to leverage the company’s space infrastructure solutions, and contribute to multi-domain integration with space as a force-multiplier across all-domains.

The Aerospace sub-sector was particularly buoyant, recording the highest value of M&A deals within ADS, more than $24.2bn since 1 January, followed by the C4ISR sector, with $8.7bn. Within the C4ISR sub-sector, Hensoldt’s acquisition of Elektroniksystem-und Logistik-GmbH (ESG) for $732.6m stands out as being the largest deal of 2023, allowing Hensodlt to add ESG’s knowledge of Concept of Operations for the digitisation of the battlefield and the integration of network solutions. 

By region, North America is ahead in terms value for M&A deals since January 1st, hosting more than 149 deals worth more than $19bn, almost entirely within the US, followed by Europe with more than 67 deals worth a total of $6bn. 

After the US, individual nations that had the highest value of deals across the year include France, with $2.9bn in M&A activity. Kuwait also saw a high value of M&A activity, with a total value of $2.2bn, driven in part by the acquisition of Alafco’s aircraft portfolio by Australian company Macquarie AirFinance, for the same amount. The UK had M&A activity worth $1.93bn, with Rolls Royce selling assets for up to $1.89bn.

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