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M&A rankings with a World Cup twist

M&A rankings with a World Cup twist. Egypt fans before the group match against Uruguay. Photography: Andrew Couldridge
Egypt fans before the group match against Uruguay. Photography: Andrew Couldridge

With the World Cup in full swing without some of the key M&A players, we looked at how this would affect the M&A rankings of global league tables. With no United States or China at Russia 2018, who makes our first XI?


  1. In our World Cup M&A rankings, the UK* replaces the U.S. with the highest value of M&A deals while Iran and Panama are bottom.
  2. Thomson Reuters Eikon allows users to search M&A deal flows data and create customized league tables.
  3. Access the Road to Russia 2018 App and join the conversation in the Global Sports Forum in Eikon Messenger for everything World Cup-related.

* The UK is not competing at the World Cup, however the M&A data comprises England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

The mergers & acquisitions space has been in a frenzy this year, with over 11,000 deals worth US$1.2 trillion in the first quarter of 2018 alone.

If we were to rank the countries involved in all global M&A transactions by value, the U.S. — unsurprisingly — comes first with US$432.8m, followed by the UK and China at $200.8m and $105.6m respectively.

Ranking by number of deals, the U.S. (3,322), China (1,395) and Japan (875) lead the way.

Global M&A transactions most targeted nations – Q1 2018

The 32 qualifiers

But what if we considered only the 32 countries that qualified for the World Cup?

In the total value league table, the UK (not just England, but Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) Germany and Spain would occupy the top three slots with Russia moving up nine spots to seal its position in the top 10.

Fighting relegation would be Iran and Panama (by both deal value and number of deals) and Tunisia (by deal value).

Tunisia would make a Great Escape only if ranked by number of deals, as Iceland finishes bottom with only one M&A transaction to its name: the $345m bid by Norsk Hydro for a Rio Tinto aluminum plant in Iceland.

M&A rankings with a World Cup twist M&A XI

The M&A rankings group of death

With Argentina, Croatia, Iceland and Nigeria, Group D is considered to be one of this year’s strongest groups in the tournament.

However, when it comes to cross-border M&A since the 2014 World Cup, it is the weakest group, with no cross-border M&A transactions during the time period.

The second weakest group distinction goes to Group H with only two cross-border deals between Colombia and Japan.

M&A rankings with a World Cup twist. Weakest for cross-border M&A. Strongest fpr cross-border M&A.

Conversely, Group F (Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea) is the strongest group with a total of 132 transactions, thanks to almost 100 deals between Sweden and Germany.

Coming in second is Group B (Portugal, Morocco, Spain, Iran), with 80 M&A transactions among the countries but 90 percent of the total allocated to Portugal and Spain.

Sweden was also the most active on the acquisitions side within its group (69), while Germany holds the distinction of being the most targeted side, with 77 completed deals.

Eikon league tables

Want more M&A stats?

Monitor M&A deals flow and develop custom league tables with Eikon.

Our products meet all your needs in the dealmaking workflow, including business strategy and resource planning, aggregate trend-spotting, news, league table rankings, company information, and granular deal-level analysis.

To access M&A deal information, go to the advanced search tools and ‘Mergers & Acquisitions’.

Searches can be saved and results exported to a Quote list, Excel spreadsheet or the clipboard.

Deals and League tables from Thomson Reuters
Mergers & Acquisitions data from Eikon

Road to Russia 2018 App

Access the Road to Russia 2018 Eikon to get more fast facts and content, such as the rising value of the World Cup trophy.

And, if you haven’t joined already, register for the Global Sports Forum on Eikon Messenger to win prizes, interact with special guests and have your say on all the latest football developments.

Get the Road to Russia App:
M&A rankings with a World Cup twist. Road To Russia app

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