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Company takeovers and mergers on the rise in Switzerland

Geneva-based Firmenich scored the biggest deal of the year in merging with Dutch firm DPM. Keystone / Martial Trezzini

Despite the volatile situation on financial markets and the war in Ukraine, the number of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) reached a record high in Switzerland in 2022.

Some 647 deals with Swiss participation were recorded last year, up from the previous record 604 in 2021, the KPMG consultancy company said on Wednesday.

The total value of the deals however dropped by 18.5% to $138.5 billion (CHF127.6 billion).

The sector most involved was telecoms and technology, with 124 deals totalling $14.5 billion. Industry, and the pharma and life sciences sectors, were also notably active.

When it came to cross-border transactions meanwhile, Swiss firms were more involved in buying others out than being bought out: 283 deals involved a Swiss firm as purchaser, compared to 152 as purchased.

Big deal

The biggest deal of 2022 was meanwhile the $20.7 billion merger that led to the fusion of Geneva fragrance and flavour company Firmenich and Dutch nutrition firm DSM. The report also highlighted a $19 billion deal which saw Swiss-based tobacco firm Philip Morris take over Swedish Match, a matchstick and tobacco producer.

KPMG expert Timo Knak said he expected the boom in M&A activity to continue in 2023, despite problems in global supply chains, the war in Ukraine, and interest rate hikes.

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

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