Record number of foreign acquisitions by Swiss SMEs

Two people in suits shake hands.

(13.09.2023) While the number of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) involving Swiss SMEs decreased between January and June 2023, a record was set for acquisitions by Swiss companies abroad, according to the auditing and consulting firm Deloitte.

In total, 109 M&A transactions involving SMEs were completed during the first half of 2023. Since mid-2022, M&A activities have mostly consisted of overseas company acquisitions, indicating that Swiss companies have been investing more than they have been targeted for mergers or acquisitions.

Inbound investments from foreign sources targeting Swiss companies significantly declined in the first half on a yearly basis (-54%). Outbound transactions, on the other hand, reached a record level in the first half of 2023 (+18% compared to 2022).

Accounting for over a quarter (26%) of all inbound investments in the first half, the information technology services sector continues to attract increasing interest from foreign groups, followed by the "Life Sciences and Medical Care" sector (19%). While leading the ranking last year, the industrial sector lost nine percentage points and ended up in fourth place (13%).

Outbound transactions remain more focused on the industrial sector. Fueled by the strength of the Swiss franc, Swiss SMEs show a particular inclination towards overseas investments in the first half of 2023, while foreign investors appear more cautious. In the medium term, this situation could potentially impact foreign investments in the Confederation. However, Deloitte analysts remain optimistic about the evolution of the macroeconomic environment, which should revitalize the M&A activities of foreign companies in Switzerland.


Last modification 13.09.2023

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