The results confirm that leaders of the world’s most progressive businesses view acquisitions as an important means to supplement and boost their existing operations.
The IBR data shows that 31 per cent of businesses globally expect to grow through M&A over the next three years, up from 28 per cent in 2012. However, this rises to 55 per cent of dynamic businesses and is a pattern repeated across all regions.
In addition, the last year has shown businesses putting these plans into action, with 39 per cent confirming that they have seriously considered at least one acquisition over the past 12 months.
Mike Hughes, global leader for M&A at Grant Thornton, said: “The results are important on three levels. Firstly, the global increase in forecast M&A activity is another sign that the recovery is on a firmer footing and that the focus of businesses is moving away from simply staying afloat towards a growth agenda.
“The second is how important M&A is to the fastest growing businesses in the world as they seek to access new markets and new pools of talent and technology to maintain their competitiveness.
“Finally, the evidence that these businesses are actually investing time and funding into investigating acquisitions now, rather than just stating an aspiration to acquire in the future, is a great indicator of a robust market.”