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Deals industry insights### More megadeals on the horizonExpect more megadeals — transactions of at least $5 billion in value — in2021, from pharma companies acquiring early-phase or pre-commercial productsin hot therapeutic areas to bank consolidation as low interest rates persist,plus private equity (PE) acquisitions. This activity will come even as companyvaluations have increased from their COVID-19 lows — with the larger companymultiples leading the way — compared with the declines seen in previousrecessions. That raises the question of how soon, if ever, those deals coulddeliver returns, and how much those returns could be. Companies may have thecapital to make big acquisitions, but extracting the value paid for deals willrequire different thinking in the current environment, particularly withbigger deals that tend to have higher valuations. The surge in megadeals in the second half of 2020 has helped total US dealvalue bounce back strongly going into 2021. Of the 39 megadeals announcedthrough mid-November, 29 occured after July 1. Corporate megadeals arehappening in several sectors, and most involve buyers and sellers within thesame sector, reflecting efforts to increase scale during the downturn. As fortotal US deal volume, the roughly 13,000 US deals in the 12-month periodending Nov. 15, 2020, were only slightly less than in 2019, even with a biglull in Q2 2020.