2024 Mid-Year Outlook

Global M&A Trends in Energy, Utilities & Resources

Global M&A Trends in Energy, Utilities & Resources hero image
  • Insight
  • 8 minute read
  • June 25, 2024

Industrial reconfiguration amid geopolitical shifts and energy transition will drive M&A activity in the energy, utilities, and resources sectors during the second half of 2024.

At the half-way point of 2024, the energy, utilities and resources (EU&R) sectors continue to be an exciting arena for global M&A. Companies with strong balance sheets are proving to be best-positioned to seize dealmaking opportunities in an industrial landscape which is being actively reconfigured in the face of new geopolitical realities, government initiatives and a continued market focus on energy transition and energy security.

At a glance we are seeing:

  • In the mining and metals sector, consolidation and deals to secure supply of critical minerals are expected to continue.
  • In oil and gas, mega deals are underpinning continued corporate consolidation, as companies diversify asset portfolios and seek synergies.
  • Developers of renewables monetising assets on the back of higher financing rates and construction costs, while publicly-listed utilities recycle non-core assets to fund development pipelines, particularly those in the gas subsector.
  • In the chemicals sector, energy price volatility and sustainability goals are dampening deals activity.

More broadly, we see companies in the EU&R space—and, increasingly, companies in other sectors with EU&R exposure(s) in their supply chains—engaging in ‘friendshoring’ to secure vital feedstocks. The US in particular is becoming an attractive M&A destination because of economic incentives and advanced infrastructure. These trends reflect a broad push towards sustainability, regulatory compliance, portfolio optimisation and strategic consolidation across the resources sector.

Sustainability remains a critical driver in M&A decisions, with regulatory frameworks influencing investments. We expect this will lead to an uptick in M&A activity in the second half of 2024, particularly in the US.

Reconfiguration is increasingly emerging as an imperative across sectors. Strategic consolidation, government incentives and a focus on sustainability continue to drive M&A activity. As companies navigate these dynamic conditions, they are looking to secure stronger positions in their sub-sectors and forge innovative partnerships to enhance their supply chains and energy security.


of EU&R CEOs expect government regulation to drive changes in the way their companies create, deliver and capture value over the next three years

Source: PwC’s 27th Annual Global CEO Survey

We already have quite a green electricity generation landscape in Austria, and we committed to be CO2 neutral within the energy sector by 2040. Therefore, a lot of tasks have to be fulfilled, eg. to maximise energy efficiency in buildings or to push forward CO2 free traffic with e-mobility. Several companies take to opportunity to acquire green electricity portfolios to meet their CO2 reduction targets.

We are currently expecting some very important regulations and directives for investment security according to the Renewable Energy Directive III. However, there will be elections in September 2024. Therefore expectations are low that anything will occur in the upcoming months. These missing guidelines will probably slow down the energy transition dramatically.

“While in Austria electricity demand will double regarding volumes and triple regarding capacity an acceleration of the implementation of renewable assets is necessary. Expanding the network to bring electricity to consumers is almost even more important.”

Michael SponringTerritory Leader Energy, Utility & Resources, PwC Austria

Spotlight on the reconfiguration imperative

We are seeing an intersection of themes leading to a ‘reconfiguration imperative’. First discussed in the context of the global industrial system, this concept of reconfiguration is an increasingly large driver of global M&A activity. It highlights the need for companies to adapt strategically to global industrial changes driven by geopolitical realities, government initiatives, and the focus on sustainability and energy security.

Based on the key themes we highlighted at the beginning of the year in our 2024 M&A Outlook, we outline below how this reconfiguration imperative is likely to play out across the EU&R sectors.

  • Consolidation: Consolidation is a key way to improve economics and continue to build size and scale. Several large deals announced in late 2023 and three in the first half of 2024 are examples of such consolidation plays, including Diamondback Energy’s proposed merger with Endeavor Energy Resources, ConocoPhillips’ proposed acquisition of Marathon Oil Corporation and Chesapeake Energy’s proposed merger with Southwestern Energy Company. We expect to see more consolidation activity during the second half of 2024.

  • Security of supply: We expect to see security of supply at or near the top of dealmakers’ agendas. When this theme is coupled with the reconfiguration imperative, we expect companies to engage with counterparts outside of their traditional sector(s) in order to shore up supply chains and, increasingly, to secure their energy needs. Examples include automotive OEMs entering into novel deals to secure lithium supplies and major data centre operators acquiring and/or investing outright in greenfield energy sources.

  • Government regulation: The reconfiguration imperative is significantly accelerating as a direct result of government regulation, whether through tax incentives, government-backed pools of capital, policy changes to enhance investment or government intervention in specific projects. Examples include the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the European Union’s Green Deal Industrial Plan and Japan’s Green Transformation Act. All are aimed at increasing investment in a range of low-carbon infrastructure projects and are creating greater impetus for M&A across the EU&R sectors.

  • Portfolio optimisation: As industrial reconfiguration gathers speed around the world, companies have to make capital allocation decisions that seek to align business models with their strongest activities. We expect to see more M&A, strategic alliances and partnerships as companies enter into new verticals in support of their strategic goals. Examples include securing access to critical supply chains and forming partnerships in and around data centres.

M&A outlook for EU&R in the second half of 2024

The 2024 mid-year outlook for global M&A trends in EU&R highlights a dynamic landscape influenced by geopolitical shifts, government initiatives and the energy transition. Key drivers include consolidation, with companies seeking to secure critical mineral supplies and diversify asset portfolios; the impact of government regulations and incentives; and the emphasis on sustainability and energy security. Notable trends include increased M&A activity in mining and metals for securing critical minerals, ongoing consolidation in the oil and gas sector, and heightened dealmaking in the renewable energy space due to higher financing rates and development costs. The US emerges as a prime M&A destination due to economic incentives and advanced infrastructure.

Our commentary on M&A trends is based on data from industry-recognised sources and our own independent research. Specifically, deal values and volumes which we referenced in developing this publication are based on officially announced transactions, excluding rumoured and withdrawn transactions, as provided by the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) as of 31 May 2024 and as accessed on 3 June 2024. Certain adjustments to source data have been made to align with PwC’s industry mapping. All dollar amounts are in US dollars.

Greg Oberti is the national energy transition and utilities deals leader. He is a partner with PwC Canada.

The author would like to thank the following PwC colleagues for their contributions: Lauren Bermack, Derek Chu, Hannah Elliott, Ross Hart, Seamus Jiang, Louise Roach and Llewellyn Sterling and Matthew Williams.

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Michael Sponring

Director, Head of Power & Utilities, Vienna, PwC Austria

+43 699 111 989 02