With wider vaccine distribution, new injections of government intervention, and low interest rates, most dealmakers expect to see a global M&A surge over the next year, according to a recent survey by Datasite.

When asked about the direction of global M&A, 57 percent of dealmakers said deal volume will increase, 18 percent said it will decrease, 16 percent said it will remain the same. The survey results highlight a strong sense of confidence about a post-pandemic uptick in transactions.

Survey results also indicate that Europe is expected to see the most M&A activity over the next 12 months, ahead of Asia-Pacific and North America, as the anticipated post-pandemic deal frenzy gears up. Forty eight percent of respondents expected to see it take the lead while 23 percent said Asia-Pacific, 19 percent said North America and only 10 percent said the Middle East, Africa or Latin America.

At the same time, the survey found that an equal number of respondents, 31 percent for both answers, predicted that North America or Europe would see the biggest boom in alternative listings, such as SPACs. Less than 20 percent of participants said Asia-Pacific or the UK and less than 10 percent said the Middle East and Africa.

Still, perhaps the most surprising response was the popular prediction that virtual dealmaking will remain in a permanent manner. An overwhelming 66 percent of respondents indicated they thought virtual dealmaking was here to stay, while only 23 percent said it would not.

From March 17 to 22, Datasite spoke with 182 global finance, accounting and corporate development professionals (director level and above) for the survey.