In a new report, industry consultant Kearney argues that the confluence of several trends will spur a wave of M&A activity as global markets bounce back after COVID.

The report identifies several trends at work: (1) embattled governments, (2) a push for national self-sufficiency, (3) stranded segments of society, and (4) a rise in food insecurity. Taken together, these trends suggest that investors and governments will look to attract capital to industries that bolster national self-sufficiency and strengthen supply chains.

Consumers will remember the shortages and disruptions that came with the COVID-19 pandemic: the great toilet paper shortage of 2020, a 3x increase in the price of lumber, hard-to-explain shortages of particular products at local supermarkets. Each of these was, in some form or another, a consequence of a disruption in supply chains brought on by the pandemic and its related shutdowns.

Kearney notes that there are reserves of private capital available for investment at higher levels than ever before. Governments and investors, eager to avoid a repeat of the disruptions of 2020, will look to improve supply lines, strength logistics and re-patriate industries that were formerly globalized and outsourced beyond national boundaries.