Business

M&A Activity Reaches New Highs In 2015

Merger and acquisition activity is still going strong despite the ripple effect that’s been going through global markets thanks to the economic turmoil in China. In fact, August marked a divergence for the M&A market from past summers, as historically, summertime has been slow.

August M&A at strongest level in history

The folks at Merrill DataSite and Mergermarket report that August marked the strongest August they have seen since they started tracking M&A activity with 952 global deals worth $297.8 billion. They report that the value of global M&A activities rose 12.7% year over year, as August 2014 brought 1,287 deals with a total value of $254.3 billion.

So far this year, Mergermarket has recorded 7,863 deals worth $2.5 trillion, which was the highest value of the first eight months of the year since 2007 when the group saw 10,836 deals worth a cumulative $2.7 trillion in the first eight months of the year.

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This year’s first eight months was also the second highest eight months by value in the history of Mergermarket.

Buyouts running strong

There were 102 buyouts worth $46.9 billion globally in August, with that total deal value marking an 89.1% year over year increase. August 2014 brought 191 deals worth just $24.8 billion. Mergermarket attributes the sudden increase in buyout value to eight deals that were valued at a total of $40.5 billion. The biggest of the lot was the Energy Future Holdings buyout, which was by a consortium led by Hunt Consolidated.

The firm reports that there were 120 exit deals worth $28.7 billion, a 42.6% year over year decline from last year’s 179 deals worth $50 billion.

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Industries and Chemicals leads in M&A

According to Mergermarket, 25.7% of the M&As during August were in the Industrials and Chemicals sectors, which had 203 deals worth $76.6 billion. That’s a remarkable 291% year over year increase in value, although there were 50 fewer deals. Here’s how each of the top sectors performed in M&A activities in August:

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The biggest deal by far was Berkshire Hathaway’s acquisition of Precision Castparts for $36.5 billion. In second place was CF Industries’ acquisition of OCI NV’s businesses in North America and Europe and its Global Distribution segment, which still lagged far behind Berkshire’s acquisition as it was only worth $8.2 billion.

North America led M&A by value

Mergermarket also found that North America led the way in M&A with 307 deals worth a total of $177.3 billion, making up 59.5% of the global M&A market. North American M&As increased 6.6% year over year by value, as last year the region had 476 deals worth a total of $166.3 billion.

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Here are the top 10 M&A deals in North America during August:

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Asia excluding Japan saw a 57.1% year over year increase in deal value, with 251 M&As in August worth a total of $58.6 billion. In August 2014, the region saw 291 deals worth $37.3 billion. The region was in second place behind North America in terms of market share even though none of its deals were in the top ten in value.

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Here are the top 10 M&A deals annonced in Asia during August:

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Mergermarket also noted a year over year decline of 1.7% in M&A deals by value in Europe despite the problematic economic climate there. Europe saw 312 deals worth a total of $51.3 billion in August, compared to last August’s 411 deals worth $52.2 billion.

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Here are the top 10 M&A deals in Europe during August:

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Here’s a look at how the entire globe is shaping up in terms of M&A activities right now:

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The firm also noted a 1.2% increase in cross-border deals (359 deals worth $95.9 billion) and 13.1% increase in domestic (600 deals worth $180 billion) M&A activities in August.

Here are the top 10 announced M&A deals from August for the world:

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All images in this article are courtesy Mergermarket and Merrill DataSite.