September Busy Month For US M&A And Private Equity


Although the market has cooled, there has been little impact on M&A and private equity activity (so far)

September was a busy month for many corporate execs in the United States. According to an October 22nd report from FactSet Insight, M&A deal activity in the U.S. last month was up a solid 5.1% compared to August (1035 deals versus 985 deals), and deal dollar volume was also up 3.2% versus the prior month.

Details on September US M&A activity

The FactSet report highlights the sectors that have seen the largest increases in M&A deal activity year over year are:

  1. Technology Services (549 vs. 480)
  2. Commercial Services (517 vs. 461)
  3. Health Services (181 vs. 126)
  4. Health Technology (116 vs. 103)
  5. Transportation (73 vs. 61)

In fact, 13 of the 21 sectors in the market enjoyed relative gains in deal flow over the last quarter relative to the same quarter a year ago.

The sectors that have seen the biggest drop off in M&A deal volume year over year are:

  1. Industrial Services (104 vs. 145)
  2. Producer Manufacturing (179 vs. 210)
  3. Consumer Durables (44 vs.55)
  4. Consumer Services (248 vs. 258)
  5. Consumer Non-Durables (85 vs. 94)

Indeed, 8 of the 21 sectors saw negative relative losses in deal flow over the last quarter relative to the same three months, with a total of 119 fewer deals.

Altice NV’s agreement to acquire Cablevision Systems for $9.7 billion was the largest deal announced in the month of September.

More on US private equity deals in September


U.S. private equity activity was also up significantly in September, seeing an increase of 18.5% from August. Overall, we saw 109 deals in September compared to just 92 in August. That said, aggregate base equity was off notably, decreasing by 76.8% to $13.4 billion from $57.8 billion the prior month.

Of interest, Canadian firms were the largest buyers of U.S. firms last month. Businesses from Canada announced 38 deals for the month, with U.K. firms coming in second with 28 deals, then Germany, Sweden and Japan.

As mentioned above, the biggest acquisition of a U.S. firm was Altice NV’s agreement to acquire Cablevision Systems for $9.7 billion. U.K. companies represented the primary sellers to U.S. firms with 38 deals, with Canada, Germany and Australia in second, third and fourth place. The largest U.S. buyer snapping up a foreign firm was Equifax’s proposal to purchase Australia-based Veda Group Ltd. for $1.6 billion.

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