Economics

Merger Activity And Value Dips In December 2017

U.S. M&A deal activity decreased in December, down 18.8% with 776 announcements compared to 956 in November. Aggregate M&A spending decreased as well. In December 15.8% less was spent on deals compared to November.

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Merger Activity

Over the past three months, the sectors that have seen the smallest decreases in M&A deal activity, relative to the same three-month period one year ago, have been: Non-Energy Minerals (71 vs. 66), and Government (five vs. four). Only two of the 21 sectors tracked by FactSet Mergerstat posted relative gains in deal flow over the last three months compared to the same three months one year prior.

Sector by activity
Target SectorL3M 12/31/17 Deal CountL3M 12/31/16 Deal CountDifference
Non-Energy Minerals71665
Government541
Misc.1012(2)
Transportation5464(10)
Distribution Services143158(15)
Health Technology8298(16)
Technology Services424440(16)
Energy Minerals4159(18)
Process Industries107126(19)
Electronic Technology7796(19)
Communications3050(20)
Retail Trade108128(20)
Consumer Durables5171(20)
Consumer Services196216(20)
Utilities6894(26)
Consumer Non-Durables82109(27)
Finance364398(34)
Health Services111146(35)
Commercial Services428463(35)
Producer Manufacturing148194(46)
Industrial Services119165(46)
Total2,7193,157(438)

Over the past three months, the sectors that have seen the biggest declines in M&A deal volume, relative to the same three-month period one year ago have been: Industrial Services (119 vs. 165), Producer Manufacturing (148 vs. 194), Commercial Services (428 vs. 463), Health Services (111 vs. 146), and Finance (364 vs. 398). Nineteen of the 21 sectors tracked by FactSet Mergerstat posted negative relative losses in deal flow over the last three months compared to the same three months one year prior, for a combined loss of 444 deals.

Topping the list of the largest deals announced in December were:

  • CVS Health Corp. agreeing to acquire Aetna, Inc. for $67.8 billion
  • The Walt Disney Co.'s agreement to acquire Twenty First Century Fox, Inc. for $54.7 billion
  • Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co LP offer to acquire the the Unilever NV's Spreads division for $8 billion
  • Campbell Soup Co. entering into an agreement to acquire Snyder's Lance, Inc. for $4.9 billion
  • Optum, Inc., a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, Inc., agreeing to acquire DaVita Medical Holdings LLC from DaVita, Inc. for $4.9 billion

FactSet Flashwire Monthly Report

Download the full report for more, including:

  • Key trend information for the Overall and Middle M&A Markets, such as deal volume, deal value, mega-deals, leading buyers, leading industries, leading sectors, cross-border deals, US regional deals, average P/E, average premiums, payment methods, and much more
  • Industry reports on the Internet, Telecommunications, Healthcare, Banking, and much more
  • Special reports on technology, the public and private M&A markets, cancellation fees, industry activity, etc.
  • Leading financial and legal advisor rankings

Article by FactSet