Global M&A Deals Hit All-Time High of $3.46B; U.S. Slides to No.2
Private equity firms accounted for 22% of total global M&A volume in the first nine months of the year, hitting a new record of $570.1 billion in deals.
Meanwhile, Europe has overtaken the United States as the most targeted region, attracting $1.34 trillion or 40% of total deal value, compared with a U.S. share of 36%, or $1.22 trillion, Dealogic said. Demographics and economic change are driving corporate restructuring and facilitating M&A activity in Europe, experts say. U.S. share of the M&A deals has come down from 46%, or $1.53 trillion, in 2000, according to Dealogic data from last week.
Some key factors for the high M&A activity:
- the surplus of cash held by private equity firms and public companies
- interest rates that are at historic lows and
- the willingness of banks to provide financing.
Just today, over $50 billion worth deals were announced, including the Blackstone private equity group's deal to buy Equity Office Properties Trust, the nation's largest publicly traded office-building owner and manager, for $19 billion plus debt. This would be the third-largest leveraged buyout on record behind the $25.1 billion paid for RJR Nabisco in 1988 and the recent $21.2 billion deal to take HCA Inc. private.
Of the top 10 biggest deals ever (minus debt), eight have been announced since the beginning of this year, according to Thomson Financial.
- HCA Inc. ($21.2 billion)
- Equity Office Properties Trust ($19 billion)
- Clear Channel Communications Inc. ($18.8 billion)
- Freescale Semiconductor Inc. ($17.7 billion)
- Harrah's Entertainment Inc. ($15.4 billion)
- Kinder Morgan Inc. ($14.6 billion)
- Univision Communications Inc. ($12.1 billion)
- Albertson's Inc. ($11 billion)