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U.S. M&A Deal Activity Down 6.2%, Private Equity Down 17.0%

May 26, 2015

Via FactSet Mergers staff

U.S. M&A deal activity decreased in April, dropping 6.2% with 956 announcements compared to 1,019 in March. Aggregate M&A spending decreased as well. In April 31.2% less was spent on deals compared to March.

Over the past three months, the sectors that saw the biggest increases in M&A deal activity, relative to the same three month period one year ago, were:

  1. Technology Services (519 vs. 440)
  2. Finance (392 vs. 357)
  3. Consumer Services (236 vs. 209)
  4. Distribution Services (166 vs. 147)
  5. Communications (41 vs. 29)

Eleven 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.

Over the past three months, the sectors that saw the biggest declines in M&A deal volume, relative to the same three month period one year ago, were:

  1. Utilities (35 vs. 56)
  2. Producer Manufacturing (169 vs. 189)
  3. Commercial Services (467 vs. 482)
  4. Consumer Durables (36 vs. 48)
  5. Transportation (58 vs. 69)

Ten 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 98 deals.

The largest deals announced in April were:

  1. Wells Fargo & Co. agreeing to acquire GE Capital Real Estate's Commercial Real Estate Loans in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada for at $9 billion
  2. Prologis, Inc. and Norges Bank Investment Management, through their joint venture, Prologis US Logistics Venture, signing an agreement to acquire KTR Capital Partners LP for $5.2 billion
  3. Permira Advisers LLP, a subsidiary of Permira Holdings Ltd., and state-owed Canada Pension Plan Investment Board agreeing to acquire Informatica Corp. for $5.1 billion; FedEx Corp. agreeing to acquire TNT Express NV for $4.8 billion
  4. Blackstone Mortgage Trust, Inc.'s deal to acquire GE Capital Real Estate's commercial mortgage loan portfolio for $4.4 billion.

U.S. private equity activity decreased in April, down 17.0% from March. There were 88 deals in April compared to 106 in March. Aggregate base equity also decreased, down by 19.7% to $20.4 billion from March's $25.4 billion.

Canadian firms were the biggest buyers of U.S. companies in April. They announced 22 deals for the month, with U.K. companies in second with 21 deals, followed by France, Australia, and Japan. The largest deal to purchase a U.S. business was the British Permira Advisers LLP, joining with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board agreeing to acquire Informatica Corp. for $5.1 billion. U.K. firms were the biggest sellers to U.S. firms with 30 deals, followed by Canada, France, and Netherlands. The largest U.S. deal to acquire a foreign company was FedEx Corp. agreeing to acquire the Netherlands-based TNT Express NV for $4.8 billion.

The top financial advisors for 2015 based on deal announcements, are Goldman Sachs & Co., Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Morgan Stanley, and Houlihan Lokey. The top five financial advisors, based on the aggregate transaction value of the deals worked on, are JPMorgan Chase & Co, Centerview Partners LLC, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Lazard.

The top legal advisors for 2015 based on deal announcements, are Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Jones Day LP, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Fenwick & West LLP, and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. The top five legal advisors, based on the aggregate transaction value of the deals worked on, are Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.

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, U.S. regional deals, average P/E, average premiums, payment methods, and much more
  • Report on U.S. Sector Activity and Value
  • Sector Spotlight
  • U.S. Strategic Buyer Report and U.S. Private Equity Report 
  • Top U.S. Financial and Legal Advisor Rankings 
  • Top U.S. Deals Scoreboard 

Download most recent FactSet U.S. Flashwire Monthly report.

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