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U.S. M&A Deal Activity Down 1.8%, Private Equity Down 19.2% in July

Aug 19, 2015

Via FactSet Mergers staff

U.S. M&A deal activity decreased in July, falling 1.8% with 1,103 announcements compared to 1,123 in June. However, aggregate M&A spending increased. In July 1.3% more was spent on deals compared to June.

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

  1. Finance (427 vs. 394)
  2. Distribution Services (175 vs. 148)
  3. Technology Services (517 vs. 491)
  4. Retail Trade (122 vs. 97)
  5. Transportation (74 vs. 56)

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 have seen the biggest declines in M&A deal volume, relative to the same three month period one year ago have been:

  1. Industrial Services (101 vs. 128)
  2. Producer Manufacturing (164 vs. 190)
  3. Electronic Technology (129 vs. 153)
  4. Commercial Services (490 vs. 509)
  5. Non-Energy Minerals (33 vs. 41)

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 121 deals.

Topping the list of the largest deals announced in July are:

  1. Aetna, Inc. agreeing to acquire Humana, Inc. for $34.1 billion
  2. ACE Limited's agreement to acquire The Chubb Corp. for $28.2 billion
  3. Visa, Inc.'s plans to acquire Visa Europe Ltd. for an reported value of up to $20 billion
  4. MPLX LP, a company controlled by Marathon Petroleum Corp, agreeing to acquire MarkWest Energy Partners LP for $15 billion
  5. Coty, Inc. entering an agreement to acquire Procter & Gamble Co.'s Beauty Brands business for $12.5 billion

U.S. private equity activity decreased in July, down 19.2% from June. There were 97 deals in July compared to 120 in June. Aggregate base equity also decreased, down by 62.6% to $13.1 billion from June's $35.1 billion.

Canadian firms were the biggest buyers of U.S. companies in July. They announced 32 deals for the month, with U.K. companies in second with 21 deals, followed by France and India. The largest deal to purchase a U.S. business was the Switzerland-based ACE Limited agreeing to acquire The Chubb Corp for $28.2 billion. U.K. firms were the biggest sellers to U.S. firms with 38 deals, followed by Canada and Australia. The largest U.S. deal to acquire a foreign company was Visa, Inc.'s plans to acquire the UK-based Visa Europe Ltd. for an reported value of up to $20 billion.

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

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