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U.S. M&A Deal Activity up 1.8%, Private Equity Activity up 0.9% in October

Dec 2, 2015

Via FactSet Mergers staff

U.S. M&A deal activity increased in October, going up 1.8% with 1,078 announcements compared to 1,059 in September. However, aggregate M&A spending decreased. In October 3.1% less was spent on deals compared to September.

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 Commercial Services (517 vs. 446), Technology Services (548 vs. 501), Health Services (167 vs. 132), Retail Trade (129 vs. 117), and Miscellaneous (16 vs. 7). Nine 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 Industrial Services (103 vs. 141), Finance (403 vs. 427), Producer Manufacturing (180 vs. 203), Consumer Services (229 vs. 248), and Energy Minerals (24 vs. 37). Twelve 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 151 deals.

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

  1. Pfizer, Inc. entering into an agreement to acquire Allergan Plc for $149.8 billion
  2. A private group composed of Dell Inc, founder Michael S. Dell, MSD Partners LP and Silver Lake Management Co. LLC, agreeing to acquire EMC Corp. for $64.3 billion
  3. Western Digital Corp.'s agreement to acquire SanDisk Corp. for $17.1 billion
  4. Lam Research Corp.'s deal to acquire KLA-Tencor Corp. for $10.4 billion
  5. Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. signing an agreement to acquire RiteAid Corp. for $9.4 billion

U.S. private equity activity increased slightly in October, up 0.9% from September. There were 111 deals in October compared to 110 in September. However, aggregate base equity increased, up by 87.4% to $24.0 billion from September's $12.8.

Canadian firms were the biggest buyers of U.S. companies in October. They announced 31 deals for the month, with U.K. companies in second with 27 deals, followed by France, Japan and Switzerland. The largest deal to purchase a U.S. business was the Denmark-based DSV A/S's deal to acquire UTi Worldwide, Inc. for $753.1 million. U.K. firms were the biggest sellers to U.S. firms with 28 deals, followed by Canada, Germany, and Spain. The largest U.S. deal to acquire a foreign company was Pfizer, Inc., entering into an agreement to acquire the Ireland-based Allergan Plc for $149.8 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 Citigroup. The top five financial advisors, based on the aggregate transaction value of the deals worked on, are Goldman Sachs & Co., JPMorgan Chase & Co, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Credit Suisse.

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