Deal bonanza as global mergers and acquisitions hit post-downturn high

Emma Haslett
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Ebay's record spin-off of Paypal pushed volumes up (Source: Getty)

For deal junkies, it's hardly surprising - but now new figures have proved that the summer lull failed to materialise in July, with global M&A volume hitting $549.7bn, the highest figure since the global financial crisis.

The figures, by Dealogic, showed deals peaked at $559.2bn - but that was in April 2007, shortly before the sub-prime mortgage crisis caused volumes to plummet.

The rise in volumes during July didn't necessarily equate to a rise in activity - the number of deals hit 3,112 during the month, below the 12-month average of 3,334 deals.

Nevertheless, eight deals worth more than £10bn were announced during the month, worth a total of $216.8bn.

And given the size of Ebay's mega $49.2bn spin-off of PayPal during the month, few eyebrows will be raised over the fact the tech sector was one of the leaders, reaching its second highest monthly volume on record with $87.6bn of deals taking place over 737 transactions. That's up 39 per cent from the month before.

US-targeted acquisitions made up the lion's share of the deals, with $264.4bn of deals accounting for three quarters of global domestic volume, while cross-border, US-targeted deals made up 44 per cent of all cross-border deals.

All this comes against of backdrop of a boom in British activity. Figures by EY showed the total value of takeovers involving UK firms in the first half of the year jumped 70 per cent from a year ago.

“Nothing big has landed in the UK since the election but the pipeline is filling up,” one banker told City A.M..
“You will see more activity in Europe and I’m surprised we haven’t seen more big spin-offs but we’ve got our eyes open for a big primary deal.”

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