Deal activity in the energy and utility sector has powered to its highest year-to-date level since 2011.
The mergers and acquisitions (M&A) surge comes in a year that has seen most sectors in decline after a record 2015 in which more than $5 trillion (£3.4 trillion) of deals were announced in total.
Between 1 January and 26 April, 362 utility and energy-targeted deals were announced, with a total value of $76.8bn – up 78 per cent on $43.1bn worth of deals in the same 2015 period.
According to the Dealogic statistics, the sector is the third most targeted globally so far in 2016, making up nine per cent of the market.
This places it behind only technology, which makes up 16 per cent, and real estate (12 per cent), in terms of targeted sectors.
The total utility and energy figure has been driven by 16 $1bn-plus deals worth $61.6bn, up from seven worth $25.2bn in the same period last year.
Read more: M&A boom of 2015 may not be over yet
The biggest deal announced so far this year was TransCanada Corp's $13.2bn acquisition of US-based Columbia Pipeline.
The US was the most targeted nation in the sector, making up 60 per cent of deals. So far in 2016, 69 US-targeted deals have been announced, worth $46.1bn, the highest level since 2007 and more than three times larger than the equivalent 2015 figure.
The US was followed by Chile, with deal values making up 14 per cent of the total, and China, with five per cent.