The value of announced mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the industrials sector has totaled almost $300bn (£246bn) so far this year, according to figures from Thomson Reuters.
This is the highest level deals in the sector have ever reached by this time of year, Thomson Reuters said, while global deals have also risen 11 per cent from the same period in 2015.
The sector accounts for 11.9 per cent of total worldwide M&A activity so far this year, its highest share for more than two decades.
This puts it behind high technology, energy and materials, but ahead of industries such as finance, real estate, healthcare and media.
Nine mega-deals, worth more than $5bn, have been announced in industrials so far in 2016. These add up to combined value of $116.5bn, compared to nine deals worth $69.8bn that had been announced by the same time last year.
The mega-deals, which have taken place in the US, China, Australia and Germany, have included Johnson Controls’ acquisition of security and safety products maker Tyco International at the beginning of the year and the takeover of Australian freight logistics giant Asciano by the Rail Consortium, which completed in March.
The US has been the most targeted country in value terms, accounting for more than one third of activity, with deals worth a combined $103.4bn.
However, Chinese firms have been fastest to scoop up other firms, with transactions involving a Chinese acquiror accounting for 32 per cent of all industrial M&A.
Goldman Sachs holds the top position worldwide for advisory work in the industrials sector so far this year, advising on $104.1bn worth of deals. Goldman, which worked on 28 transactions, had a market share, 35.1 per cent, twice that of its highest competitor Morgan Stanley, which had a 17.4 per cent market share for 30 deals in the field.