M&A  deal volumes at highest level since 2007 with $705bn announced

Oliver Gill
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Morgan Stanley topped the adviser rankings with involvement in $142.7bn of transactions (Source: Getty)

Global M&A activity so far this year is at its highest level since the financial crisis, expert analysis has revealed.

Some $705bn of deals have been announced since the start of 2017, the first time the $700bn barrier has been broken since 2007, according to Dealogic.

Read more: Jupiter boss plays down M&A rumours: "We’re not looking to be acquired"

US group Johnson & Johnson’s $31.4bn bid for Swiss pharmaceuticals firm Actelion is 2017's largest deal to date and due to close in April. The purchase will be Johnson & Johnson's largest on record.

Morgan Stanley was top of the adviser charts. Although its share of total deals fell from 22.0 per cent to 20.2 per cent, it was involved in $142.7bn of deals well ahead of second-placed Baml with $130.3bn.

Goldman Sachs, which was top of the pile this time last year, advising on nearly a third of deals, fell to fourth place. Its share near-halved to 16.7 per cent having been engaged on $118.2bn of transactions.

Read more: Johnson & Johnson is buying Europe's largest biotech firm for $30bn

Oil and gas dominated from a sectorial perspective with $96.7bn of deals agreed, at a highest ever year to date level. $52.4bn of these deals were in the domestic sectors of the US and Canada.

Healthcare came a narrow second, with a total of $95.9bn transactions were announced, while technology was in third spot with $87.1bn of deals. Intel’s $15.4bn bid for Mobileye, is the largest tech transaction the largest Israeli targeted firm.

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