Cross-border M&A between the United States and Europe hits decade high following Huntsman-Clariant tie-up

Lucy White
Most US money went to Dutch and Swiss companies, which bagged $70.2bn worth of deals (Source: Getty)

Cross-border mergers and acquisitions between the United States and Europe have hit a 10-year high, up 82 per cent on the same period last year.

Deals announced so far this year have totaled $171.8bn (£132.1bn), according to Thomson Reuters data, rising from $94.2bn at the same time in 2016 and hitting the highest year-to-date value since 2007.

The figures were boosted this morning by the announcement of a $20bn merger between US chemicals group Huntsman Corporation and Switzerland's Clariant, the latest in a series of chemical manufacturing tie-ups.

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Deals in the healthcare sector accounted for 29 per cent of the activity, while materials transactions constituted 25 per cent and consumer staples 12 per cent.

Most US money went to Dutch and Swiss companies, which bagged $70.2bn worth of deals. Just last week, credit ratings agency Moody's announced a $3.3bn deal to buy Netherlands-based business intelligence firm Bureau van Dijk from a Swedish private equity firm.

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The UK, however, is the biggest acquirer in the US with deals totaling $21.1bn. Switzerland came in second, having ploughed $11.5bn into the States so far this year.

Earlier this month, EY figures revealed that more than half of UK companies were expected to pursue mergers and acquisitions, and the country had regained its place as one of the most attractive destinations for such deals.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch ranked as the most-used financial advisor for announced deals between the US and Europe, grabbing a 48 per cent market share.

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