Europe was responsible for almost a third of the world's mergers and acquisitions in the first half of this year, data reveals

Lucy White
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British American Tobacco's $60.6bn (£46.92bn) takeover of Reynolds American was the largest deal of the first half (Source: Getty)

Global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) were up 8.4 per cent in value in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2016, new statistics reveal, despite a decrease in the number of deals.

The data from Mergermarket showed that European M&A had surged ahead, securing a 32.3 per cent share of the global value.

Read more: European mergers and acquisitions are on the up as US activity drops in the first half of the year

Meanwhile both the US and Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) saw their share drop to 40.4 per cent and 18.3 per cent from 42.8 per cent and 21.3 per cent respectively.

Private equity buyouts excelled, as funds looked to deploy the abundance of capital they have raised over recent years. They were up 26.7 per cent by value, while exits from companies jumped by 19.4 per cent.

The most active sectors across the globe were energy, mining and utilities (EMU), consumer, and industrials and chemicals.

EMU M&A saw a 51.9 per cent increase on the first half of 2016, as companies looked to pursue restructuring, increase efficiency and upgrade technology. However activity in the sector was down by 38 per cent compared to the preceding six months.

The consumer sector's 162.7 per cent increase, meanwhile, was due to six megadeals – three of which were in Europe.

These included British American Tobacco's $60.6bn (£46.92bn) takeover of Reynolds American and contact lens business Essilor's $25.4bn acquisition of Luxottica.

Although the industrials and chemicals sector was still the third most active, at $210bn-worth of deals it was actually the sector's lowest half-year value since the first six months of 2015.

Goldman Sachs led the advisors' rankings, judged by the value of the deals they had worked on, totting up an impressive $449.45bn-worth of work.

They were followed by Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which worked on deals worth $296.75bn and $283.85bn respectively.

Read more: Private equity deals drop off in second quarter despite booming start to the year, new figures show

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