M&A deals surge to 2008 levels

WORLDWIDE merger and acquisition (M&A) activity surged 21 per cent in the last quarter showing the strongest growth since 2008, new data from Thomson Reuters showed yesterday.

The third quarter of this year saw a total of $676.9bn (£427.2bn) worth of M&A deals, it said.

The number of deals was up 3.8 per cent year-on-year with over 29,000 deals announced since the start of 2010. M&A activity for the nine months to the end of September is now valued at $1.75trn - also up 21 per cent on last year.

Meanwhile, adviser fees on completed deals over the last three quarters jumped 38 per cent year-on-year to $19.8bn.

Deal activity in the US accounted for 49 per cent of the worldwide fees collected by advisers, Reuters said. Europe, the Middle East and Asia (EMEA) accounted for 32 per cent and the Asia Pacific region and Japan contributed 14 per cent respectively.

M&A activity in the US for the last three quarters of 2010 increased 21.9 per cent compared to the same period last year to $732bn, representing the first year-on-year increase since 2007.

The largest deal in the last quarter was GDF Suez Energy’s acquisition of International Power for $25bn in August. Energy company mergers accounted for six of the largest US M&A deals this year, Reuters said.