Merger mania sends deals up over $650bn

Michael Bow
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A SPATE of big money deals announced by US corporations yesterday helped propel global M&A activity soaring past $650bn (£425.4bn) for this year, as dealmaking marched back into the spotlight.

Moves by US satellite TV provider Dish Network to buy mobile phone company Sprint Nextel for $25.5bn and a $13.6bn deal between genetic testing firms Thermo Fisher Scientific and Life Technologies helped send M&A values to $650.2bn for 2013 so far.

Meanwhile, investor Royalty Pharma raised its offer for Irish drug maker Elan, valuing a deal at nearly $7.3bn. And with EU regulators clearing plans for Liberty Global to buy Virgin Media for £15bn and private equity group CVC revealing it had held takeover talks with listed gaming company Betfair, yesterday, proved the third best merger Monday since the start of 2012.

The surge in dealmaking has helped increase global M&A by 15 per cent on the $568.1bn total recorded for this time last year.