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M&A market rebounds in first quarter on blockbuster deals

Published 28/03/2024, 13:24
M&A market rebounds in first quarter on blockbuster deals
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Proactive Investors - The dealmaking market looked to be regaining traction over the first quarter following a downtrodden year, with the value of takeovers more than doubling thanks to big US and European deals.

Data from LSEG shows eleven transactions worth over US$10 billion took place, fetching a total value of US$215 billion, against US$100 billion in the first three months of 2023.

This was as the value of global merger and acquisition (M&A) deals jumped 30% to US$690 billion, despite the number of deals sitting 31% lower.

“We’re back to average, or back to normal,” Goldman Sachs’ Andre Kelleners told the FT, calling it a "real, robust rebound" from the exceptionally low levels a year ago.

Activity is said to have increased as optimism grows around the prospect of interest rate cuts in the coming months, making financing for such deals cheaper.

Capital One’s US$35 billion takeover of Discover Financial and chip firm Synopsys’s US$35 billion acquisition of software maker Ansys (NASDAQ:ANSS) topped the list of the largest deals over the quarter.

The majority of dealmaking took part in the US meanwhile, though Europe enjoyed a 60% resurgence to US$127 billion. Deals in the Asia-Pacific region fell 28% to US$90 billion, however.

There have been some mid-sized deals involving UK companies, including a couple from AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN), a merger of FTSE 350 housebuilders, Virgin Money (LON:VMUK) accepting a pretty low offer, and a bid battle for engineer Spirent (LON:SPT) that saw a new bid agreed today.

Read more on Proactive Investors UK

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