Worldwide M&A Up 11% YTD
Worldwide M&A activity totaled $352 billion during the first two months of this year, an 11% increase compared to the first two months of 2012 and the strongest start for global deal making in two years. February M&A activity totaled $219.3 billion, up 65% from January, bolstered by deals for Heinz, Virgin Media, Dell and NBC Universal. The first two weeks of February accounted for 67% of monthly volume, which fell 58% during the last two weeks of the month. In the United States, deals announced during the second half of the month fell 85% from the opening two weeks.
JP Morgan currently leads the year-to-date rankings for worldwide M&A financial advisory with $134.4 billion. Goldman Sachs is firmly in second place with $102.9 billion, followed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch ($82.4 billion).
Pharma & Biotech Deal Making Doubles Over 2012
This week's $6.2 billion unsolicited bid for Ireland's Elan Corp PLC from Royalty Pharma Management and Mylan Inc's $1.9 billion acquisition of India's Agila Specialties Pvt Ltd brings the volume of deal making in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors to $16.2 billion, more than double the level of activity last year at this time. This marks the strongest start for M&A in the sector since 2009 when Pfizer acquired Wyeth for $64.5 billion in January of that year. Targets in Ireland, the United States and India account for 87% of announced activity so far this year.
Morgan Stanley, which is advising Elan and Mylan, tops the ranking of financial advisors in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors so far this year. Citi, which held the top spot during year-to-date 2012, follows closely behind in second place.
Global Investment Grade Corporate Debt Falls 23%
Global investment grade corporate debt totals $424.9 billion so far this year, a 23% decline from year-to-date 2012 and the slowest annual start for corporate debt issuance since 2010. Investment grade issuers in the Americas account for one-third of global activity and have seen a 22% increase compared to last year at this time. Asia Pacific and European issuers have registered year-over-year declines of 50% and 32%, respectively.
JP Morgan retains the top spot for global investment grade corporate debt underwriting with 7.8% market share, an increase of 0.5 market share points compared to last year. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, with an increase of 1.9 market share points compared to year-to-date 2012, moves into second place from fourth.