Bloomberg News reports that the year so far has been a relatively gloomy one, with global mergers and acquisitions down 14% from the same period in 2015, when the market was on its way to a record, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Companies held off on selling shares or making purchases as the uncertainty of the Brexit vote hung over big transactions.
Regulators also stepped in, quashing a number of high-profile mega deals. Pfizer and Allergan in April terminated a $160bn merger that would have been the biggest deal in drug industry history, after U.S. regulators proposed rules to cut down on deals that let companies lower tax bills by moving their tax addresses to a lower-cost regime.
The EU blocked CK Hutchison Holdings’ bid for Telefonica SA’s O2, an acquisition that would’ve created the biggest mobile phone carrier in the U.K. Honeywell International walked away from a $90bn offer for United Technologies Corp., with the target company saying a combination was unlikely to clear regulatory hurdles.
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