In the world of mergers and acquisitions, 2015 was a year of record-breaking deals. This year is one of broken-deal records.
MarketWatch reports that more than $395.4bn in U.S. mergers, including, most recently, Staples’ combination with Office Depot, have fallen apart in 2016, according to data provider Dealogic, felled by exacting regulators, rocky markets or reluctant targets. That will be a record even if no other deals stumble for the rest of the year.
That is bad news for the banks that stood to make billions of dollars in fees on the M&A feast of 2015, a record-setting year of more than $4.6tril in announced deals. Financial advisers pocket most of their money only when deals close, which means that when deals go bust, the work they have already done goes largely unpaid.
Three of the largest collapsed deals this year -- Pfizer’s takeover of Allergan , Halliburton’s purchase of Baker Hughes and Staples’ merger with Office Depot -- will cost banks more than $300m in advisory fees, according to a review of regulatory filings. That doesn’t include potentially large fees banks aren’t legally required to disclose.
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