Refinitiv's Global M&A 2018 Top 25 League Table

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Worldwide deal making surpasses US$4 trillion

Worldwide M&A activity totaled US$4.0 trillion during full year 2018, an increase of 19% compared to full year 2017 and the third annual period to surpass US$4.0 trillion since records began in 1980. The fourth quarter of 2018 registered a 5% decline compared to the third quarter of the year, and marks the slowest quarter for global deal making since the second quarter of 2017. By number of worldwide deals, deal making declined 8% compared to full year 2017, a three-year low.

Mega deals account for 38% of announced value

The value of worldwide M&A greater than US$5 billion totalled US$1.5 trillion during full year 2018, an increase of 51% compared to a year ago. One hundred and twenty three deals greater than US$5 billion accounted for 38% of announced M&A activity during the full year 2018, up from 30% during full year 2017. During the second half of 2018, the value of mega deals fell 56% compared to the first half of the year, which ranked as the second largest six-month period for global deal making on record.

Cross-border, PE-backed buyouts hit post-financial crisis highs

Cross-border M&A activity totaled US$1.6 trillion during full year 2018, a 32% increase compared to full year 2017 and the strongest year for cross-border M&A since 2007. Private Equity-backed buyouts accounted for 10% of full year 2018 M&A activity, with a 29% increase, by value, and a 4% increase, by number of deals, compared to a year ago. Full year 2018 marks the strongest annual period for PE-backed buyouts in over a decade.

European M&A hits 11-year high; United States deals up 32%

M&A activity for United States targets totaled US$1.7 trillion during full year 2018, an increase of 32% compared to the level of activity seen during 2017. With US$1.0 trillion in announced deals during full year 2018, European M&A increased 32% compared to a year ago and hit an 11-year high. European deal making accounted for 25% of overall M&A activity during 2018, the highest percentage since full year 2014.

Energy & power, tech & healthcare lead sector mix

Deal making in the Energy & Power sector totaled US$705 billion during full year 2018, an increase of 52% compared to 2017 levels and an all-time record. Technology M&A accounted for 13% of overall M&A during 2018, while Healthcare and Industrials deal making each accounted for 11% of activity.

M&A Worldwide Announced (AD1) Q4 2019

Source: Refinitiv

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