BY Richard Summerfield
2014 was a notable year for global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity, with deal volumes and valuations reaching pre-crisis highs in some regions. This boom continued into the first quarter of the year, according to data released by Dealogic.
In the first three months of 2015, $902.2bn worth of M&A activity was announced - the highest first quarter total since the $1.08 trillion worth of deals announced eight years ago.
The 14 megadeals – each valued in excess of $10bn – accounted for a significant amount of announced transactions in Q1, worth a combined $267.4bn. It was the busiest Q1 for megadeals since 15 deals were announced in the first quarter of 2006.
Cross-border M&A also performed well, reaching $315.2bn - the highest first quarter volume since 2007 when activity reached $357.9bn.
The healthcare sector was the most targeted industry, with deal value of $126.5bn. The real estate space was the second most targeted industry last year with $113bn worth of announced deals across 462 transactions, a leap of 38 percent from Q1 last year.
US targeted M&A climbed 28 percent, with a total of $415bn, up from $324.6bn. This was the highest first quarter total since 2007 when $430.7bn worth of deals were announced.
In Europe, seven of the region’s top 10 sectors saw a year on year increases in volume in the first quarter. In the construction sector, activity climbed to $11.7bn - a more than threefold increase on Q1 2014, which saw just $3.2bn worth of deals.