Mega deals dominate in 2015

BY Richard Summerfield

2015 was the year of the mega deal. Last year there were more than 67 announced deals valued at $10bn and above for a combined total in excess of $1.86 trillion, according to Dealogic.

2015’s mega deal volume more than doubled 2014's $803.4bn total. Furthermore, the number of such deals surpassed the previous record of 48 set in 2006. Transactions valued at $50bn or more in 2015 totalled around $730bn.

Many of the mega deals completed last year were the largest ever deals in their particular sector, including the tie up between Dow Chemical and DuPont. Pfizer's $160bn merger with Allergan is the largest healthcare deal in history, and the second-largest deal of any type on record.

The revival of the mega deal was part of a larger resurgence in general M&A activity over the last 12 months. Indeed, 2015 was a bumper year for deal making, with more than $4 trillion worth of announced deals.

The Americas was the most fertile region for mega deal activity, with around 50 deals announced in the region for a total value of $1.40 trillion. This is even more remarkable considering the region's previous record, set in 2014, of 19 mega deals for a total value of $512.1bn. Elsewhere EMEA and the Asia Pacific regions saw nine and eight deals respectively, for combined totals of $301.2bn and $171.8bn.

Global M&A volume has been on an upward trajectory since 2012, however the increase seen between 2014 and 2015 was remarkable.

It is not just the firms involved that have benefitted from the resurgence in mega deals; investment banks also enjoyed a bumper 2015. Fees from completed M&A advisory increased globally. According to Dealogic, Goldman Sachs led the global M&A advisor ranking in 2015 with $1.76 trillion. Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan also enjoyed a successful year with $1.50 trillion and $1.49 trillion respectively.

Report: Dealogic – M&A Statshot

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