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M&A at a Glance (December 2015)

December 15, 2015 download PDF

U.S. M&A deal value reached new peaks in November 2015, spurred by strategic transactions averaging over $1 billion in value, while the number of deals continued to decline.  Although the number of M&A transactions in the U.S. fell by 12.74% to 733, total U.S. deal value increased by 40.85% to $332.82 billion, a record monthly high since the inception of M&A at a Glance in April 2012.  Crossborder activity contributed to the strong U.S. results, with total inbound transaction value increasing by $56.97 billion, accounting for nearly 60% of the increase in total U.S. deal volume, and the average value of such deals increasing 400% from $197.8 million to $989 million. Global M&A activity was less robust, with global deal numbers decreasing by 8.57% to 2,698, while deal volume saw negligible movement compared to the previous month.  Sponsor-related activity declined substantially, falling almost 80% to $25.44 billion in the U.S., and over 50% globally to just over $60 billion.  Figure 1.

A sharp rise in U.S.-inbound deal volume from Canada was largely responsible for the strong inbound crossborder activity in November 2015.  Inbound transactions from Canada increased over 1,100% from $3.64 billion in October to $45.35 billion in November.  The takeover battle between Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (Calgary) and Norfolk Southern Corp. (New Jersey) accounts for over $37 billion of this increase, and nearly 40% of the growth in total U.S. M&A deal volume in November 2015.  Over the last 12 months, Canada has tallied greater inbound deal volume ($132.36 billion) and more deals (435) than any other country; for U.S.-outbound transactions, the U.K. continued its lead by volume ($75.27 billion), and Canada ranked first in number of deals (385).  Figure 3.

Healthcare was the most active U.S. target industry by volume in November 2015 ($173.68 billion), and maintained its position as the leading industry of the last 12 months ($573.40) by a wide margin.  Computers & Electronics also maintained its lead as the most active target industry as measured by number of deals, both in November and over the last 12 months.  Figure 2. 

Tender offers comprised 32% of U.S. public mergers in November 2015. Figure 11.  Cash-only deals accounted for 60% of all U.S. public mergers, while cash and stock deals fell from 33.33% of all U.S. public mergers in October to merely 8% in November.  Figure 9.


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