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U.S. M&A Deal Activity Increased by 5.1%, and Private Equity Increased by 18.5% in September

Companies and Earnings   |   M&A and Corporate Activism

By FactSet Insight  |  October 22, 2015

U.S. M&A deal activity increased in September, going up 5.1% with 1,035 announcements compared to 985 in August. Aggregate M&A spending increased as well. In September 3.2% more was spent on deals compared to August.

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Over the past 3 months, the sectors that have seen the biggest increases in M&A deal activity, relative to the same three month period one year ago, have been:

  1. Technology Services (549 vs. 480)
  2. Commercial Services (517 vs. 461)
  3. Health Services (181 vs. 126)
  4. Health Technology (116 vs. 103)
  5. Transportation (73 vs. 61)
  6. Utilities (46 vs. 34)

Thirteen of the 21 sectors tracked by FactSet Mergerstat posted relative gains in deal flow over the last three months compared to the same three months one year prior.

Over the past 3 months, the sectors that have seen the biggest declines in M&A deal volume, relative to the same three month period one year ago have been:

  1. Industrial Services (104 vs. 145)
  2. Producer Manufacturing (179 vs. 210)
  3. Consumer Durables (44 vs.55)
  4. Consumer Services (248 vs. 258)
  5. Consumer Non-Durables (85 vs. 94)

Eight of the 21 sectors tracked by FactSet Mergerstat posted negative relative losses in deal flow over the last three months compared to the same three months one year prior, for a combined loss of 119 deals.

Topping the list of the largest deals announced in September are:

  1. Altice NV's agreement to acquire Cablevision Systems Corp. for $9.7 billion
  2. Emera, Inc. entering an agreement to acquire TECO Energy, Inc. for $6.5 billion
  3. DENTSPLY International, Inc. agreeing to acquire Sirona Dental System, Inc. for $5.4 billion
  4. Japan Tobacco, Inc.'s deal to acquire the Reynolds American Inc.'s Natural American Spirit overseas cigarette business for $5 billion
  5. Dialog Semiconductor Plc agreeing to acquire Atmel Corp. for about $4.4 billion.

U.S. private equity activity increased in September, up 18.5% from August. There were 109 deals in September compared to 92 in August. However, aggregate base equity decreased, down by 76.8% to $13.4 billion from August's $57.8 billion.

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Canadian firms were the biggest buyers of U.S. companies in September. They announced 38 deals for the month, with U.K. companies in second with 28 deals, followed by Germany, Sweden and Japan. The largest deal to purchase a U.S. business was the Netherlands-based Altice NV's agreement to acquire Cablevision Systems Corp. for $9.7 billion. U.K. firms were the biggest sellers to U.S. firms with 38 deals, followed by Canada, Germany and Australia. The largest U.S. deal to acquire a foreign company was Equifax, Inc.'s proposal to acquire the Australia-based Veda Group Ltd. for $1.6 billion.

The top financial advisors for 2015 based on deal announcements, are: Goldman Sachs & Co., Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Citigroup. The top five financial advisors, based on the aggregate transaction value of the deals worked on, are: Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Goldman Sachs & Co., Credit Suisse, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

The top legal advisors for 2015 based on deal announcements, are: Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Jones Day LP, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. The top five legal advisors, based on the aggregate transaction value of the deals worked on, are: Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen
& Katz.

FactSet Flashwire Monthly Report

Download the full report for more, including:

  • Key trend information for the Overall and Middle M&A Markets, such as deal volume, deal value, mega-deals, leading buyers, leading industries, leading sectors, cross-border deals, U.S. regional deals, average P/E, average premiums, payment methods, and much more
  • Report on U.S. Sector Activity and Value
  • Sector Spotlight
  • U.S. Strategic Buyer Report and U.S. Private Equity Report 
  • Top U.S. Financial and Legal Advisor Rankings 
  • Top U.S. Deals Scoreboard 

Download most recent FactSet U.S. Flashwire Monthly report.

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