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M&A Deal Value and Volume Tick Up in March

M&A and Corporate Activism

By FactSet Mergers Staff  |  April 18, 2018

U.S. M&A deal activity increased in March, up 3% with 891 announcements compared to 865 in February. Aggregate M&A spending increased as well. In March, 51% more was spent on deals compared to February.

April MA Index

Only four 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. The sectors that saw increases in M&A deal activity, relative to the same three-month period one year ago, were: Communications (51 vs. 35), Transportation (66 vs. 58), Electronic Technology (91 vs. 87), and Miscellaneous (15 vs. 13). 

TARGET SECTOR L3m 3/31/18 Deal Count l3m 3/31/17 deal count  Difference
Communications  51 35 16
Transportation  66 58 8
Electronic Technology  91 87 4
Misc 15 13 2
Government 8 8 0
Energy Minerals  43 43 0
Non- Energy Minerals  64 74 (10)
Utilities  65 79 (14)
Process Industries  101 116 (15)
Health Technologies 93 109 (16)
Retail Trade 82 99 (17)
Producer Manufacturer 171 191 (20)
Health Services 132 157 (25)
Industrial Services 115 141 (26)
Consumer Non-Durables 65 95 (30)
Consumer Durables 44 78 (34)
Commercial Services 456 497 (41)
Consumer Services 188 235 (47)
Distribution Services  128 186 (58)
Technology Services 450 510 (60)
Finance 358 420 (62)
Total 2,786 3,231 (445)

Over the past three 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: Finance (358 vs. 420), Technology Services (450 vs. 510), Distribution Services (128 vs. 186), Consumer Services (188 vs. 235), and Commercial Services (456 vs. 497). Fifteen 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 475 deals.

March's Biggest Deals 

Topping the list of the largest deals announced in March were:

  • Cigna Corp. entered an agreement to acquire Express Scripts Holding Co. for $53.9 billion
  • International Paper Co. submitted an unsolicited proposal to acquire Smurfit Kappa Group Plc for $11.2 billion
  • Microchip Technology, Inc.'s agreement to acquire Microsemi Corp. for $8.1 billion
  • Dana, Inc.'s deal to acquire GKN Plc's driveline division for $6.2 billion
  • Gebr Knauf KG's proposal to acquire the remaining 89.54% stake in USG Corp. for $5.3 billion
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