U.S. M&A deal activity decreased in December, down 18.8% with 776 announcements compared to 956 in November. Aggregate M&A spending decreased as well. In December 15.8% less was spent on deals compared to November.
Over the past three months, the sectors that have seen the smallest decreases in M&A deal activity, relative to the same three-month period one year ago, have been: Non-Energy Minerals (71 vs. 66), and Government (five vs. four). Only two 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.
Sector by activity
L3M 12/31/17 Deal Count
L3M 12/31/16 Deal Count
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: Industrial Services (119 vs. 165), Producer Manufacturing (148 vs. 194), Commercial Services (428 vs. 463), Health Services (111 vs. 146), and Finance (364 vs. 398). Nineteen 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 444 deals.
Topping the list of the largest deals announced in December were:
CVS Health Corp. agreeing to acquire Aetna, Inc. for $67.8 billion
The Walt Disney Co.'s agreement to acquire Twenty First Century Fox, Inc. for $54.7 billion
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co LP offer to acquire the the Unilever NV's Spreads division for $8 billion
Campbell Soup Co. entering into an agreement to acquire Snyder's Lance, Inc. for $4.9 billion
Optum, Inc., a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, Inc., agreeing to acquire DaVita Medical Holdings LLC from DaVita, Inc. for $4.9 billion
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