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U.S. M&A Deal Activity Increased in May

M&A and Corporate Activism

By FactSet Mergers Staff  |  July 5, 2018

U.S. M&A deal activity increased in May, going up 7.5% with 1,083 announcements compared to 1,007 in April. Aggregate M&A spending increased as well. In May 4.4% more was spent on deals compared to April.

Over the past three months, the sectors that saw the smallest decreases in M&A deal activity, relative to the same three-month period one year ago, were: Commercial Services (481 vs. 435), Health Services (172 vs. 140), Health Technology (110 vs. 97), Communications (37 vs. 26), and Transportation (79 vs. 69). Nine 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.

Merger Value and Volume

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: Distribution Services (154 vs. 181), Finance (398 vs. 420), Technology Services (477 vs. 498), and Consumer Durables (39 vs. 57). Twelve of the 21 sectors tracked by FactSet Mergerstat posted negative relative losses in deal flow over 178 deals.

Sector By Activity

Biggest Deals in May

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

  • Comcast Corp.'s offer to acquire Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. for $64.8 billion
  • Walmart, Inc. entering an agreement to acquire a 77% majority stake in Flipkart Internet Pvt. Ltd. for $16 billion
  • Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corp.'s agreement to acquire GE Transportation from General Electric Co. for $11.1 billion
  • The Williams Cos. Inc.'s deal to acquire the remaining 26.2% stake not owned in Williams Partners LP for $10.5 billion
  • Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co LP agreeing to acquire BMC Software, Inc. for $10 billion.
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