Trends in 2013 Global Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Activity

Thomson Reuters final 2013 figures for M&A deals show a disappointing level of activity across the year – but with some interesting trends below the headline numbers.

Final figures from Thomson Reuters on M&A activity for 2013 are showing a 6% decline from 2012. The total level of activity was the lowest seen since 2009. This is despite continuing low interest rates and encouraging signs of improvement in many parts of the global economy.

Some Key Trends From The Figures

Cross Border Deals

The level of cross-border M&A activity declined 18% in 2013 to $738 billion. Somewhat surprisingly the Eurozone had the highest M&A inflows in 2013 of more than $50 billion. The Eurozone’s share of global M&A rose to 15.5% in 2013 from 14.2% in 2012. Is this perhaps a sign that acquirers are sensing value again as the first glimmers of recovery are starting to appear in the zone?

Private Equity Deals

The level of activity in the private equity sector rose 22% in 2013. Technology, basic consumer products and energy accounted for most of the growth. The industry is still sitting on a lot of investors’ money, and there is much anecdotal evidence that it is coming under pressure to get it into play. At some point a “Use it or lose it” dynamic has to appear.

Technology, Media and Telecom

Unsurprisingly this sector continues to be the largest by both deal volume (775 deals) and deal Value ($298 billion, a 76% increase over 2012).

Asia Pacific

Deals involving companies from the Asia Pacific region, excluding Japan, rose 1.6% to $460 billion in 2013. The Thomson Reuters data shows that the energy and power sector was the most active with 651 deals at a total value of $72 billion. The materials and financials sectors also showed high levels of activity. In Japan the value of deals in 2013 fell 25% to $135 billion, although on a slightly higher deal count.

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