2019 The Fourth-Best Year on Record for M & A

Cara Lombardo and Dana Cimilluca reported this week at The Wall Street Journal Online that, “This year was a big one for mergers and acquisitions, but it could have been even better.

“The value of deals announced globally reached $3.8 trillion through Dec. 27, making 2019 the fourth-best year on record for M&A. The combined value of deals fell just 4% short of last year’s total, according to Dealogic, as the appetite for megamergers reached a new high.

“Companies struck 12 deals worth more than $25 billion, twice last year’s total, led by United Technologies Corp.’s $86 billion combination with defense contractor Raytheon Co., which is subject to regulatory approval.”

“The Deals and Deal Makers That Made the Year in M&A,” by Cara Lombardo and Dana Cimilluca. The Wall Street Journal Online (December 30, 2019).

The Journal article indicated that, “The U.S. was the standout region, with total deal value up 12% to $1.8 trillion.

“But those numbers belie weakness under the surface evidenced by a 1.6% decline in the amount of transactions as many companies remained on the sidelines, cowed by uncertainty surrounding the U.K.’s departure from the European Union and the U.S.-China trade confrontation.

“Nowhere was that hesitation on display more than in Europe, where the total deal value sank by 30% as countries including Germany faced economic slowdowns and uncertainty over Brexit gripped the U.K and the rest of the region.”

Looking ahead, the Journal article added that, “With President Trump appearing to make progress on a limited deal with China, and Brexit looking more certain following Boris Johnson’s decisive election victory in the U.K., some of that uncertainty could dissipate in the new year. Together with signs that the U.S. economy is on solid footing, that has put most bankers and lawyers who help arrange tie-ups in an optimistic mood as the year draws to a close.”

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