As presented in this Thomson Reuters Mergers & Acquisition Review, worldwide mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity was up by 25 percent compared to the first quarter of 2014. The deal value of $854.2 billion reflected the strongest first quarter since 2007.
While 27 deals were announced during the first quarter of 2015 with a value greater than $5 billion, the number of deals was down by 3 percent compared to 2014. First quarter 2015 M&A also fell 7 percent by value and 21 percent by number of deals compared to the fourth quarter of 2014, which ranked as the strongest three-month period for new deal announcements since the fourth quarter of 2010.
M&A activity for U.S. targets totaled $415.9 billion (based on 2,385 deals) during the first quarter of 2015, reflecting an increase of 33 percent compared to the first quarter of 2014 and the strongest first quarter for U.S. M&A since 2000. The top three sectors in the U.S. market were: (1) health care, with deal volume totaling $90.7 billion (a 21.8 percent market share); (2) consumer staples, with $61 billion (a 14.7 percent market share); and (3) real estate, with $43.6 billion (a 10.5 percent market share).
Cross-border M&A activity totaled $267.0 billion during the first quarter of 2015, accounting for 31 percent of overall M&A volume and a 10 percent increase compared to the first quarter of 2014. In comparison, cross-border M&A accounted for 36 percent of total M&A activity during the first quarter of 2014.