Global M&A Value for the First Nine Months of 2018 Hits Third-highest Level on Record

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The volume and value of global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) declined in the third quarter of 2018, according to M&A information collected by Bureau van Dijk, a Moody’s Analytics company, and the leading publisher of company information. In all, there were 21,045 deals worth a combined $1,111,124 million announced over the course of the three months. In terms of volume, this represents an 18% decline on the 25,537 deals announced in Q2, while value slipped 25 % from USD 1,476,703 million over the same time frame.

Lisa Wright, Zephyr director

“While the third quarter of 2018 was undoubtedly disappointing and fairly quiet when compared to the preceding three-month periods, it is worth remembering that the year as a whole remains on track to be one of the most valuable on record.

Bureau van Dijk’s research shows that although Q3 has been disappointing in terms of the volume and value of announced M&A deals, 2018 appears to be on track to becoming one of the most valuable years for some time. The USD $4 million-worth of deal making recorded in the first three quarters of the year combined is higher than for the opening nine months of any other year on record, except for 2015 (USD $4.3 million) and 2007 (USD $4.4 million). The largest deal announced in Q3 was worth USD $47 million and featured a UK target as Comcast won the bidding war for broadcaster Sky, fighting off competition from Twenty First Century Fox. This deal alone accounted for 4% of total global value for the three months and was worth a little less than double the second-placed deal – a USD $27 million acquisition of Energy Transfer Partners by Energy Transfer Equity. Three deals broke the USD $20 million-barrier during the quarter under review, but five other deals surpassed USD $10 million and featured targets based in the US, Germany and Russia.
Lisa Wright, director at Bureau van Dijk, commented, “While the third quarter of 2018 was undoubtedly disappointing and fairly quiet when compared to the preceding three-month periods, it is worth remembering that the year remains on track to be one of the most valuable on record. The fact that sizeable deals, such as Comcast’s Sky takeover, continue to be announced is also positive. It will be interesting to see how Q4 develops – will Q3 simply prove to be a minor blip in an otherwise busy year, or is the decline a sign of things to come as we move towards 2019?”
Bureau van Dijk’s data shows that, in line with the overall pattern detected across M&A, the volume and value of global private equity and venture capital (PE and VC) deal making declined in Q3 2018. There were 5,747 such deals worth an aggregate USD $173 million announced during the three months, compared to the USD $257.9 million across 6,479 deals in Q2. The decline was less steep in a year-on-year comparison; in Q3 2017, there were 5,959 deals worth a combined USD $212 million. As with M&A activity, there were sizeable deals announced during the quarter; the top three deals all broke the USD 6,000 million-barrier, while the top ten all surpassed USD $2.5 million.

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Toya Thompson
Bureau van Dijk
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