Global M&A reached $3.7 trillion in 2016, dropping 16%, and the number of deals increased slightly by 1% when compared to last year. While 2016 did not match 2015’s record-levels, activity was still robust. Compared to 2014, activity increased by 5%.

Activity in the fourth quarter reached $1.2 trillion with 13,504 deals announced, a 50% increase in deal value and 18% increase in the number of deals when compared to 3Q 2016. This year, there were a number of interesting deals to note, including the AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner transactionVerizon’s deal with Yahoo, and GE Oil and Gas combining with Baker Hughes.

Click on the infographic for a closer look at M&A in 2016.

M&A Update Year End 2016 - Capstone Infographic

After hitting record-high levels in 2015, global M&A activity dropped significantly in the first half of 2016. It was the slowest first six month period for global mergers and acquisitions in the past two years. The value of deals decreased from $2.03 trillion to $1.65 trillion (19%) while the number of deals decreased from 22,153 to 21,087 (5%). While overall activity declined, deals announced in the second quarter of 2016 increased by 24% when compared to the first quarter. The downturn in value has been attributed to fewer mega deals (deals over $5 billion).

Global middle market M&A (deals under $500 million) remained relatively stable compared to overall activity. Deal value and volume fell by just 6% and 2%, respectively.

Looking to the future, uncertainty hampers M&A activity. Dealmakers cited concerns about “Brexit,” the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union and the upcoming U.S. presidential election in November.

Deals in the News

M&A update 1H 2016 Infographic

M&A activity in the first 9 months of 2015 remained strong reaching $3.2 trillion globally. It was the strongest first 9-month period since 2007 for global mergers and acquisitions.

The trend of large, mega deals continued in the third quarter of 2015.  Global deal value increased by 32% in the first 9 months of 2015 when compared to the same time period in 2014. On the other hand, deal volume remained relatively flat, only increasing by 2.3%. The average deal size was $103 million, a 30% increase from 2014.

In the US, there were $1.5 trillion in the first nine months of 2015, a 46% increase in value when compared to the first 9 months of 2014.  Click on our infographic for more insights on M&A activity in 3Q 2015.

M&A update 3Q 2015


Feature Photo Credit: Mark Dixon via Flickr cc

Global dealmaking remains robust, reaching $2.2 trillion in the first half of 2015, according to Thomson Reuters data. This is an increase of nearly 40% from the first half of 2014 and the most active half since 2007. However, the number of deals only increased slightly, by 3%. The trend of fewer, larger transactions continues: mega deals accounted for 50% of M&A value in the first half. Average deal size increased by 34% when compared to 1H 2014.

M&A is strong due to favorable market conditions: abundant cheap financing, record stock prices, and renewed confidence in the economy. The U.S. market continues to drive global activity. U.S. transactions reached a record $1.02 trillion – the first time activity passed $1 trillion in a half-year period.

Check out our infographic for more:

M&A Update 1H 2015


Global mergers and acquisitions reached $854 billion in the first quarter of 2015, a 25% increase from 2014 values. According to the Financial Times, this is the fastest start M&A has had since 2007.

While deal value increased dramatically in the first three months of 2015, the number of deals decreased slightly. The trend of fewer, larger transactions continues in 2015. Average deal size for Q1 2015 was $93 million, a 28% increase from $73 million in Q1 2014.

Check out our infographic for a snapshot on global mergers and acquisitions in Q1 2015. Click on the image for a closer look.

M&A Update Q1 2015 Infographic

Feature photo credit: rodposse via Flickr cc

March madness is in full swing as basketball fans across the U.S. excitedly (or anxiously) watch the games. Hopefully your bracket has survived this weekend, despite a number of major upsets. As we wait for March Madness to resume this Thursday with the sweet 16, let’s turn our attention to another craze that is sweeping our nation: merger madness!

As of March 15 there were $308.3 billion in announced U.S. transactions, up 8% from the same period in 2014. While an uptick in activity comes as no surprise, this level of dealmaking is impressive. Only twice before has the year in U.S. M&A started off this strong.

M&A in healthcare and technology sectors has surged. Global pharmaceutical and biotechnology M&A has reached a high with nearly $70 billion in announced transactions – double the amount of 2014. Technology M&A also reached a 15-year high at $52.6 billion, a 4% increase from 2014 values.

Key drivers for robust M&A include improved economic conditions, high stock prices and confidence from executives and dealmakers.

Although dealmaker confidence levels are clearly high, they may actually have decreased from last year. According to a survey, only 54% of dealmakers believe 2015 will surpass the previous year’s M&A activity compared with 78% surveyed in 2014. To be fair, surpassing last year’s $3.5 trillion in announced deals may be difficult.

Either way, we can anticipate continued activity at significant levels. “Our perspective is that M&A is primarily confidence driven. It’s pretty high,” said Greg Weinberger, the Co-head of American M&A at Credit Suisse. More hostile M&A is also anticipated throughout 2015 as executives and shareholders aggressively pursue growth.

Photo Credit: SD Dirk via Flickr cc

Last year was a record-breaking one for M&A. Global deal-making reached a 7-year high with 40,298 transactions amounting to $3.5 trillion.

With cheap debt financing readily available and stock prices rising, more companies pursued M&A in 2014. The improving U.S. economy greatly contributed to robust activity; at $1.53 trillion, the U.S. accounted for 44% of global M&A activity.

Top industries for M&A worldwide included oil and gas ($409 billion), pharmaceuticals ($210 billion), and cable ($187 billion). In the U.S., energy & power ($338 billion) and healthcare ($237 billion) topped the list, followed by media & entertainment ($208 billion) and high technology ($168 billion), according to Reuters data.

As I noted this past November, CEOs and executives are continuously looking for new ways to grow, including mergers and acquisitions. Most importantly, it seems that CEOs and boards are finally on the same page about M&A.

According to Dealbook, “Corporate boards and management teams have come to realize that their ability to expand their companies on their own has become more difficult. A substantial move, like acquiring a major competitor or complementary business, is now seen as necessary to move the needle.”

Given this spirit of internal cooperation, 2015 is setting out to be a year of robust activity as well.

The first few weeks of 2015 already produced some exciting news in M&A.

Coach has acquired luxury shoe retailer Stuart Weitzman for $574 million as part of its strategy to become an “upscale lifestyle brand.”

Facebook has also acquired, a company that makes voice recognition software for wearable devices. Such devices as Apple’s iWatch are the next hot trend in technology as companies like Apple, Google and Facebook compete to connect devices from watches, kitchen appliances and thermostats to the Internet. Watch for more exiting deals in this arena in 2015.

Shire has also agreed to buy NPS Pharmaceuticals for $5.2 billion cash in the first big corporate acquisition of 2015. Last year Shire agreed to sell to AbbVie in deal that would allow U.S.-based AbbVie to reincorporate. However, due to proposed regulatory changes aimed at limiting tax inversions, AbbVie walked away from the deal. This cross-border deal shows the general trend of consolidation in the pharmaceutical industry and that availability of cash due to low interest rates.

Take a look at our infographic for more details on 2014 deal activity. (Click on the image for a closer look.)

Mergers and Acquisitions 2014 Year Review Infographic by Capstone

In the first nine months of 2014, US transactions made up 51% of global mergers and acquisitions indicating confidence in the strength of the US economy.

In Europe, cash-stuffed German companies looked to international markets, especially the US, to drive growth. Recent deals include Siemens acquisition of Dresser Rand for $7.6 billion, Merck of Germany’s acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich for $17 billion and SAP’s acquisition of Concur for $8.3 billion. However, this confidence has not carried over to the fourth quarter. Europe and Asia now face fears of an economic slow-down, according to reports.

Check out our infographic for a snapshot on Global Mergers and Acquisitions in 3Q 2014. Click on the image for a closer look.

M&A Update: 3Q 2014

M&A activity was on the rise in the first six months of 2014. Global M&A increased 73 percent to $1.77  trillion and  Midmarket M&A increased 18 percent to $399.4 billion.

Check out our infographic for a snapshot on Global Mergers and Acquisitions in 1H 2014. Click on the image for a closer look.

1H 2014 Mergers and Acquisitions

Feature Photo Credit: via Flickr cc

The first quarter of 2014 closed on a positive note for M&A with large transactions driving deal confidence. Click on the graphic for a closer look at M&A highlights from Q1 2014.

Mega Deals in q1 2014



Feature Photo Credit: dannymac15_1999 via Compfight cc