Mega deals push M&A to record $5 trillion

Sixty-nine merger and acquisition (M&A) deals worth $10 billion or more this year have helped propel global M&A volume to a record $5.03 trillion, according to data provider Dealogic.

The value of M&A in the fourth quarter so far stands at $1.61 trillion, the highest quarterly value on record and about 32% of this year’s total.

However, the number of deals this quarter — 8,481 — is the lowest quarterly total since the third quarter of 2005.

The total value of M&A this year has been driven by 69 $10 billion-plus M&A deals totaling $1.9 trillion, more than double the $864 billion via 36 deals announced in 2014 and the highest annual value on record.

Transactions valued at $50 billion or more also stand at the highest-ever share of global M&A in 2015 (16%) with a combined total of $798.9 billion via 10 such mega deals.

Healthcare has been the most targeted industry for global M&A so far this year with $723.7 billion, up 66% on the $436.4 billion in 2014 and the highest annual level on record.

Technology follows with a record high of $713.2 billion, and real estate third with $457.8 billion.

Pfizer’s proposed $160 billion merger with Allergan, announced on November 23, is the second largest M&A deal ever announced and the largest healthcare deal ever.

Goldman Sachs leads the global M&A advisor ranking in 2015 so far with $1.8 trillion of deals, followed by Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan with $1.53 trillion and $1.5 trillion respectively.