Daily News: January 12, 2017

MergerMarket Report: U.S. M&A Activity Tops Out at $1.5T in 2016


MergerMarket released its Global M&A roundup for 2016. Key findings include:

  • 2016 was fraught with geopolitical uncertainty. For U.S. dealmaking, H1 saw increased regulations from the Obama administration, while H2 was dominated by the election of Donald Trump. The latter’s campaign, wildly favored by the populist wave sweeping much of the world, called for deeper scrutiny of deals with foreign buyers. Trump also vowed to block the AT&T/Time Warner ($105 billion) mega-deal once in office. However, U.S. M&A remained undampened, despite everything, finishing the year with $1.5 trillion, its second highest value on Mergermarket record (since 2001).
  • Much of 2016’s U.S. M&A was due to soaring inbound activity, with U.S. companies sold to foreign entities for a record $450.5 billion, a 1.5% increase from 2015’s previous peak of $444 billion. The influx of overseas cash scooping up U.S. businesses, particularly from China, sparked national security concerns and the attention of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS). Inbound deals with Chinese companies reached a peak of $ 63.6 billion, a 5.3x rise over 2015’s $11.9 billion, with CFIUS blocking three transactions worth $6.6 billion announced during 2016. Meanwhile, Canada proved to be the dark horse as the U.S.’s top bidder, paying $110.6 billion – the most it has ever spent in the U.S., 61.5% ($68 billion) of which was for power and utilities assets.

The complete report and league tables are available on the MergerMarket web site.