mergers and acquisitions

The number of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) dropped in the first quarter of 2024, but richer valuations resulted in the value of those deals rising, according to LSEG Data & Analytics.

Global M&A activity was up 18% in the first half of 2024 to US$1.5 trillion, despite a 12% decline in the second quarter (on a quarter-over-quarter basis).

So-called mega deals (deals valued at more than US$10 billion) helped drive the increase in global M&A. There were 20 mega deals in the first half of the year, worth a combined US$363.4 billion — an increase of 70% from the same period in 2023, LSEG reported.

The strength in large deals helped power the rise in global deal value, despite lower deal volumes.

Globally, the number of deals in the first half of 2024 was down by 25% to its lowest mark in four years, LSEG noted. In particular, the number of deals valued at under US$500 million was down by 28% — and the total value of those deals declined by 13%.

The tech sector led the way in global dealmaking, with US$264.6 billion in total deal value in the first half of 2024, up 42% from the same period last year.

The energy and power sector also saw deal activity rise by 28%, taking second place, and deals in the financial sector increased by 53% in the first half of the year to US$224.3 billion.

Almost one quarter (24%) of the first half deals involved private equity-backed buyouts, LSEG noted — an increase of 36% from the first half of 2023 to US$369.5 billion.

By geography, more than 50% of the deals over the first half of the year involved a U.S.-based target, as the value of M&A activity targeting a U.S. company was up 39% from the same period last year, LSEG said.

As a result, U.S. deals accounted for 53% of global M&A, up from 45% a year ago.

European M&A was also up 39% in the first half of the year, whereas deals in Asia declined by 24%, LSEG reported.

Goldman Sachs topped the global M&A league tables, up from second place in the first half of 2023.

Morgan Stanley ranked second, pushing last year’s leader, JP Morgan, down to third place. Citi took fourth place and BofA Securities was fifth.

RBC Capital Markets was the top-ranked Canadian dealer, in 12th place, up from 15th in 2023.

TD Securities Inc. was the only other Canadian firm to make the global top 25, ranking 22nd, up from 32nd place last year.