A period of calm after a frenzied end to deal making in 2014

The first few days of January 2015 have seen deal makers taking a bit of a breather after a frantic couple of months, which saw announced global M&A activity reach over USD 3.7 trillion, the highest recorded figure since the heady days of 2007 and reflecting over a 30 per cent increase on 2013 levels. 2014 was the year we saw the high value deals come back, with 31 deals valued at $10bn or greater, which was double that of 2013. Corporate buyers finally released some of their cash stock piles from the last few years and of the 31 deals over USD 10bn all but two of them saw large multinationals acquiring their peers or companies that fitted in with their greater strategic aims.

Private Equity deals also pushed onwards and upwards, recording a total of over USD 443bn, also the highest value of announced deals since 2007, with a significant number of those deals being secondaries as good portfolio companies passed from one private equity owner to another, or in some cases from one to another to another to another!

The only downside of reaching the end of any year, especially one as good as 2014 where the flood of deals that has been threatening to happen for the last couple of years finally happened, is that it sets everyone’s expectations for the incoming year! So now we all have high hopes and expectations for 2015, let’s hope that this first week is just a time where our dealmakers are drawing breath and regrouping!

Filed under: private equity, dealmaking, M&A, PE, 2014