Contact: Brenon Daly
The first quarter is in the books and it’s hard to read much from it, at least in terms of M&A. While the quarter saw more deals announced than any other quarter since the credit crisis erupted, the aggregate spending on those transactions is lingering about one-third below the recent average. In the just-completed quarter, we recorded 841 acquisitions, with a total bill of $31bn. (We should note that nearly one-third of the M&A spending in the quarter came on a single telecom deal, where an Asian operator spent $9bn on mobile businesses in Africa just two days before the end of the quarter.)
Overall, the numbers point to an inconsistent recovery in the M&A market. On the one hand, many of the big buyers were busier than ever. CA Inc, Google, IBM and Oracle (among others) all announced at least three transactions in the just-completed quarter. But on the other side, we also saw a number of deals that continued the worrisome trends that we thought we might have left behind in 2009, with additional scrap sales and low-multiple divestitures in the first few months of 2010. Look for our full report on first-quarter M&A in tonight’s MIS and TDM sendouts.
Recent quarterly M&A activity
Source: The 451 M&A KnowledgeBase