Global M&As post worst Q1 results in six years, mergermarket finds

NEW YORK: The first quarter of 2009 was the worst for M&A in six years in terms of both value and volume, according to the latest mergermarket M&A League Tables of PR Advisers. It found 1,691 announced deals were valued at $409 billion globally.

NEW YORK: The first quarter of 2009 was the worst for M&A in six years in terms of both value and volume, according to the mergermarket M&A League Tables of PR Advisers. It found 1,691 announced deals were valued at $409 billion globally. That compares to Q1 2003, which tallied about 1,500 deals valued at $232 billion. Q1 2009 was also the worst quarter by value since Q3 2004, which totaled $343 billion.

The healthcare sector produced the top three deals - both globally and in North America - valued at $154.3 billion combined. In North America, life sciences and healthcare made up more than 70% of the M&A deals. The energy and financial services areas were also active.

Among the top 10 announced deals for the quarter are Pfizer's acquisition of Wyeth (the largest, handled by Brunswick Group and Sard Verbinnen & Company respectively), Roche Holdings' acquisition of a larger stake in Genentech (handled by Brunswick and Kekst & Company, respectively), and Suncor Energy's acquisition of Petro-Canada, which is being executed without PR representation, according to the table.

“Given the gloom in terms of how the stock market has behaved, and the type of constraints in the debt financing market, it's interesting that there are some big pharma deals,” says Soma Biswas, senior reporter for mergermarket. “Financial services deals are driven by restructuring and distress situations, which are likely to continue, but are not the normal M&A drivers.”

PR firms that came out in the top 10 “have largely stayed in place,” Biswas continued.

Brunswick was on top in terms of global value and volume, aided by its work with the healthcare sector. The firm had 27 deals valued at about $1.37 billion. Rounding out the top three for global value were Sard Verbinnen and Kekst; for volume, FD and Kekst.

Brunswick, Kekst, and Sard Verbinnen were also the top three for North American M&A deals for both value and volume.

“What you're seeing is that deal activity is driven by a few really bid deals,” she said. “It depends on who has relationships with those companies.”

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