Global M&A slows in Q1

NEW YORK: Brunswick Group worked on global and US M&A deals worth the highest combined value in the first quarter, while Sard Verbinnen & Co. counseled on the greatest number of US deals by volume, according to Mergermarket's League Tables of PR Advisers.

NEW YORK: Brunswick Group worked on global and US M&A deals worth the highest combined value in the first quarter, while Sard Verbinnen & Co. counseled on the greatest number of US deals by volume, according to Mergermarket's League Tables of PR Advisers.  

Globally and in the US, Brunswick topped the lists for highest deal value, advising on 36 global deals worth $84.6 billion and 16 US deals worth $76.3 billion. The agency counseled Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital in their acquisition of Heinz, Liberty global in its purchase of Virgin Media, and Silver Lake Partners and Michael Dell in their bid for Dell.

FTI Consulting advised on the highest number of M&A transactions globally, with 47 deals worth $16.4 billion. In the US, Sard Verbinnen & Co. ranked first in terms of deal volume, advising on 23 transactions worth $31.4 billion.

Despite a number of mega-mergers early this year, Q1 was the slowest opening quarter for global mergers and acquisitions in ten years, according to Mergermarket's latest League Tables of PR Advisers report.  

In terms of deal value, the total worth of global mergers and acquisitions was down 7.6%, compared with the same period of 2012, to $418 billion in the first quarter.

“Everyone got really excited when mega-deals were happening, but actually there's still a lot more going on that people are concerned about in the wider picture,” said Mergermarket research editor Kirsty Wilson, adding that factors like continuing turmoil in the Eurozone contributed to lower global M&A.

However, the US market is performing better than any other region, Wilson said. The number of US mergers and acquisitions was up 38% to $172.4 billion in the period, compared with Q1 2012. That increase was fueled by mega-deals such as Berkshire Hathaway and private equity firm 3G Capital's proposed $23 billion acquisition of Heinz.

“I was pleasantly surprised by how the US did,” Wilson said. “There is still hope there.”

Along with the US, Africa and the Middle East were the only regions to see a stronger M&A market in the first quarter compared with Q1 2012, Wilson said. Central and Eastern Europe also improved though Europe did not show year-on-year improvement, she added.

“This comes from a lot of people trying to find another place to put their money,” Wilson explained.

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