US M&A market rebounds in last quarter of 2012

NEW YORK: The US merger and acquisition market saw its best performing year in 2012 by deal value since 2007, according to Mergermarket's year-end League Tables of PR Advisers.

NEW YORK: The US merger and acquisition market saw its best performing year in 2012 by deal value since 2007, according to Mergermarket's year-end League Tables of PR Advisers.

The US M&A market rebounded from the first three quarters of 2012, which resulted in an 18.6% drop compared with the same period of the previous year. In Q4 2012, M&A rose 45.6% from the third quarter in terms of deal value. Overall, the US market saw $825.4 billion in deals in 2012.

Amanda Levin, editor for the Americas at Mergermarket, said the fourth quarter uptick was untypical in a struggling economy, but she attributed the increase to the conclusion of the US presidential election.

“Getting some clarity about who would run the country was very much needed,” she said. “I think this means we are going to have a decent year in 2013 M&A-wise. I'm not going to say that it will be a banner year, but we're slowly creeping back.”

Middle market M&A, or deals worth between $50 million and $1 billion, were largely responsible for keeping the US market afloat, Levin added. The middle market is not as affected by macroeconomic issues, where as large cap M&A (deals worth $1 billion and more) suffered because of the presidential election, Eurozone crisis, and potential fiscal cliff, she explained.

“The middle market is really what kept the health of the overall M&A market going. We will see large cap catch up in the latter half of 2013, once the debt ceiling issue has been resolved, and then I think we'll be back to a robust M&A market,” Levin said.

The energy, mining, and utilities industries saw the most M&A activity last year, with $168.4 billion in deals.

Globally, the M&A market last year was flat compared with 2011, resulting in $2.24 trillion in deals. M&A increased 19.6% during the second half of 2012 compared with the first half.

Sard Verbinnen & Co. topped the rankings for both highest value and highest volume of M&A deals in the US, advising on 123 transactions worth $215.8 billion in 2012. Ranked by deal value, Brunswick Group came in second with 103 deals worth $168.8 billion. Kekst and Company was ranked second by deal volume, advising on 115 transactions worth $117.7 billion.

Globally, Brunswick was ranked first for highest value and volume, providing counsel on 217 deals worth $296.1 billion. Sard Verbinnen advised on the highest value of M&A deals, with 132 deals for $226.7 billion, and FTI Consulting had the highest volume of transactions, or 217 deals worth $124 billion.

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