Global M&A sees a stronger start to the year compared to Q1 2009 – deal value up 15%

Global M&A for the year to date stands at US$ 477.7bn, up 15% from Q1 2009. However the start of the year is down 18% from Q1 2008 and 41% from Q1 2007. Q1 2010 is the second strongest quarter in the last five quarters, after Q4 2009.

Largest ever Q1 for Asia-Pacific 
Propelled by the announcement of a number of mega-deals, Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) started the new decade with a boom in M&A activity. Q1 2010 was the largest Q1 for Asia-Pacific on merger market records with a total deal value of US$ 103.3bn, 126% higher than Q1 2009. Deal volume is up 24%.

Europe suffers slowest first quarter since 1998
In the slowest first quarter since 1998, Q1 2010 Europe saw the announce¬ment of 856 M&A deals with a total value of US$ 115.4bn – down 3% from Q1 2009 by value and volume.
However, European private equity buyout activity started on a stronger note with deal values up by 233% compared to Q1 2009, at US$ 15.2bn – account¬ing for 46% of the value of global buyouts so far this year.

US suffers 22% drop in value
US M&A for the year to date stands at US$ 154bn, down 22% from Q1 2009 and down 24% from the previous quarter. With a total of 692 announced deals, deal activity is up 21% compared to Q1 09 but still down 11% on the final three months of last year.

Global private equity buyouts are steady
Buyout activity increased by 10% compared to Q1 2009 with a value of US$ 33.1bn. The largest buyout this year is Bain Capital’s acquisition of the US based Styron division of Dow Chemical, valued at US$ 1.6bn, followed close¬ly by KKR backing the management in the US$ 1.5bn buyout of UK based Pets At Home. Europe makes up 46% of the value of global buyouts so far this year.

48% drop in insolvency deals
Announced insolvency deals globally have dropped 48% in value compared to Q1 2009 and 82% compared to the peak achieved in Q2 2009. Activity by value is the lowest since Q4 2008.

Top deals of the quarter
Global: Prudential’s US$ 35.5bn acquisition of American International Assurance Company in March (also Asia-Pacific’s largest deal of the quarter).
Europe: Novartis exercises option to acquire 52% stake in Alcon for US$ 26.3bn in January.
Americas: America Movil SA de CV’s US$ 19.4bn acquisition of Carso Global Telcom SAB de CV in January.
US: MetLife acquiring American Life Insurance Company from AIG for US$ 15.5bn.