Study: Strategic buyers dominate M&A

Private equity firms no longer lead the pack, according to recently released global M&A data from mergermarket.

Strategic buyers have stepped into the void left by the “severe decline in the buyout market”, dominating sales that one year ago would have been led by private equity firms, according to mid-year data from M&A intelligence service mergermarket.

Of the five largest M&A deals announced in the first half of 2008, only one involved private equity firms – and it was an exit. The fourth largest announced deal was the sale of TPG- and Goldman Sachs-backed wireless company Alltel to Verizon Wireless for $28.1 billion (€17.7 billion). The Alltel acquisition was dwarfed in size by the period’s largest deal, the agreed $210.9 billion acquisition of mining company Rio Tinto by natural resources company BHP Billiton.

Deutsche Bank was the top financial advisor to global buyouts in the first half of 2008 by volume, advising on 12 deals totaling $19.8 billion. Deutsche Bank was followed by Merrill Lynch with 10 deals totaling $14.2 billion, and Morgan Stanley with nine deals totaling $12.8 billion.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Financial and KPMG Corporate Financial led the league tables by volume with 23 deals each. PwC’s deals totaled $7.5 billion and KPMG’s totaled $1.7 billion. They were trailed by Deloittes’s 21 deals and Ernst & Young’s 20 deals.