A sharp increase in M&A deals with a value of $10bn or more has seen global activity rise to the highest level since official records began in 1980, according to research by Thomson Reuters.
The Thomson Reuters Mergers and Acquisition review full year 2015 reveals a 32% jump in M&A activity across the past 12 months. A total of $4.7tr was raised through global M&A activity in 2015 through 42,300 worldwide deals.
The fourth quarter also broke records for being the third consecutive period in which activity topping $1tr was recorded. Overall £1.6tr was raised through deals in Q4 – again the highest ever recorded.
>See also: UK M&A market hits eight-year high
The main driver for the record year was the unprecedented rise in deals worth $10bn or more. Remarkably they accounted for 41% of the total value recorded – doubling the 2014 value.
The sectors with the highest value of deals were healthcare (raising $672.9bn), energy & power and tech-lead activity.
Cross-border activity raised $1tr across the period – an increase of 27% on 2014 levels. Overall cross-border deals accounted for 37% of the deal value for the year. Particularly high levels of dealmaking were seen in the US ($2.3tr) and Asia Pacific (around $1tr). Those two regions alone accounted for 74% of total global activity.
Further reading: Top 15 M&A deals of 2014