Mergermarket published its M&A Monthly Insider for May of 2015 earlier this week, summarizing M&A activity around the world, and particularly in the regions of North America, Central and South America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Japan.

To date in North America, there have been 1,516 deals worth US $407.2 billion. April 2015 saw 319 deals signed that were worth US $55.7 billion, which represented a 56.3% decrease in value compared to April 2014.  Domestic M&A dominated North America for April 2015 with US $45.8 billion in deals. Cross-border M&A deals decreased in value compared to April 2014, with inbound M&A dropping 38.1% to US $9.9 billion and outbound M&A dropping 15% to US $14.7 billion.

Specifically in Canada, M&A activity has been slower compared to April 2014. There have been only 46 deals worth US $5.8 billion this April, which was a 33.3% decrease by volume and a 37.7% decrease by value compared to last year. There was a similar decline in the US last month, with 273 deals valued at US $49.9 billion, both of which were lower than the same time period last year.

The real estate sector was especially active in April, with five deals collectively worth over US $10 billion, which was up more than 350% from April 2014. This boom in real estate M&A activity reflected Mergermarket’s positive forecasts for this sector. Mergermarket’s real estate M&A report from last year believed there would be favourable conditions in the market because of recovery in commercial markets, growing confidence in the sector, and increased opportunities for geographic expansion.

In fact, the largest deal announced in April 2015 was a real estate deal, Prologis Inc.’s US $5.9 billion acquisition of KTR Capital Partners through a joint venture that is 45% owned by Norges Bank Investment Management. Two other large real estate deals that have been announced were Brookfield Asset Management Inc.’s acquisition of Associated Estates Realty Corp for US $2.3 billion, and Blackstone’s acquisition of Excel Trust for US $1 billion.

Despite having the largest deal announced in April 2015, the real estate sector did not have the largest market share. The top five North American M&A sectors for April 2015, in order of market share, were business services (19.1% market share), real estate (18.4%), technology, media, and telecommunications (17.5%), industrials and chemicals (10.2%), and energy, mining and utilities (10.1%).

For more information about M&A activity in other regions of the world, please see Mergermarket’s M&A Monthly Insider for May of 2015.

The author would like to thank Bobby Leung, articling student, for his assistance in preparing this legal update.