As presented in this Thomson Reuters Mergers & Acquisition Review, worldwide M&A activity was up by 25% compared to the first quarter of 2014. The deal value of $854.2 billion reflected the strongest first quarter since 2007.
While twenty-seven deals were announced during the first quarter of 2015 with a value greater than $5 billion, the number of deals was down by 3% compared to 2014. First quarter 2015 M&A also fell 7% by value and 21% by number of deals compared to the fourth quarter of 2014, which ranked as the strongest three-month period for new deal announcements since the fourth quarter of 2010.
M&A activity for U.S. targets totaled $415.9 billion (based on 2,385 deals) during the first quarter of 2015, reflecting an increase of 33% compared to the first quarter of 2014 and the strongest first quarter for U.S. M&A since 2000. The top three sectors in the U.S. market were: (1) Healthcare, with deal volume totaling $90.7 billion (a 21.8% market share), (2) Consumer Staples, with $61 billion (a 14.7% market share) and (3) Real Estate, with $43.6 billion (a 10.5% market share).
Cross Border M&A activity totaled $267.0 billion during the first quarter of 2015, accounting for 31% of overall M&A volume and a 10% increase compared to the first quarter of 2014. In comparison, cross border M&A accounted for 36% of total M&A activity during the first quarter of 2014.