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Deal Volume Plummets in 2008, Will Fall Further in ’09

Paul ParkerThomson Reuters reports that global deal volume dropped by a full one-third in 2008, and is expected to fall further next year.

Total deal volume dropped about 32% to $2.89 trillion, the lowest annual number since 2005. Q4 numbers were even worse, with M&A volume dropping 44% globally over the last three months compared to 2007; US deal volume plummeted 55% in the same period.

The more than 1,100 agreed-upon deals that collapsed in 2008 represent a record. These include BHP Billiton’s attempted takeover of mining rival Rio Tinto, and the failed private equity buyout of Bell Canada.

Private equity-sponsored deals fell by 72% percent to a five-year low.

Hostile takeovers represented the only bright spot, something experts say is typical in down periods when companies that are still strong look to feast on the weak.



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The highlight in this category, of course, was InBev’s $52 billion takeover of Anheuser-Busch, a deal that helped JPMorgan Chase clinch the number one rank among financial advisors in European deals.

Paul Parker of global M&A at Barclays Capital told Reuters he expects deal volume to drop another 30 percent next year, to about $2 trillion.

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