The US M&A market takes center stage
  1. US deal values reached a five-year high in 2014
  2. Deal volumes were up by almost a quarter compared with 2013
  3. Stable economy, record cash balances and backing from shareholders have set the foundations for a rise in M&A
  4. Megadeals are up 51 percent in volume and 67 percent in value
  5. Deals under US$1bn are up 18% in volume and 28% in value
After a long hiatus, US M&A activity sparked back to life in 2014 to record its best performance in five years. Companies announced 4,795 deals worth US$1.4 trillion last year, a 22 percent increase in volume and a 57 percent rise in value on 2013 figures. US dealmaking has finally recovered since the beginning of the downturn in 2009, when there were just 2,771 deals worth US$688 billion. “M&A lawyers have lived through a difficult period since 2008, but in 2014, the M&A market has come roaring back,” says John Reiss, the Global Head of White & Case’s M&A practice. The revival has been underpinned by positive fundamentals. The US economy is expected to show growth of around 3 percent for 2014, the S&P 500 gained 11.24 percent through the year and, in December 2014, unemployment fell to 5.6 percent from 5.8 percent. This compares extremely favorably with both Europe and Asia. For example, the European Commission recently cut the Eurozone growth forecast from 1.2 percent to 0.8 percent, and the unemployment rate stands at 11.5 percent (where it has been since June). Meanwhile, 2014 witnessed China’s slowest growth in nearly a quarter of a century. Deal drivers The M&A renaissance in the United States has taken place against a backdrop of soaring values and record performance in the global M&A market as a whole, with deals totaling US$3.2 trillion. At 16,554 deals, global transaction volume in 2014 was 14 percent higher than in 2013.
HEADLINES
  1. US deal values reached a five-year high in 2014
  2. Deal volumes were up by almost a quarter compared with 2013
  3. Stable economy, record cash balances and backing from shareholders have set the foundations for a rise in M&A
  4. Megadeals are up 51 percent in volume and 67 percent in value
  5. Deals under US$1bn are up 18% in volume and 28% in value