FRIDAY 24 APR 2009 9:32 AM


Sector has worst quarter for six years

Brunswick Group has topped the global and European table of PR companies advising on mergers and acquisitions in the first quarter of 2009. The company also leads the way in North America. Europe saw a total of 657 M&A deals valued at $108 billion, a drop of two-thirds (64%) by value and over half (58%) by volume from the same period last year. Activity in Europe is down 32% from the final quarter of 2008 with deal value down by 52%.

The shortage of big deals in Europe means the total deal value for the first quarter fell to lows not seen since the second quarter of 2004. Globally, the sector had the worst quarter since 2003. The total number of announced deals in the period was 1,691 with a value of $409 billion. The first quarter of 2003 saw just over 1,500 deals valued at $232 billion. Unsurprisingly, the US was hit just as hard. The number of deals slumped by over 20% from the previous quarter, and by over half when compared to the same quarter in 2008.

There was however better news for the Asia-Pacific region. It saw the greatest number of deals in excess of $600 million so far this year – 22 transactions compared to 18 in the US. The top three deals globally are all from the healthcare sector. They account for a combined value of more than $150 billion.