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Australian M&A at highest levels since 2015

Australian M&A at highest levels since 2015

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New data from Thomson Reuters shows that Australian-announced mergers and acquisitions have increased 45 per cent in the year to date, marking the highest levels of such legal activity since 2015.

In its First Half 2018 Preliminary Review of Mergers & Acquisitions, Thomson Reuters wrote that, overall, Australian-announced M&A has reached US$64 billion so far this year, which equates to a three-year high as deal value has increased 45.1 per cent compared to the first half of 2017.

Activity in 2018 has been even stronger lately, with deal-making activity up 130.6 per cent in the second quarter of the year compared to the first quarter, totaling US$44.6 billion, and up 52.7 per cent compared to this time last year.

The average M&A deal size for those with disclosed values has grown to US$133.6 million, compared to US$81.4 million in the first half of 2017.

Total cross-border M&A doubled in value, Thomson Reuters continued, amounting to US$44.8 million compared to this time last year, which has been “driven by a record period for Australian inbound M&A activity”.

However, outbound M&A is 2 per cent lower in value from the first half of 2017, and domestic M&A activity has also fallen, standing 11.7 per cent lower from a year ago, which is its lowest first half year period since 2013.

Completed M&A transactions involving Australia totaled US$52 billion, which is a 37.8 per cent increase from the first half of 2017, and despite a 15.3 per cent decline in the number of completed deals from a year ago.

The energy and power sectors convincingly made up the majority of the deals involving Australia, capturing 35.2 per cent of the market share.

Energy and power deals totaled US$22.5 billion, up 142.7 per cent in deal value from the comparative period last year.

Healthcare sectors also reached record levels, capturing 19.9 per cent of the market, and materials came in third with 12.9 per cent of market share.

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