Global M&A hits two-year high

Oct 04, 2010

Dan Primack was a senior editor at Fortune from 2010 to 2016. He was also the author of Term Sheet, Fortune's daily newsletter about deals and dealmakers.

Mergers and acquisitions still aren't near the pre-recession peak, but activity is definitely picking up.

Global M&A rose 21% to $1.75 trillion last quarter, according to new data from Thomson Reuters. That represents the best  quarterly tally since Lehman Brothers went bust, with energy and power deals leading the way (thanks BHP/Potash!).

Approximately 27% of deal activity came from emerging markets, while nearly $150 billion was sponsored by private equity firms (best mark since Q2 2008). For the year, private equity firms are on pace to more than double 2009's deal activity.

Not surprisingly, bank advisory fees also are on the upswing. They increased by 38% over Q2, with nearly half of that came from the Americas. Goldman Sachs currently tops the leaderboard, flipping spots with last year's pacesetter Morgan Stanley.

Thomson Reuters also released equity capital markets data, showing a 9% decrease over the same period in 2009. Fees fell 15%, with JPMorgan leading the pack with $40.6 billion raised via 235 issues. One bright spot, however, was IPO proceeds -- the $146.6 billion raised in the first nine months of 2009 have bested the first nine months of 2008 or 2009.

Finally, debt capital market activity rose 22% over Q2, to hit $1.3 trillion. This includes an all-time record for junk bond issuance.

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