Gonna be a blockbuster? M&A off to best start since 2000 by Dan Primack @FortuneMagazine February 4, 2011, 9:44 PM EDT E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons Source: Thomson Reuters If 2010 was the year in which mergers and acquisitions got back off the mat, 2011 could be the year in which it starts throwing haymakers. Global M&A has totaled $309.6 billion since January 1, according to data from Thomson Reuters. That’s a 69% jump over the same period in 2009, and represents the busiest start since 2000. Approximately 60% of the deal activity comes from the financials, materials and energy & power sectors. Very different than 2000, when media, telecom and healthcare were king. The largest geographic gainer has been the Americas, up 97% year-over-year (including 295% spike for U.S. M&A). European activity was up 90%, Asian activity up 1% and both Africa and the Middle East experienced volume declines (-38% and -29%, respectively). Private equity activity rose 50% over 2010, with $11.8 billion invested into 246 deals.