By Dan Primack
February 5, 2011

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.

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