M&A activity hits three-year low

Jun 28, 2013

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.

FORTUNE -- Global merger and acquisition activity is weaker than at any time since 2009, according to preliminary data released today by Thomson Reuters.

Through this past Tuesday, there had been $978.8 billion of announced M&A activity in 2013 -- representing a 9% decrease from the same period in 2012. Most of that drop came in Q2, where the $470 billion of volume represents an 8% decrease from Q1 2013 and more than a 28% fall from Q2 2012. In fact, this is shaping up to be the slowest quarter since Q3 2009.

Source: Thomson Reuters

U.S. activity fell by 16% in Q2, but actually remains up by 34% for the year. It also represents more than half of 2013 activity, with $437.1 billion so far. European M&A has fallen by 43% so far this year.

Private equity also is a mixed bag -- up 43% for the year but finishing off its slowest quarter since Q3 2010. Not terribly surprising, given  that the year's two largest PE-backed deals --- Heinz and Dell (dell) -- were announced in Q1, and nothing of similar size came during the subsequent quarter.

Source: Thomson Reuters

Energy and power has been the top sector for 2013 global M&A, followed by real estate, financials and healthcare.

Goldman Sachs (gs) is atop the M&A advisor league tables for worldwide, U.S. and European activity, with J.P. Morgan (jpm) coming in second. Third-place for global activity went to Morgan Stanley (ms), while BoA Merrill Lynch (bac) was there for U.S. activity and Deutsche Bank (db) for Europe.

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