Mergermarket's 2017 Q1 Global Trend Report shows that global dealmaking so far has remained resilient in the face of an uncertain year, with 3,554 deals worth US$ 678.5bn announced in the first quarter representing an 8.9% increase in value compared to the same period last year (4,326 deals, US$ 622.9bn). Due to ongoing uncertainty regarding upcoming European elections, transactions will be viewed as more precious, with larger sums being invested in fewer deals. This is reflected in the average size of disclosed value deals (US$ 403.m), which reached its highest Q1 level on Mergermarket record (since 2001) due to nine recorded mega-deals (>US$ 10bn), up from eight in Q1 2016.

  • The number of Consumer mega-deals announced reached record heights, with three deals valued over US$ 10bn resulting in the sector deal value (395 deals, US$ 136.1bn) reaching its highest valued Q1 since 2008 (497 deals, US$ 180.2bn).
  • A reversal of fortunes was seen for Chinese dealmakers investing abroad, who after a record-breaking 2016 have had their ambitions thwarted by strict regulation imposed on transactions valued over US$ 2bn.
  • Political uncertainty in Europe appears to have affected activity from international dealmakers pursuing deals in the region. Despite this, US dealmakers had a strong quarter investing into the continent, with 150 deals worth US$ 55.7bn up 16.0% by value compared to Q1 2016.

British American Tobacco Plc's acquisition of Reynolds American Inc was the largest deal of the quarter worth US$ 60.7bn.

Goldman Sachs led the financial advisor league table, having advised on 70 deals worth US$ 194.5bn.

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