Monthly M&A Insider - Q1 2018

24 April 2018

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The first quarter of 2018 saw global M&A value totaling US$890.6bn, the highest for any Q1 on Mergermarket record. Megadeals such as Cigna's US$67.8bn purchase of pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts helped the quarter’s value surge, with 23 deals valued at US$5bn or more occurring in March alone. While values soared, the opposite can be said about volume. This trend was most evident in cross-border deals, which had a 21.2% year-over-year decline, while domestic deals surged by 53%, signaling concerns about international trade barriers taking their toll on potential transactions.
 
Highlights from the report include:
 
  • There were 3,774 deals in Q1 2018 totaling US$890.6bn, a 19% decrease in volume and an 18% increase in value compared to Q1 2017.
  • North America took pole position as the top destination for M&A by value with 1,281 deals valued at US$435bn.
  • Energy, Mining & Utilities saw 296 deals valued at US$169.3bn, making it the top sector for the quarter despite a 5.3% decrease in value year-over-year and 98 fewer deals.