Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) worldwide in the second quarter of 2015 almost matched the record set in the second quarter of 2007, according to preliminary Thomson Reuters data, as big companies turned to deals to boost their market share.
Low interest rates and stronger confidence among chief executives have led to a steady rise in M&A activity in the last two years to close to pre-2008 financial crisis levels. The second quarter of 2015, however, stands out for the number of mega deals that were clinched or attempted.
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These include Royal Dutch Shell's $70 billion acquisition of British rival BG Group, cable operator Charter Communications's $78.7 billion merger with Time Warner Cable, and chip maker Avago Technologies's $37 billion acquisition of peer Broadcom.
Such large deals drove M&A volumes globally in the second quarter of 2015 up by 34.6 percent year-on-year to $1.33 trillion as of June 26, shy of the record $1.41 trillion seen in the second quarter of 2007.
"Given the consolidation that is going on across numerous sectors, to be a bystander could mean losing ground from a competitive standpoint," said Gary Posternack, global head of mergers and acquisitions at Barclays.