Following a raft of flashy first quarter M&A news, deal volumes are finally returning to pre-financial-crisis levels, according to a new report.
"The first-quarter of 2014 saw a number of M&A milestones with signs that the volume of large-cap M&A is now reaching pre-financial crisis levels," said analysts at Standard Life Investment, citing Lafarge and Holcim's $50 billion merger and Comcast and Time Warner Cable's $45 billion deal as examples.
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The investment management firm said that February saw global M&A deals worth $251 billion, the most since 2012, while transactions jumped 33 percent on year.
But the best has yet to come, Standard Life said. Deals are expected to accelerate next year on the back of higher confidence in the global economic recovery and easier accessibility to funding.
"M&A currently only represents about 2 percent of the global stock market cap, while in 1990, 2000 and 2008 the level reached 5 to 11 percent. On that basis, a doubling or tripling from current levels is possible –under the right circumstances," it said.