M&A Fell in Third Quarter as Euro Crisis Simmered

The volume of global mergers and acquisitions nosedived in the third quarter as the debt crisis in the euro zone stymied lending around the world.

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The strongest performance on record for the Asia Pacific region in the first nine months could not stop overall M&A activity shrinking by 19 percent from the third quarter last year to $633.3 billion, the lowest quarterly volume since the second quarter of 2010, according to figures from analytics and consulting firm Dealogic.

Fewer companies listed on stock exchanges globally as fears of a "double dip" recession grew.

The $23 billion raised through initial public offerings in the third quarter was around half the amount raised at the same time in 2010.

Returns from IPOs declined to -4 percent as "macroeconomic headwinds" affected performance, according to figures from Renaissance Capital.

The global IPO pipeline now contains 336 companies hoping to raise a record $180 billion, as companies have held off listing.

Discount deals websiteGroupon is one of the high-profile businesses that has put off flotation until a later date.

Despite the fall in the third quarter, M&A volumes for the first nine months of 2011 still were up by 9 percent from the same time in 2010, to $2.18 trillion, as increased confidence in the first six months of 2011 helped boost deals.

As the price of oil soared, the number of oil and gas deals done also rose, with oil and gas the largest sector for cross-border M&A in the first nine months of 2011.

Express Scripts'$34 billion bid for Medco Health Solutions

was the largest deal announced in the third quarter.

Investment banks' revenues continued to be boosted by M&A, with Goldman Sachs the highest-earning M&A bank in the third quarter with $1.3 billion, followed by JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley .