As they did in 2015, megadeals continued to drive the global M&A market this year. With total value of US$1.30 trillion, transactions above US$5 billion made up 40 percent of total M&A. This is a dip on the record-breaking megadeal total seen in 2015 (US$1.98 trillion) but is higher than any other year since 2008.
And the value figures were not restricted to just one period of 2016. As the year went on, total megadeal values continued to rise. In Q1, there were US$259.3 billion worth of top-end deals; in Q4, this figure rose to US$440.9 billion—an increase of 70 percent.
In terms of volume, 96 transactions valued at more than US$5 billion have been struck. This puts 2016 among the highest volume years ever.
Headline-hitting deals were spread across a number of sectors. US telecommunications giant AT&T’s US$105 billion bid for Time Warner led the way, followed by German pharmaceutical company Bayer’s acquisition of agrochemical company US Monsanto for US$63.4 billion. And these impressive results were achieved despite complicating factors, such as an uncertain regulatory landscape, an unstable political climate, and high valuations.