M&A deal activity slows in first three quarters of 2019

Global dealmaking grinds to the slowest pace in more than two years as fears of an economic slowdown deflate corporate confidence and a $200B tobacco industry merger was scuttled due to shareholder criticism.

So far this year, total M&A activity has fallen 11% to $2.8T, with ~$740B of deals in Q3, according to data provider Refinitiv.

A wave of transactions greater than $10B in size have helped to offset a decline in dealmaking among smaller companies and a slight drop-off in private equity buyouts.

The three months to the end of September was the quietest quarter for announced takeovers since mid-2017.

European dealmaking fell 32% to $556B vs. the same period a year ago. Activity in Asia was also off sharply.

Data from Refinitiv shows M&A fees earned by Citi (NYSE:C), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), UBS (NYSE:UBS), and Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) are all off at least 20% YTD.


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