A new year, a new lease of M&A life

2010 saw a rather low key end of the year in terms of newsworthy deal making, but that certainly does not seem to be the case just eight working days into 2011. It seems quite ironic that at a time when bankers’ bonuses  are once again making headlines the rainmakers themselves appear to be focusing more on the job in hand.

The last eight days has seen over $83 bn deals announced, this is the highest figure in the first two weeks of a year since the heady days of 2007. Granted it’s less than half the value announced in the same time period in 2007 but nevertheless it is a significant start to the year and supports the arguments being presented for some time that CEOs of large corporates have cash that they are willing to spend if the right opportunity presents itself.

The deals announced so far this year are pretty geographically and sectorially spread, ranging from Duke Energy Corporation’s $25bn takeover of Progress Energy to China National Bluestar Corporation’s $2bn takeover of Elkem Silicon.

It’s not just the corporate buyers who have started the year with a spring in their step either; there is a $2.3bn IBO in the mix as well. This involves Goldman Sachs and Thomas H Lee Partners investing in Acosta Inc., the North American “sales, marketing and retail activity company”.

So with just under two weeks of the year gone things are looking better deal-wise than they have for a long time.

Filed under: M&A, PE, dealmaking