A record of 25 deals with a value of $10 billion or more have been announced so far in 2006, up from 15 such deals in the same period of 2005. The top-five targeted industries for acquisitions this year are telecommunications, finance, utility and energy, real estate and healthcare, Dealogic says.
Although Europe and the United States are running neck and neck in overall M&A; activity, the largest single deal so far this year was in the US: AT&T;s $67 billion offer for BellSouth.
We will pass up on a great chance if we dont use consolidation of the European stock exchange landscape to create a counterweight to Wall Street, Weber said. If the NYSE succeeds in acquiring Euronext, it plans to create a single platform where traders could deal in stocks, options, futures, commodities and corporate bonds across the US and Europe for up to 12 hours a day.
Meanwhile, steel company Arcelor on June 12 rejected a revised takeover offer by Mittal Steel, based in the Netherlands, but agreed to hold a special vote that could block its plan to merge with Russias Severstal. Arcelor rejected Mittal Steels $27 billion bid as inadequate but said it would consider an improved offer. As Global Finance went to press, shareholders were to vote on June 28 whether to approve a hostile takeover from Mittal or a plan to merge Arcelor with Severstal, which is playing the role of a white knight favored by Arcelors board.
On June 14 Paris-based AXA agreed to buy insurer Winterthur from Credit Suisse for about $10 billion in cash. In addition, AXA will refinance $1.25 billion of Winterthurs outstanding debt. Winterthur operates in 17 countries and has 13 million clients.
In the US, Charlotte, North Carolina-based Wachovias $25.5 billion acquisition of California-based Golden West Financial was the biggest M&A; deal announced in May. It was followed by a planned leveraged buyout of pipeline operator Kinder Morgan by an investor group advised by Goldman Sachs.
Richard Kinder, chairman and CEO of Kinder Morgan, joined with senior managers and outside investors to buy the company and take it private. Including $8 billion of liabilities, the offer valued the company at about $24 billion, according to Thomson Financial. The acquisition would be structured as a merger between Kinder Morgan and the group of investors that includes Kinder and co-founder Bill Morgan, board members Fayez Sarofim and Mike Morgan, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, AIB Global Asset Management Holdings, the Carlyle Group and Riverstone Holdings.
Source: Thomson Financial Securities Data