The number of global merger and acquisition (M&A) deals announced in July this year was at 2,922 — the lowest since August 2009, deal tracking firm Dealogic has said.

Total value of global deals announced in July stood at $216 billion, on par with $219 billion in June and was in tune with an average of $212 billion a month so far this year, according to the July M&A review report by Dealogic.

In August 2009, as many as 2,615 transactions were announced, the report said.

The cumulative value of M&A deals globally during the first seven months of 2012 stood at $1.48 trillion, down 16 per cent from the same period last year.

Global merger and acquisition (M&A) deal volume reached $1-trillion mark in May this year taking longer than last year, when it reached the mark a month earlier in April.

According to experts, overall the M&A landscape is witnessing moderation in the deal momentum due to the global economic concerns (mainly around Europe).

A sector-wise analysis showed that oil & gas was the most targeted sector in 2012 so far, as it attracted deals worth $185 billion, up 9 per cent from the comparable period a year ago.

Conoco Phillips’s $20.8 billion spin-off of Phillips66 is the largest oil and gas deal so far this year.

The largest deal announced in July was the acquisition of Canadian oil & gas group Nexen Inc by Chinese oil & gas group CNOOC Ltd for $18.2 billion including debt ($15.1 billion excluding debt).

If the deal completes, it will be the largest cross-border acquisition by a Chinese company on record, the fifth largest foreign takeover of a Canadian company on record and the fourth largest deal this year so far, Dealogic said.

The US targeted M&A decreased by 26 per cent to $477 billion in the first seven months of this year against the same period last year. European M&A slipped 21 per cent to $430 billion and Asia-Pacific (ex-Japan) M&A declined 13 per cent to $346 billion.

Goldman Sachs lead the M&A advisory ranking in the January-July period with $335 billion worth of deals, followed by JPMorgan ($308 billion) and Morgan Stanley ($300 billion), Dealogic said.

(This article was published on August 5, 2012)
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