Keeping score: H1 redux

July 2, 2009

Final, first-half M&A data from Thomson Reuters, released earlier on Thursday, filled out the picture painted by preliminary data last week — deal-making has shrunk dramatically, even as investment bankers find solace in a record flurry of bonds and rights issues.

One interesting wrinkle, compared to the earlier numbers, is the inclusion of Xstrata’s unwanted approach for rival miner Anglo American, valued by the number-crunchers at $42.5 billion. That helped propel Goldman Sachs to the global top spot for M&A advice, and boosted several other banks engaged on the deal.

Some other nuggets:

* Compared to the first half of 2008, announced M&A is down 40.2% to $941 billion, the slowest H1 since 2004.

* Geographically, M&A by dollar value is down 49.2% in the U.S., 42.5% in Europe, 28.4% in Asia-Pacific, and 51.2% in emerging markets. Cross-border M&A totalled $287 billion, down 54.5%.

* Buyouts plunged 78.8% to $32.9 billion , the lowest H1 since 1997. They made up just 3.5% of announced transactions, the lowest percentage since H1 2000.

Among the law firms, who are also having a pretty tough time, Linklaters came top for deal advice, outflanking U.S. rival Skadden, Arps.

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