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M&A cliff: Deal activity falls 21% in 2012

July 2, 2012: 11:10 AM ET

Global deal-making remains sluggish.

FORTUNE -- Global mergers and acquisition activity fell by 21.5% between the first half of 2011 and the first half of 2012, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters (TRI).

The overall 2012 figures were nearly $1.11 trillion for 17,652 deals, of which 42.% were in the Americas. The first half's leading industry was energy and power with 18.1% of total deal volume, followed by materials (13.3%) and financials (10.9%).

Goldman Sachs (GS) led the M&A advisory league tables, with a 25.2% market share, followed by Morgan Stanley (MS) and J.P. Morgan (JPM). J.P. Morgan led the deals involving U.S. targets with a 21.9% market share, followed by Credit Suisse (CS) and Barclays (BCS).

In other first-half data notes:

  •  Private Equity: Global private equity activity experienced a similar decline in the first half of 2012, falling by 20% to $111.29 billion for 2,008 deals. 
  • Venture Capital: Preliminary Thomson Reuters data shows that VCs invested more dollars into U.S. companies in Q2 than in Q1, albeit in fewer companies. That latter part may change as surveys come in over the next couple of weeks.
  • VC exits: 11 VC-backed companies raised $7.7 billion via IPOs last quarter, according to Dow Jones. The vast majority of that, of course, came from Facebook – although last week's pricings for Tesaro and ServiceNow may have helped clear the path for a slew of Q3 offerings. According to research released by Ernst & Young last Wednesday (before Tesaro or ServiceNow priced), there were 132 IPOs (both VC-backed and non-VC-backed) in the pipeline valued at over $24 billion.

    Dow Jones also reports that VC-backed M&A rose slightly in Q2, reversing a six-month slide. Overall, 110 VC-backed companies were sold for a disclosed $13.6 billion last quarter – a 6% increase in deals and a 4% increase in dollars.

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About This Author
Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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