In the month of May 2015, global mergers and acquisition activity was calm as deal value totalled US$348.1bn, which represents an increase of 14% since April 2015 and an increase of 27% over May 2014. However, total deal volume fell 8.5% since April and 30.9% compared to May of the previous year, with a total of 984 deals. Technology, Media and Telecommunications was the most active sector in terms of value and volume of transactions, accounting for 58.5% of the month’s top 10 in terms of overall value. Much of this activity was concentrated in the US, where 8 of the top 10 deals took place.

The North American market was exceptionally active, seeing the highest deal value in Mergermarket history with a total of US$236.6bn for 287 deals. This represents a 46.6% rise over May 2014 and a staggering 304.8% increase since April. Technology, Media and Telecommunications drove much of this growth, accounting for 58.4% of the market share and 3 of the top 10 deals. 264 of the deals took place in the US, while Canada accounted for the remaining 23. However, private equity trended downward, as buyouts decreased by 49.4% over the previous year and by 53% since April.

The European market was also active, experiencing its strongest five month start to a year since 2008, with transaction value topping US$386.6bn. Strong performances in the UK and German markets helped offset sluggish French performance, where deals plummeted by 84.5% from the previous month. This activity was evenly spread out across several sectors, as the top 5 all assumed between 9.3% – 16.2%, led by the Consumer sector.

By comparison, Central & South America and the Middle East & Africa both witnessed poor performance. The former region had only 25 deals for a total of US$5.2bn, while the latter region saw its lowest monthly value since August 2014 with only 20 deals worth US$1.5bn. This amounted to a 29.7% and 78.8% drop compared to the previous May, respectively.

While Japan’s performance over the year so far has lagged behind last year’s over the same time period by 11.1%, May brought a boom in deal volume with 32 transactions for US$6.3bn. Much of this value was concentrated in the Real Estate sector, which accounted for 72.3% of the total despite only 2 deals, while Industrial & Chemicals saw the highest activity with 9 deals, representing 28.1% of the total.

Based on the high valuation of its technology companies on its domestic stock market, China drove growth in the rest of the Asia-Pacific region, with 50.3% of 265 total deals and 54.7% of the total value of US$60.6bn, The Technology sector was the region’s most active, with 49 deals totalling US$9bn. However, the region did see a drop of 38.9% by value compared to the previous May.

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