The dollar value of global mergers and acquisitions this year has been epic, as current calculations project a total deal value of $4 trillion dollars, with that number rapidly approaching the $5 trillion dollar mark. The U.S. alone accounts for over half of that activity, and a fair number of the transactions are individually valued in the tens of billions.
Many analysts are expecting this to be a record breaking year. Not surprisingly, healthcare and technology continue to compete for the top spot. For those who haven’t had time to keep track of all the deals that are flying about, or who are trying to figure out where they should plop down an investment, or for those who simply share our nerdy curiosity, here are a few of the biggest and most interesting deals.
The biggest news in the tech industry probably relates to Dell’s purchase of EMC for $67 billion. Everyone surely knows that Dell makes computers and related products, but for those that may not be as familiar with EMC, they provide companies with cloud computing, data storage, and IT security services. This seems like a natural fit, and many anticipate that this acquisition will help Dell with its mission to improve upon and expand its current offerings. Perhaps the more significant takeaway from this particular takeover is the increasing importance of strong data security and cloud computing.
IBM has also engaged in an interesting purchase with its acquisition of the Weather Company. With this purchase, they will have access to the Weather Company’s forecasting data and technology. It will be interesting to see whether IBM begins to use this for matters beyond wind patterns and precipitation expectations, and is yet another reminder of the value of data.
Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals
Healthcare continues to dominate many policy and business discussions. With the rising cost of healthcare and the intricacies of implementing Obamacare, a lot of money is being invested into figuring out how to improve the still fragmented system. Of course, the cost of researching, developing, and getting to market the various prescription drugs that are needed to treat many chronic diseases plays a huge role in these deliberations.
On that note, it is worth mentioning Pfizer’s enormous purchase ($160 billion) of Allergan, which is a Dublin-based pharmaceutical giant. Many speculate that this merger will save the American mammoth quite a bit of money in taxes, which is obviously a good and a bad thing, depending on where you stand.
A couple other humongous deals were struck in the chemical and beverage industries. Specifically, Dow Chemical and DuPont are joining forces to create DowDuPont, and will become the world’s largest chemical company worth approximately $130 billion. The most interesting piece of this particular merger is that they actually intend to split into three separate companies but will use their respective specialities within each one. The three separate divisions will focus on agriculture, materials, and specialty products, with the latter expected to dabble in a range of fields such as biosciences and communications.
Finally, beer connoisseurs may notice a change in the taste or packaging of their favorite beers because Anheuser-Busch InBev acquired its primary competitor, SABMiller, for an astonishing $104 billion. This is fairly significant because there has been so much merging within the beer market that there may not be much room for significant activity in the future, which is obviously something to think about investment-wise.
There were so many big deals this year that we couldn’t possibly list them all here. The good news, of course, is that investor confidence is clearly high and there is an obvious drive to become the biggest and the best.