This year, a lot of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) ended up falling apart. However, even though this year was not as strong as the prior year, there were still plenty of high value transactions. There continues to be consolidation among firms in technology, healthcare, life sciences, and communications, but plenty of other industries saw some fairly large deals as well. Here are some of the more noteworthy transactions that occurred:
AT&T and Time Warner, Inc.
Time Warner, Inc. should not be confused with Time Warner Cable, the latter of which was recently acquired by Charter Communications. Time Warner, Inc. is a media and entertainment company, and AT&T primarily engages in telecommunications. However, this acquisition, valued upwards of $85 billion will allow for one mega media and digital platform. It seems that the combined expertise of each company will result in a ton of new online content and innovative ways of delivering it to consumers.
Bayer and Monsanto
A German pharmaceutical and chemical corporation acquiring an American agricultural biotechnology firm for about $66 billion may not seem like the most logical fit at first glance. However, it seems that Bayer is interested in Monsanto’s seeding and crop genes to allow it to dominate high-tech agricultural practices. This will actually be pretty important to ensure that there is adequate global sustenance to support a rapidly growing population and dwindling food supply, so it will likely be an important company to keep an eye on.
Microsoft Corp. and LinkedIn Corp.
This one probably does not come as a surprise to most people. The joining of a market-dominating technology company with the market-dominating professional networking website just makes sense. Apparently, Microsoft is hoping to shake things up a bit and expand its offerings, and given the market dominance that each firm enjoys, this $26 billion deal will no doubt prove lucrative.
Abbott Laboratories and St. Jude Medical, Inc.
Abbott’s decision to buy St. Jude Medical for $25 billion also seems like a no brainer and will likely prove a solid business strategy. Abbott is a global healthcare company that engages in plenty of research and manufactures an array of medical and other health-related products, so it is no wonder that it would want to add the medical devices that St. Jude makes to its repertoire, especially because of St. Jude’s expertise in cardiac procedure equipment. Although, there have been some interesting developments in the midst of the deal closing, with plans to sell some of the business’s assets to a Japanese company. Apparently, this product divestment is meant to please regulators, but it seems unlikely to put a damper on the company value.
Quintiles and IMS Health
This is yet another example of the strength of the healthcare industry, as IMS health is an information and technology company for healthcare and Quintiles focuses on health information technology. Clearly, this makes for a complementary alliance, and will make it the largest pharma services provider. Although the financial aspects of the deal are a bit complicated, the value post-merger is estimated at around $18 billion.
Fortunately, there are high expectations for more robust M&A activity in the coming year, and many of the same, dominant industries will no doubt play an integral role in those transactions.