By  on July 28, 2009

Merger and acquisition activity in the retail, apparel, footwear and restaurants sector fell sharply during the first half of the year, putting 2009 on track to be the slowest M&A year of the 21st century so far.

According to a quarterly report by Robert W. Baird & Co.’s investment banking department, the number of disclosed M&A deals in the U.S. for less than $1 billion, considered “middle market,” dropped 37.7 percent to 43 from 69 during the first six months of the year compared with the same period in 2008. Including larger deals and those for which transaction amounts weren’t disclosed, the six-month total fell 52.3 percent to 103 from 216.

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