By  on January 27, 2010

A surge in fourth-quarter mergers and acquisitions helped lift the value of middle-market M&A activity in the retail, apparel, footwear and restaurant industries last year.

A study by investment bank R.W. Baird & Co. said the number of deals valued at less than $1 billion in the sectors declined to 91 last year, down 20.9 percent from the full-year total of 115 in 2008. However, propelled by activity in the range of $100 million to $499 million category during last year’s final quarter, the value of those deals grew 32.5 percent to $9.29 billion from $7.02 billion in 2008.

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