Global deal value in mergers and acquisitions totaled $1.57 trillion for the first half of 2014, with the U.S. leading the way at $694.6 billion.
According to Mergermarket, Europe was second at $453.6 billion, followed by Asia at $286.7 billion to round out the top three major markets.
The global deal value at $1.57 trillion is the highest since 2007, and reflected a 56.3 percent rise from $1.01 trillion for the first half of 2013.
According to Mergermarket, there were 109 more global private equity buyouts in the first half of 2014 compared with the same year-ago period, which boosted values to a postcrisis high of $182.9 billion, or a 9 percent increase, from the first half of 2013.
Among the top deals in the U.S. during the first half was Comcast Corp.’s $68.5 billion planned purchase of Time Warner Cable Inc., and AT&T Inc.’s $65.5 billion announced acquisition of DirectTV.
In the U.S., the first-half deal value at $694.6 billion represented the most active half year for M&A activity since the first half of 2007, which was also up 98.3 percent from the first half of 2013. Deal value in the second quarter at $405.2 billion was up 135.6 percent, or more than double, the year-ago second-quarter deal value at $172 billion.
Mergermarket noted that the average size of European deals jumped 54.9 percent to $520.2 million in the second quarter of 2014 from $335.9 million in the first quarter. Moreover, European bidders are also more active in pursuing foreign targets, with outbound M&A valued at $132.9 billion in the first half, the highest level for any half year since the second half of 2007.
In the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, Mergermarket’s data noted that for the second time since 2001, European firms targeting companies in Asia have registered double-digit values for the last two consecutive quarters. China remains the “most targeted country in Asia with deals valued at $128.1 billion, or up 67.4 percent from the year-ago deal value of $76.5 billion.
In Japan, Mergermarket said “subdued activity” in the first half for M&A resulted in deal values falling to $11.7 billion, or down 50.1 percent compared with the year-ago period. The study noted the reason for the decline was due to “caution among foreign investors.”
M&A deal values in Africa and the Middle East fell to $21.3 billion, for the first half, or 38 percent, from $34.3 billion a year ago.
Emerging markets had a strong first half, with deal value totaling $279.9 billion, or a 23.4 percent jump, from $226.8 billion a year ago.