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California M&A Declines in Q1

Both deal volume and deal value fell in the first quarter for transactions in California.

Mergers and acquisitions activity in California for the first quarter declined in both value and deal count compared with year-ago figures.

According to data compiled by Mergermarket, first-quarter M&A activity in the state fell 29.6 percent to 119 deals from 169 a year ago. In addition, there was a 45.3 percent drop in deal value to $7.9 billion for the same period versus $14.4 billion in the same quarter in 2012. Deal values have been rounded off by Mergermarket.

Mergermarket’s data indicates that midmarket deals accounted for 69.9 percent of total deal value, with 48 deals worth $5.5 billion.

In the consumer space, there were 12 deals in the first quarter totaling $1.6 billion compared with 12 deals totaling $492 million a year ago. Sycamore Partners’ $534 million purchase of Hot Topic Inc. was the second-largest transaction in the quarter, bested by Allergan Inc.’s acquisition of MAP Pharmaceuticals Inc. at $768 million.

Goldman Sachs was the top financial adviser in the quarter by deal value, with 7 transactions totaling $3.7 billion. Morgan Stanley was first by deal volume, advising on nine deals totaling $2.6 billion.

Lana Vilner, the research team’s head analyst at Mergermarket, said the data compilation was focused on California firms that were being acquired.

While the numbers seem to be improving on the value side, that’s skewed somewhat by the three very large transactions in the quarter, she said.

Vilner said of the results for the quarter, “On the volume side, the numbers are still pretty low. Its the lowest since the third quarter of 2009.”