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PwC: M&A Deals Up 60% on Year

Many of the deals in the consumer space continue to be consumer packaged goods firms selling noncore operations.

M&A deal volume and values are up 60 percent and 160 percent, respectively, from a year ago, according to a third-quarter update from professional-services firm PwC.

This story first appeared in the November 13, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

PwC, formerly referred to as PricewaterhouseCoopers, said that for the three-month period ended Sept. 30, there were 32 deals in the retail and consumer sector with values greater than $50 million, which accounted for $19.8 billion in deal value in the period. That compares with 20 deals worth $7.6 billion in the same period last year. In addition there were six megadeals with values of $1 billion or more, representing $13.9 billion, versus three such transactions last year totaling $4.3 billion.

One of the megadeals in the retail apparel space is Clayton, Dubilier & Rice’s cash transaction to acquire a majority stake in David’s Bridal for $1.1 billion from Leonard Green & Partners.

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The greatest number of deals in the quarter, at 52, were those having a transaction value of less than $50 million. Of those having a transaction value of more than $50 million, the greatest number of transactions, at 13, were deals between $50 million and $100 million. A year ago, those less than $50 million numbered 57, but the category with the most deals, at seven, were transactions between $100 million and $250 million.

Leanne Sardiga, partner and PwC’s U.S. retail and consumer leader for transaction services, said, “With improving consumer sentiment, retail and consumer companies continue to use acquisitions as a vehicle for growth and for adapting to new consumer trends.”

Sardiga added that a “strong interest among private-equity investors for retail combined with international and e-commerce-related acquisitions for retail and consumer corporate buyers” are expected to drive the positive outlook for the sector.

She noted that retailers are increasingly eyeing acquisition opportunities to quickly transform their business and expand their e-commerce capabilities.

The PwC report said cross-border activity represented 30 percent of deal volume and 48 percent of deal value for the year-to-date. Of the cross-border deals, outbound activity has been more prevalent, with investment into Europe, followed by Asia and South America.

Many of the deals in the consumer space continue to be consumer packaged goods firms selling noncore operations.

The report was compiled using deal information from Thomson Reuters.