Last week when I reviewed global deal activity in 2016, I commented that it would have been unrealistic to expect another record year to follow 2015.
But I thought it might be interesting to review the first ten working days of 2017 with 2015 and 2016 to see if there are any parallels we can draw at this point.
The first ten days of 2015 and 2016 saw two very high-value deals formally announced.
On 9th January 2015 we saw the announcement by Cheung Kong Property Holdings that it was to spend USD 41bn acquiring property businesses from Cheung Kong (Holdings) and Hutchison Whampoa, while on 11th January 2016, Shire announced that they were to pay USD 32bn to acquire Baxalta. Both deals subsequently completed in June of their respective years.
There hasn't been a mega deal of this scale announced in the first ten days of 2017, but when you look at what has been announced so far and compare it with the same time period in 2015 and 2016, having removed both of those deals from the equation, the year has not got off to a bad start.
Excluding the Cheung Kong deal, the first ten days of 2015 saw USD 43bn worth of announced deals, including five other deals that were worth between USD 1bn and USD 5bn. 2016 (excluding the Shire deal) saw USD 51bn of announced deals, including ten deals between USD 1bn and USD 3.5bn.
2017 so far has seen USD 56bn with nine deals between USD 1bn and USD 9.1bn.
So despite the fact that we haven't seen a mega deal yet, we have seen more USD 1bn-plus deals in the same timeframe, the largest being the USD 9.1bn acquisition of VCA by Mars.
There still remains a great deal of uncertainty around global economies and scenarios to play out, but so far, so good in terms of M&A in the first ten days of 2017.