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9 April 2019

Global deal volume and value down in Q1 2019

Both the volume and aggregate value of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals announced worldwide declined in Q1 when compared to Q4 2018, as reported in a quarterly M&A report from Bureau van Dijk.

Download the report

Global M and A graph

Largest deals

  • Bristol-Myers Squibb acquired bio-pharmaceuticals maker Celgene for $74 billion
  • Saudi Arabian Oil Company acquired a 70% holding in Riyadh-headquartered fertilizers maker Saudi Basic Industries Corporation for $69.1 billion

Key findings

  • Volume and value decreased from 25,852 deals worth around $1.142 trillion in Q4 2018 to 21,462 deals worth around $1.129 trillion in Q1 2019
  • Volume and value in both Western Europe and Asia-Pacific declined when compared to Q1 2018 and Q4 2018
  • Results were more positive for North America, Central and Eastern Europe—volume and value improved from Q4 2018
M and A countries charts 

Lisa Wright, managing director, M&A products, commented on the global figures:

“The decline in both the volume and value of M&A deals announced in Q1 2019 is undoubtedly disappointing, but there are a few causes for optimism. The fact that both North America and CEE had positive results is encouraging, while the prevalence of large deals in the top ten is also heartening. In fact, the $74 billion Celgene acquisition which topped the table is the 14th-largest announced deal on record, while the $69.1 billion Saudi Basic Industries takeover is currently ranked 20th. This shows there is still an appetite for dealmaking and gives some hope for a recovery in the second quarter of the year.” 


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