Australian M&A activity has hit US$115.5 billion for 2014 – the highest annual period since 2011, according to Thomson Reuters.
The Thomson Reuters 2014 Mergers & Acquisitions Full Year Review reported a 15.5 per cent increase in M&A activity from 2013.
“Deal activity during the fourth quarter of 2014 picked up and totaled US$30 billion, a 72.2 per cent sequential increase from the third quarter of 2014,” said the report.
However, the fourth quarter 2014 figure was down 32.3 per cent on the fourth quarter of 2013, Thomson Reuters said.
“The average M&A deal size for disclosed deals grew to US$121 million compared to US$97.7 million last year, as deal activity involving Australia this year witnessed at least six deals above US$3 billion compared to only four deals in 2013,” said the report.
Total cross-border transactions grew 56.9 per cent to US$64.3 billion compared with 2013, Thomson Reuters said.
“Outbound M&A increased to US$26.2 billion, up 156.5 per cent compared to 2013 while inbound M&A rose 23.9 per cent to US$38.1 billion from last year,” said the report.
But domestic M&A fell 12 per cent to US$39.3 billion, along with a 7.8 per cent drop in announced deals.
The two biggest deals this year were the 13 April 2014 acquisition of MMG South America Management by Xstrata Peru SA for US$7 billion, and the 23 April 2014 purchase of Queensland Motorways by an investor group for US$6.6 billion.
Goldman Sachs was the biggest beneficiary of the M&A activity, with US$97 million in fees and 15.5 per cent of the market.
Macquarie and UBS rounded out the top three, with US$88 million and US$68 million in fees respectively.