Corporate deal-making driven by fast technological change
LONDON: The appetite for mergers and acquisitions remains near a record high as firms try to adapt to fast technological changes and despite a welter of geopolitical concerns, a survey of executives found yesterday. In its half-yearly report of mergers and acquisitions, or M&A, consulting firm EY found that 56 percent of firms are planning a deal within the next 12 months. That’s unchanged from the previous survey in April but way above the survey’s long-run average. The survey shows that the high degree of potential M&A activity runs parallel to rising expectations over the state of the world economy, with all major economies growing in sync. A staggering 99 percent of global executives believe the M&A market will improve or remain stable this year.
Since a lull following the global financial crisis, when firms opted for a safety-first approach, M&A has become increasingly popular, with many companies opting to use their cash reserves to make deals, particularly in the field of financial technology. Among the big deals announced this year are Johnson & Johnson’s $30 billion takeover of Swiss pharmaceutical firm Actelion and United Technologies’ plan to buy Rockwell Collins for about $23 billion.
Other high-profile deals include Amazon’s $14 billion takeover of Whole Foods and Gilead’s $12 billion acquisition of Kite Pharma. —AP
PHILADELPHIA: This March 25, 2014 file photo shows a CVS store and pharmacy in Philadelphia. According to a report, the drugstore chain is in talks to buy Aetna, the nation’s third-largest insurer. —AP