Let’s make a deal!

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - BUSINESS -

The leaves may be turn­ing or­ange, yel­low and red, but com­pa­nies are see­ing lots of green.

U.S. cor­po­ra­tions were tar­gets in $316 bil­lion-worth of merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions an­nounced in Oc­to­ber, the high­est monthly tally ever, ac­cord­ing to fi­nan­cial-in­for­ma­tion provider Dealogic.

Just over half of that spend­ing came in the fi­nal week, when $177 bil­lion worth of moves were an­nounced. AT&T’s $85.4 bil­lion agree­ment to buy Time Warner, the par­ent com­pany of net­works like HBO, ac­counted for al­most half.

Other deals an­nounced as Oc­to­ber ended were tele­com ser­vices com­pany Cen­tu­ryLink’s pur­chase of com­peti­tor Level 3 Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, and Gen­eral Elec­tric’s plan to com­bine its oil and gas ser­vice busi­ness with that of Baker Hughes.

Merg­ers can be a quick route to growth for com­pa­nies strug­gling to boost sales and profit, but it’s not clear why so many deals are hap­pen­ing now.

Un­less com­pa­nies keep up this fren­zied pace, last year’s record for deal value is prob­a­bly safe. U.S. com­pa­nies were tar­geted in $1.66 tril­lion in deals in 2015, com­pared to about $1.38 tril­lion so far this year.

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