Let’s make a deal!
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.