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Business

Merger transaction volumes hit new record

This year's mergers and acquisitions have seen a record in total value of corporations changing hands, consultancy Dealogic has reported. The biggest Action involved mergers of companies in the same industry.

Companies worldwide logged a record $5.03 trillion (4.6 trillion euros) worth of takeovers in 2015, consultancy Dealogic reported Tuesday, pointing to a 37-percent surge in transaction volumes from the previous year.

That development was boosted by mega-mergers and acquisitions involving takeover sums of over $10 billion each, the report said. In 2015, there were 69 such large-scale corporate marriages, more than twice as many as in 2014.

"The Wall Street Journal" remarked that 2015's mega-takeovers mostly involved companies in the same industry combining.

It concluded that this stood in contrast to the private-equity acquisitions of the last merger boom, with deals being struck that "generally didn't involve rivals in the same sector of business."

Jumbo mergers

The biggest 2015 merger by a wide margin came about

between health care giants Pfizer and Allergan PLC,

with an agreed transaction price of $160 billion.

Watch video 02:30

A merger creates a beer-brewing giant

Only one takeover was more expensive in corporate history when Vodafone swallowed Mannesmann of Germany for $172 billion back in 1999.

The second-biggest acquisition in 2015 came with world beer-brewing leader Anheuser-Busch InBev bidding for rival SABMiller, involving a transaction price of $117.4 billion.

The figures released in Dealogic's report pointed to an overall improvement of the business climate worldwide, following the global financial crisis. In addition, companies' appetite for mergers was heightened by an ultra-loose monetary policy pursued by many central banks. It enabled firms to secure cheap credits.

hg/nz (AFP, IFAX, Dealogic)

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