Monday, July 24, 2006

M&A boom brings more deals, but premiums shrink

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Merger volume set a record in the first half of the year, but dealmakers had become more discriminating shoppers than during other deal booms.

Companies now fetch less in auctions than in the past. The average premium -- the difference between the takeover price and the seller's stock price the day before news of the deal hits -- hovered around 20 percent in the first half of 2006, according to research firm Dealogic.

That's down from 31 percent in the first half of 2000 -- the last M&A peak. In the United States, premiums averaged 24 percent, above the 16 percent for European mergers, Dealogic said.

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