Friday, December 21, 2007

U.S. mergers hit new record, but lag Europe

PHILADELPHIA: Merger volume hit a record $1.57 trillion (786 million pounds) in the United States in 2007, according to research firm Thomson Financial, despite a sharp decline in dealmaking at mid-year when credit markets tightened and mergers became more costly to finance.
Globally, mergers totalled a record $4.38 trillion in 2007, up 21 percent from 2006, while U.S. volume rose 5.5 percent to $1.57 trillion, according to preliminary figures released by Thomson late on Wednesday. For the first time in five years, the U.S. lagged dealmaking in Europe, where mergers totalled $1.78 trillion.
The bulk of the U.S. merger volume in the first half of the year was fuelled by easily obtained debt financing that helped private equity firms and other buyers borrow large amounts of money at attractive rates.

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