WSJ DealJournal, August 26, 2008:
Takeover activity may be down in the dumps, but acquisitions of minority stakes in companies are on a record pace, with financial industry purchases dominating the category.
Roughly $496 billion has been spent this year buying minority stakes in companies, the highest year-to-date figure recorded by data provider Dealogic, and 30% more than the $381 million of deals struck in the year-earlier period. The financial sector is the most targeted industry, with acquisitions totaling $88.9 billion, followed by mining sector and oil-and-gas companies, at $49.8 billion and $44.4 billion, respectively.
The largest completed acquisition of a minority stake this year is Aluminium Corp. of China and Alcoa’s spending $14.3 billion to buy a 12% stake in miner Rio Tinto. Last month’s $9.1 billion purchase by German ball-bearing concern Schaeffler Group of a stake in tire maker Continental is the most recent large deal.
U.S. companies have been the most targeted, with deals valued at $83.9 billion completed this year, followed by the U.K. at $60 billion and Germany at $37.1 billion.
Goldman Sachs Group tops the rankings for advising on minority acquisitions, with deal credits totaling $49.5 billion, $6 million ahead of second-place Credit Suisse Group.
–Harry Wilson is investment banking editor at Financial News, a Dow Jones publication and a contributor to Deal Journal.