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A&O ranked number one for cross-border M&A

14 January 2015

​2014 proved to be the strongest year for M&A transactions since the financial crisis and we saw the much anticipated return of M&A come to fruition.

Big ticket M&A returned, as the number of announced mega deals (deals valued at over GBP5bn) almost doubled compared with 2013. These complex deals increased the total value of the global M&A market by more than GBP500bn, creating a sense of optimism amongst M&A commentators.

Bloomberg ranked A&O first for cross-border M&A deals at the end of 2014.

Looking ahead, the economic fundamentals of strong CEO confidence, relatively cheap financing and low interest rates should continue as key drivers to support growth in 2015. The prospects for a strong 2015 are dependent on stable markets and continued CEO and shareholder confidence. There is a clear risk that political or economic uncertainty could inhibit deal flow.

A selection of our 2014 M&A highlights can be found below:

  •  Vivendi on the sale of SFR, the second-largest mobile operator in France, to Altice for EUR17bn, and on the sale of its Brazilian subsidiary Global Village Telecom to Telefonica for EUR7.45bn.
  •  Aviva on the GBP5.6bn acquisition of Friends Life, in the largest UK insurance deal in 15 years.
  •  Corio on its EUR7.2bn public takeover by Klépierre to create one of the largest European real estate companies (182 shopping centres in 16 countries with a combined value of EUR21bn).
  • 21st Century Fox on its landmark USD9.3bn sale of Sky Italia and its 57.4% stake in Sky Deutschland to BSkyB, to create a pan-European digital television leader.
  • Imperial Tobacco Group on the approximately GBP4bn agreement to acquire the Winston, Maverick, Kool, and Salem cigarette brands and the blu e-cigarette brand and related businesses from Reynolds American, tripling Imperial’s U.S. market share.
  • TUI on its merger of equals with TUI Travel, which when completed will create the world’s number one integrated leisure tourism business.
  • The owners of Omega Pharma Marc Coucke, Waterland Private Equity and various other co-investorson the EUR3.6bn sale of Omega Pharma, the Belgium-based manufacturer and distributor of healthcare products to Perrigo, a U.S.-listed, Ireland-incorporated pharmaceutical company, in one of the largest deals in Belgium in the last decade.
  • Vale on the sale of 15% of its stake in Vale Moçambique and 50% of its 70% equity stake in the Nacala Logistic Corridor to Mitsui. The deal involved A&O lawyers in 7 jurisdictions.

View the latest M&A Index here.

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