Barclays: 2009 M&A To Be Around $2 Trillion

NEW YORK, Nov 11 (Reuters) – Global mergers and acquisitions volume will be roughly $2 trillion to $2.5 trillion in 2009, mirroring levels seen in 2004 and 2005, Paul Parker, Barclays Capital’s head of global mergers and acquisitions, said on Tuesday.

“The 2004-2005 levels — those are the right trend lines. Those were strong markets. That is where the markets should be,” Parker said at The Deal LLC’s M&A Outlook 2009 Conference.

“Next year it will be difficult to reach this year’s and the prior year’s level (of deal volume),” Parker said.

So far this year, mergers and acquisitions have totaled about $2.7 trillion, down from the record $4.4 trillion in deals seen last year.

Mergers and acquisitions have been slowed by a lack of available credit, volatile equity markets and weak confidence among companies to pursue transactions in the uncertain economy.

“Once you have the boom, then you have the bust and you have a transitional era when you need to clean up the mess and get back to basics,” Parker said.

He said he expected the market to see more hostile and unsolicited deals as companies with access to capital take advantage of the weak stock prices of depressed rivals.

“When you’re at the top of a cycle, you can never imagine it ending,” Parker said. “Now we’re all holding hands, and you think you can never see your way out. But it’s always a cycle, and it just depends on the extent and the severity of it.” (Reporting by Jessica Hall; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)Barclays