First Half Horror Show

Q2 is officially in the books, and might eventually be optioned out for the next Wes Craven flick. Just a freaking mess, according to the 40-page M&A autopsy produced this morning by Thomson Reuters (download here: 2Q08.pdf).

Private equity was hit particularly hard, with just $152.4 billion in global volume. That’s down nearly fourfold from the $601 billion in the first half of 2007, with the only silver lining being that Q2 was a bit better than Q1 ($774.b vs. $75b).

Private equity also lost a ton of M&A market share. In the second quarter, for example, just one of the 15 largest global M&A deals had a private equity sponsor — $12.8b Pennsylvania Turnpike privatization — and that only came in at number 14. Overall, PE-sponsored deals accounted for just 9% of global M&A in the first half of 2008, compared to 25% in the first half of 2007.

It was even worse when limited to the Americas, where $26 billion in first-half PE deals represented nearly a 92% drop-off from 2007 levels. In Q2, PE deals represented just 3% of total M&A, which was its lowest quarterly percentage in five years.