Monthly figures compiled by Thomson Reuters show that the level of global M&A for January and February fell 17 percent from the equivalent two month period last year.
Worldwide announced M&A volume has so far reached US$294bn, down from US$354bn that had been announced by this time in 2008.
February gave rise to US$139bn of announced deals globally which was 22% lower than in February 2008. Despite the global drop in deal levels, activity in February in the Asia Pacific region saw a slight increase to US$33bn, up from US$30bn in February 2008. That said, overall deal values involving the acquisition of Asian firms were down 31 percent compared to the start of last year.
In February, European targeted M&A hit US$79bn, which was virtually in line with 2008 levels in the same month of US$78bn.
Despite that, the volume of M&A activity targeted on European businesses fell 16% year on year, with deals worth US$111bn announced in January and February this year compared to an equivalent 2008 total of US$132bn.
The figures show that government-backed M&A accounted for 62% of all transactions in February, the highest ever percentage, and was valued at US$86bn, US$34 of which was targeted at the financial sector.
In terms of value, February represented the second highest month for government-backed M&A after October 2008 which witnessed backing valued at US$123bn, US$101 in the financial sector.
The US has been the most actively targeted nation to date this year, having witnessed deals valued at US$97bn. The UK and the Netherlands have played host to the second and third highest deal totals respectively.
Source: Thomson Merger News