Despite a slight increase in fourth quarter deal activity, private equity deals in 2009 fell to a level not seen since 2002. By value, PE deals fell by 43% year-over-year, from $236 billion in 2008 to $134 billion this year. Volume fell as well: Last year buyout firms did 3,951 deals; in 2009 just 2,611 closed.
But (But!), there’s hope. Large deals picked up in the fourth quarter, with deal value jumping from $39 billion in Q3 to $48 billion. (And that’s more than double the total value in Q4 of last year, where just $22 billion worth of deals were completed.) That figure indicates an increase in large deals because volume actually dropped in the fourth quarter, from 702 deals in the third quarter to 677 deals in the fourth quarter.
You can download a spreadsheet with Thomson Reuters deal data, including worldwide M&A, going back to 2002, below.