The Year’s Biggest PE Deal So Far Is….

The Blue Whale is considered to be the biggest animal ever.

Some big deals helped pump up transaction values by 25% during the first half of this year.

There were 3,863 U.S. announced mergers this year, valued at $431.4 billion, according to data from Thomson Reuters. This compares to nearly 4,000 last year, totaling about $345 billion.

The biggest U.S. announced deal so far in 2013 is the $27.3 billion takeover of H.J. Heinz by Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital. Coming in second is the sale of Virgin Media to Liberty Global for $21.4 billion, Thomson Reuters says.

Results were similar on the PE side. Deal values increased by 62% while the number of transactions declined. There have been 698 U.S. private equity-backed deals this year, valued at $95 billion. This compares to 819 transactions during the first half of 2012, totaling $58.58 billion.

Here are the top 5 U.S. PE deals for the first half of this year, according to Thomson Reuters (publisher of peHUB).

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

[slide title=”5. New Albertsons”]

Supervalu’s deal to sell five retail grocery chains to an investor group led by Cerberus Capital Management comes in fifth place. Announced in January, Supervalu sold the Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s and Star Market chains and related Osco and Sav-on in-store pharmacies. The transaction, which closed in March, was valued at $3.3 billion, Reuters said.

The investor group includes real estate firms Kimco Realty Corp, Klaff Realty LP, Lubert-Adler Partners and Scottenstein Real Estate Group.

[slide title=”4. Gardner Denver”]
KKR’s $3.74 billion takeover of Gardner Denver, the industrial machinery maker, placed fourth.

Wayne, Pa.-based Gardner makes compressors, pumps and vacuum products for industrial uses. KKR announced the deal in March. The transaction has yet to close, a KKR spokeswoman says.

[slide title=”3. BMC Software”]
Landing in third place is the $6.9 billion sale of BMC Software to Bain Capital and Golden Gate Capital. The deal was announced in May. Elliott Management, which owns 9.6% of BMC, had been pushing for a sale for more than a year, Reuters has reported.

[slide title=”2. Dell”]
The year’s most publicized deal is also the second biggest U.S. private equity transaction. On Feb. 5, Silver Lake Partners and Michael Dell agreed to take the once-dominant PC maker private in a $24.4 billion deal. Michael Dell and his investment firm are ponying up $750 million in cash toward the purchase, while Silver Lake is injecting $1.4 billion.

Michael Dell’s takeover of the company he founded isn’t a sure thing. Carl Icahn is also bidding for Dell and has lined up $5.2 billion in loan commitments. The company’s special committee also advised Michael Dell to boost his $24.4 billion offer if he wants the deal to succeed, Reuters reported Wednesday.

[slide title=”1. Heinz”]
The year’s biggest PE deal so far is Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital’s $23.2 billion takeover of H.J. Heinz, the ketchup and baby food maker. Berkshire unveiled the deal in February and it was completed in June.

Including debt assumption, Heinz valued the transaction, which it called the largest in its industry’s history, at $28 billion. Berkshire and 3G will pay $72.50 per share, a 19 percent premium to the stock’s all-time high, Reuters reported.