Report: M&A Deals Surged in 2015

Report: M&A Deals Surged in 2015 NLJ/Diego M. Radzinschi

A year-end report by Dealogic says general counsel most often turned to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. as their global financial adviser on mergers and acquisitions and to Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom as their law firm in a record-setting year that saw the volume of deals break the $5 trillion mark for the first time.

As our sister publication, American Lawyer, reported earlier, it was also a record year for Skadden, which handled more than $1 trillion worth of transactions, or about 20 percent of the market share, according to the report. Ranked second was Cravath, Swaine & Moore, while Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz ended the year in third place, according to data cited by Financial Times.

Skadden’s work included advising E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. on its $65 billion planned merger with Dow Chemical Co., announced Dec. 11, and Pfizer Inc. on its $160 billion tie-up with Allergan, announced Nov. 23.

The Pfizer deal is set to become the second-largest M&A transaction in history, behind Britain’s Vodafone Group’s $172 billion acquisition of Germany’s Mannesman AG in November 1999, the report states.

In 2015, Goldman Sachs led the global M&A financial adviser rankings with $1.76 trillion in deals, about $25 billion ahead of Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

In other findings, the report says:

• Volume was up 37 percent from 2014, marking the third consecutive year of increases.

• Health care was the most targeted industry for global deals, with volume up 66 percent over 2014.

• Europe-targeted volume was up for the first time since 2008.