Data Suggest U.S. To Pick Up M&A Pace

By John S. McClenahen The pace of international merger and acquisition (M&A) activity seems to be picking up, and, says PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), U.S. multinationals are expected to be relatively more active than their European counterparts. During the past two years European businesses have averaged nearly 60% more deals than have U.S. companies, data from a survey of 271 senior U.S. and European executives show. However, during the next two years, 69% of U.S.- headquartered companies and only 60% of their European counterparts expect to complete one or more M&A deals, according to the PwC study. Significantly, Europeans expect 27% of the deals will be divestitures, while apparently more-acquisition-minded U.S. companies anticipate 13% of their deals will be to shed businesses. "Acquirers are seeking value and traction in these times of uncertainty; sellers are looking to better focus their business," says Brian Levy, technology partner with PwC's transaction services practice.

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