Announced U.S. merger and acquisition activity in the first half of 2017 featured more announced deals than in the first half of 2016 (up 17.3%, from 5,544 to 6,504), but less overall value (down 15.9% from $695 billion to $584 billion), according to Thomson Reuters. Global announced M&A volume was the reverse, falling 4.1% in number of deals but climbing 2.2% in total deal value.

Bottom line: We're seeing an increase in small deals and distressed deals in the U.S., but fewer takeovers of successful companies whose share prices have climbed in the longstanding bull market.

Other data notes from the Thomson Reuters report:

  • The world's largest announced deal so far in the Bennetton family's Atlantia bidding to acquire toll road operator Abertis Infrastructure. The largest U.S. deal is Becton Dickinson offering to buy CR Bard.
  • Goldman Sachs leads advisor league tables for both announced and completed M&A. This is true both globally and in the U.S.
  • Private equity activity is easily outpacing 2016, and becoming an increasing percentage of overall M&A activity. U.S. private equity activity represents over half of all global private equity activity.
  • Brazil had the largest jump in announced M&A volume year-over-year, up 382.6%.
  • Energy and power was the busiest sector for global M&A, followed by real estate, industrials and healthcare.

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