Market wisdom has it that most takeovers destroy value in the long-run. But the world’s largest companies seem to have had little time for history lessons in 2014. In all, there were 96 deals worth more than $5bn completed over the past 12 months. Together, their value was around $1.2tn, or 37 per cent of the overall volume of corporate transactions.
In what soon became the best year for dealmaking since the financial crisis — measured on a total volume of $3.34tn — the US led the way, spurred by favourable economic conditions and central bank monetary policy. But Europe and Asia finished the year strongly as well.