April 1, 2001

Mergers and acquisitions: Lessons from the best

Mihaela Firsirotu | Decision

The wave of mergers and acquisitions rolls on unabated, the latest statistics putting the number of transactions worldwide at some 34,000 in 1999. Canada has been an active participant in this global phenomenon. In 2000, there were close to 1300 transactions, worth some C$234 billion, in which Canadian companies took part. Canadians were involved in numerous transactions abroad. In fact, for the year 1999, Canadian companies acquired foreign companies have been taking over Canadian-owned assets (see figure 1).

The present wave of acquisitions is also significant by the increase in the number of mega-deals (C$1 billion and over). This phenomenon is captured by the average size of transaction, which has steadily crept up over the last 10 years, as shown in figure 2, reaching an average value of C$180 million in 2000.

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