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RPT-GRAPHIC-Tech leads crisis-driven M&A boom with $350 billion deal rush

Tue, 15th Sep 2020 07:31

(Repeats story first published on Monday, no changes to text)

Sept 14 (Reuters) - Global M&A volumes are approaching $2
trillion for 2020, with technology making up almost a fifth of
the total after mammoth deals such as SoftBank's $40 billion
sale of chipmaker Arm.

Dealmaking has stepped up a gear in September, with Nvidia
Corp on Monday announcing the purchase of Arm from
Japan's SoftBank.

Others are coming thick and fast, with Verizon buying
Mexican mobile phones provider Tracfone for $6.25
billion and Gilead Sciences to acquire biotech firm
Immunomedics for $21 billion.

Such waves are characteristic after downturns, but Refinitiv
data shows 2020's $1.97 trillion total of deals announced so far
exceeds $1.26 trillion and $1.6 trillion during the same period
in 2009 and 2010 respectively, after the 2008 financial crisis.

"Coming out of recession, there's usually a bit of catch-up
to do and the cost of capital tends to be cheap," Graham Secker,
chief European equity strategist at Morgan Stanley, said.

Tech firms comprised 17.8% of the total at $351.4 billion,
the highest level since the dotcom boom of 2000, while financial
services were in second place with a deal value of $283.8
billion or 14% of the total, Refinitiv said.

Tech's dominance, the data showed 5,966 deals targeting tech
so far this year out of a total of just over 30,000, reflects
the wider impact the coronavirus crisis has had.

The en masse switch by people stuck at home to
internet-powered platforms for shopping, working, schooling,
medical consultations and communication has sparked speculation
that some of these shifts are permanent.

"Because of the changes that will come on back of this,
companies will be thinking of whether they have the right
business structures. There is a greater risk of a structural
change in consumer behaviour than after previous recessions,"
Secker at Morgan Stanley said.

(Reporting by Sujata Rao; Additional reporting by Rachel
Armstrong; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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