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Mergers & Acquisitions: When will the market get better?

M&A worse than volumes reveal, fees down; 2010 seen to be better if equity markets stay up


Global M&A Advisor Volume Ranking 2009 YTD 

Operating margins of asset management firms (percentage of net revenues)

Source: Dealogic

Is the worst over for the M&A market? After the direst quarter in five years for announced deals, market participants say things seem to be picking up. The value of announced deals in the third quarter globally was $493 billion, down from $552 billion in the second quarter, with 50 fewer deals. Even those figures are optimistic, say M&A bankers. The market has been far more depressed than people think, says one. "Just think how 2009 is down on 2008, and 2008 had the terrible fourth quarter. And then remember that this year M&A league transactions have included deals like the UK government bailing out Lloyds, and Canada bailing out GM. Those deals count for billions in the volumes, skewing the figures to seem more positive than they should be." Advisory revenues have fallen off as 2009 has progressed from $2.1 billion for the top six banks in M&A in the first quarter to just $1.47

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