Major stock indices fell in August for the first time since May, in which indices lost in excess of 6%. In August, the S&P 500 declined 1.8%, falling to 2,926.46, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), Nasdaq, and Russell 2000 each declined 1.7%, 2.6%, and 5.1%, respectively. The month was characterized by excess volatility, as each index counted 10 or more days of 1%-or-greater swings.
Acquisition Investment is Lifted to a Two-Year High on the Back of Five Out-sized Deals
According to preliminary data from Pitchbook, there were 752 M&A deals worth a total of $240 billion in July, remaining relatively unchanged from the $237 billion spent on corporate acquisition and leveraged buyout deals in June. Over 60% of the deal value is comprised of the buyouts of five target companies: Worldpay, L3 Technologies, Red Hat, First Data, and Array BioPharma.
Major stock market indices advanced in July, building upon a strong year for market returns. The Nasdaq advanced the most, gaining 2.1% to 8,175.42, while the S&P 500 gained 1.3% to 2,980.38. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Russell 2000 also closed the month in positive territory. Only the Russell 2000 has a negative return through the last twelve months.
M&A Activity Spikes in June on the Back of Mega Deals
In June, there were 643 deals in M&A capital markets worth a combined $270 billion, the highest level since the start of the decade in 2010. However, 45% of that value is attributable to United Technologies’ blockbuster acquisition of defense contractor Raytheon. In fact, the deal is the largest since Time Warner acquired AOL in January 2001.
M&A Activity Picks Up in May Despite Weaker Year than 2018
There were 720 M&A deals valued at a combined $194 billion in May, according to Pitchbook. For the year through the end of the May, there were 3,756 deals for $906 billion capital, roughly 1,140 fewer deals and $506 billion less value for the same period in 2018.
Disney Claims Control of Hulu Ahead of Disney+ Streaming Rollout
Pitchbook data reveals that $9.5 billion was invested across 27 M&A deals in the U.S. last week, 6 fewer deals and $75 billion less capital after outsized M&A activity in the week prior. Two deals – targets Cray and Hulu - were in the billion-dollar range. The Walt-Disney Company acquired full control of Hulu for $5.8 billion, after what once was joint ownership by Disney, 21st Century Fox, Comcast, and Time-Warner.
Maker of Samuel Adams Buys Delaware Craft Brewery
Data from Pitchbook shows that $84.5 billion was invested in 33 deals across American M&A markets last week, 10 more deals and $71.1 billion capital than the week prior. Four of those deals were for over $2.5 billion, including $38-billion and $23.3-billion-dollar deals, both of which were in the energy space. Another deal that caught significant media coverage was that of Boston Beer Co., the brewer of Samuel Adams brand beers, which paid $300 million to acquire Dogfish Head Brewery, a craft beer maker from Milton, Delaware. Dogfish produces over 250,000 barrels of beer annually.
Cannabis M&A Spiked Last Week with Four Deals in the U.S.
Pitchbook data shows M&A activity slowing last week, with $3.6 billion invested across 24 deals, $11.2 billion capital and seven deals fewer than the week prior. Japanese multinational conglomerate Hitachi shelled out $1.43 billion for Michigan-based industrial robotics integrator JR Automation in the week’s largest deal. Deal making in the cannabis space was hot last week, with four U.S. cannabis producers and distributors being acquired.
Waste Management Grows Eastern U.S. Operations by Acquiring Advanced Disposal
Data supplied by Pitchbook reveals that $14.8 billion in capital was deployed across 31 M&A transactions last week, four deals more and $28.8 billion less capital than the elevated levels of the week prior. The largest deal of the week was Waste Management’s $4.9 billion acquisition of Advanced Disposal, which will help expand the nation’s largest waste collector’s East Coast operations. Also, Canopy Growth announced a deal to acquire Acreage Holdings once cannabis is federally legalized in the U.S.
Transportation Space Highlights Last Week’s M&A Activity
Data from Pitchbook shows that $15.2 billion of capital was invested across 29 M&A deals last week, $4.4 billion less capital on two more deals than the previous week. The largest two deals during the week were Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners’ $3.6 billion LBO of Oryx Midstream Partners and the $2.44 billion acquisition of AmeriGas Partners by UGI Utilities. AmeriGas is a publicly traded propane distributor, and Oryx is a natural gas collection group. The transportation space was an active sector, as A&S Kinard and Buckler Transport were acquired by Day & Ross Freight; TFI International acquired Nebraska-based Aulick Leasing and its manufacturing business, ShurAul; and Providence Equity Partners acquired transportation software provider GlobalTranz.