Since the start of April, there have been 423 merger and acquisition deals in the US, with a total net worth of $30.7bn, according to data provider Dealogic. That represents the worst start to a second quarter since 2009, when 341 deals were announced with a total value of $24.5bn over the same period. That brings the number of deals this year to 2,927, amounting to a value of $287.3bn, signalling the slowest start to a year since 2012.
Some analysts argue that the White House’s insistence on deterring tax inversion deals have weighed on M&A activity this year. Indeed, the White House’s efforts to deter tax inversion, in which companies shift their address to more tax friendly jurisdictions, saw Pfizer abandon its $160bn pursuit of botox maker Allergan. Furthermore, the US has stepped up crackdowns based on antitrust regulations, consequently restraining M&A activity. For instance, it recently filed a lawsuit to block a proposed $25bn takeover by oil services group Halliburton of its rival Baker Hughes.