The M&A market hasn’t returned from holiday break yet.

Mergers and acquisitions are off to the slowest start in five years, with just $23.8 billion in deals announced globally since Jan. 1. That compares with $134.1 billion in transactions in the first week of 2019.

Even without Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.’s $88 billion deal for Celgene Corp. on the third day of last year, 2020’s transactions including investments fall well short of 2019’s opening week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The drop during the first seven days of 2020 follows a busy December in which about $380 billion in deals were announced, an almost 59% jump from the same month the previous year, the data shows. Overall, 2019 closed with a total of $3.6 trillion in deals struck globally, which was only slightly off the pace of the previous year.

This year’s slow start is particularly acute in the U.S., where 297 deals worth a combined $9 billion announced in the past week contrast with 300 pending and completed deals for the same week in 2019 that totaled more than $22 billion, not including the Celgene transaction. That deal was the second biggest of 2019, second only to United Technologies Corp.’s purchase of Raytheon Co. announced in June.


Source: Bloomberg

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