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Global drop in M&A and IPO activity
December, 09th 2009

THE NUMBER of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and initial public offerings (IPOs) tumbled sharply this year as the global recession took its toll.

International M&A saw its biggest slide since 1995, with an expected 56 per cent drop in 2009, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The OECD said the slump involved, for the most part, the 30 mostly developed economies of the OECD, but it was also notable in economies such as China and Brazil.

This fall is largely due to the 60 per cent decline in value of cross-border M&A by firms based in the OECD area, from over $1 trillion (613bn) in 2008 to $454bn in 2009, it said in a statement, adding that the forecasts were from data up to November 26.

Meanwhile, the number of IPOs for the 11 months to November dropped to 459 from 740 last year.

But a report by Ernst & Young noted that the capital raised globally was slightly higher than last year, up to $94.9bn from $94.6bn.

Only seven companies listed in the UK all on the AIM market in the first 11 months of 2009, compared to 36 in 2008 and 166 in 2007. They raised $600m in capital, compared to $6.6bn last year.

But David Wilkinson, UK IPO partner at Ernst & Young, said: The appetite for flotations on the London Stock Exchange is ready to spring back to life, with a clutch of companies planning to list in the early part of 2010.

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