UPDATE 1-Worldwide M&A activity tops $1 trillion so far this year

Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:12pm EDT
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* Year-to-date worldwide M&A volumes reach $1.1 trillion

* Healthcare, pharmaceutical deals drive activity

* Goldman Sachs tops M&A league table (Adds background, details, quotes from bankers)

By Clare Hutchison and Anjuli Davies

LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) - The value of worldwide mergers and acquisitions announced so far this year has topped $1 trillion, passing that level for only the third time this early in the year since records began in 1980, weekly Thomson Reuters data showed on Friday.

Deal volumes started to recover earlier this year after falling back in 2013 due to a mix of economic uncertainty, regulatory interventions and shareholder activism that made executives cautious about pursuing deals.

By the end of the first quarter of this year, deal activity had risen 54 percent on the same period last year, with deals worth a total of $710 billion announced.

Bankers said confidence appeared to be returning, with some companies are becoming bolder and more aggressive.

"M&A seems to be back," one banker told Reuters.   Continued...