November 20, 2015 / 11:20 AM / 2 years ago

Number of $5 billion-plus takeover deals hits record

LONDON (Reuters) - A bumper North American railroad bid and three other big tie-ups announced this week have taken the number of takeover deals worth $5 billion or more to a record 128 this year, according to Thomson Reuters data.

A Canadian Pacific (CP) Rail worker walks the picket line in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, February 16, 2015. REUTERS/Todd Korol

Pacific Railway’s bid for rival Norfolk Southern Corp. on Tuesday would be the biggest ever Canadian acquisition in the United States, and lifted this year’s Canada-U.S. M&A activity to $104.1 billion, surpassing all other years.

The week’s next biggest M&A deal was a $13.4 billion tie-up between France’s Air Liquide and U.S. peer Airgas.

Those deals pushed worldwide announced takeover deals above $4 trillion this year for only the second time in history, after the record M&A year of 2007, according to Thomson Reuters data.

They also helped take the number of deals worth more than $5 billion above the previous record of 125 from eight years ago.

U.S. banks Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan have all advised on deals worth more than $1 trillion, the data showed.

Reporting by Steve Slater; Editing by Mark Potter

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