M&A activity stormed out of the gate in 2014, and if the first quarter is any indication, the rebound in deals forecast for this year will easily come to pass.
Last year was disappointing for mergers and acquisitions. Indeed, despite having one of the biggest deals of all time — Verizon’s (VZ) $130 billion buyout of Vodafone’s (VOD) Verizon Wireless stake — 2013 was a lackluster year for M&A.
Although the total dollar value of transactions rose in 2013, the year in M&A was marked by the lowest number of announced deals and completed deals since 2005, according to Trefis.
This year, however, M&A should see a rebound as companies — especially private equity — have large war chests and easy, cheap access to capital. That’s a big part of why the first quarter saw so much M&A.
Deals are expected to accelerate through the remainder of 2014, if only because M&A activity tends to spur even more deals. Companies sitting on the outside often feel the need to scramble for their own big plays to remain competitive.
A number of familiar names have made splashes with M&A in the first quarter. Here are 10 of the biggest or best-known deals so far this year, from small to large: