Looking back at the first six months of 2015, the Best Friends Group clearly leads the European M&A league table by volume, acting in 100 deals valued at USD 138.7 bn. The Best Friends Group acted in a number of the most headline-grabbing deals in the year thus far. One notable example was Royal Dutch Shell’s announced USD 81.1 bn acquisition of BG Group. While BG stands to benefit from Shell’s global reach, Shell will gain from BG’s expertise in exploration, liquefaction, and LNG shipping.
Announced cross-border M&A activity had a solid start to the year: in H1 2015, volume dropped 11% year-onyear to 1,279 deals, while value rose 3% to USD 364.4 bn over the same period. Thus far this year, buyers from around the world have looked to make purchases in Europe. The United States, along with Western European countries, are among the most active cross-border buyers. However, farther-flung buyers have also sought out prime European targets. In a US$15.3bn deal, Hong Kong-based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa announced plans to acquire Telefonica’s UK arm. Given that Hutchison Whampoa already owns Three, a rival operator, a combined company stands to have a 40% market share in the UK. Click here to read the Best Friends 'European M&A snapshot'.