A record-breaking year: 5 biggest business deals of 2015

  • Agencies
  • Updated: Dec 22, 2015 21:47 IST
Companies have reached agreements worth more than $4.7 trillion in 2015, crossing the record figure of 2007. In one of the agreements, Computer-maker Dell Inc struck a deal to buy data storage company EMC Corp for $67 billion, setting a record in the technology industry. (Dell.com)

The year 2015 has broken the record for global corporate deals. Companies have reached agreements worth more than $4.7 trillion, crossing the record figure of 2007. The most recent tie-up between Dow Chemical and DuPont was called the “deal of three centuries” and combined two of the biggest and oldest US chemical producers.

1) Pfizer and Allergan

Pfizer Inc has said it will buy Botox maker Allergan Plc in a deal worth $160 billion to slash its US tax bill, rekindling a fierce political debate over the financial maneuver.

The acquisition, which would create the world’s largest drugmaker and shift Pfizer’s headquarters to Ireland, would also be the biggest-ever instance of a US company re-incorporating overseas to lower its taxes. US President Barack Obama has called such inversion deals unpatriotic and has tried to crack down on the practice.

2) Anheuser-Busch and SABMiller

The world’s top two brewers, Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller, have agreed in principle to one of the biggest mergers in corporate history after a near month-long courtship resulted in SABMiller accepting an offer worth more than $100 billion.

The planned combination would marry AB InBev’s Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona brands with SABMiller’s Peroni, Grolsch and Pilsner Urquell and brew almost a third of the world’s beer, dwarfing other major producers like Heineken and Carlsberg.

3) Royal Dutch Shell and BG Group

Royal Dutch Shell has announced a mega takeover of British rival BG Group worth £47 billion ($95 billion, 64 billion euros).

“The boards of Shell and BG are pleased to announce that they have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended cash and share offer to be made by Shell for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of BG,” said a statement issued by the Anglo-Dutch group.

BG Group, Britain’s third largest energy company, has slashed spending and said in February it would write down the value of its oil and gas assets by almost $9 billion due to the oil price slump.

4) Dell and EMC

Computer-maker Dell Inc struck a deal to buy data storage company EMC Corp for $67 billion, setting a record in the technology industry, as it tries to transform itself into a giant in the fast-growing market for managing and storing corporate data.

The acquisition, the year’s third-largest in all sectors, highlights the frenzy of dealmaking sweeping the economy, as big or mature companies take advantage of low interest rates to buy rivals as a way to spur growth.

The deal should help privately held Dell, the world’s No 3 computer maker, diversify from a stagnant consumer PC market and give it greater scale in the more profitable and faster-growing market for cloud-based data services.

5) DuPont and Dow Chemical

Chemical titans DuPont and Dow Chemical Co have agreed to combine in an all-stock merger valued at $130 billion in a first step toward breaking up into three separate businesses, a move that pleased activist investors and could trigger more consolidation.

The “deal of three centuries,” as Wells Fargo analyst Frank Mitsch dubbed it, combines two of the biggest and oldest US chemical producers and will generate cost and tax savings.

The deal will face intense regulatory scrutiny, analysts said, especially over combining their agricultural businesses, which sell seeds and crop protection chemicals, including insecticides and pesticides.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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