Facebook's $US19 Billion WhatsApp Acquisition Wasn't Even The Biggest Deal This Week

Carl icahnREUTERS/ Chip EastHedge fund titan Carl Icahn

Some people think Facebook’s $US19 billion purchase of WhatsApp is insane.

This morning Henry Blodget explained why he thinks they’re wrong.

What is maybe actually “crazy” is the scale and extent of megadeals we’ve seen so far in 2014.

Via Dealogic, here are some figures to consider:

  • It’s the largest global m&a transaction since … Actavis Plc announced a $US25.3 billion bid for Forest Labs on Feb. 18th — just 24 hours before the WhatsApp deal. Carl Icahn, who owns 11% of Forest Labs, realised $US1.7 billion in gains on the deal.
  • It’s largest global tech m&a deal since Silver Lake announced a $US21 billion acquisition of an 84.7% stake in Dell on Feb. 5, 2013 — just a week and a half before the WhatsApp deal.
  • Global tech m&a volume stands at $US49.3 billion in 2014 year-to-date, up 41% year-over-year $US35.1bn and the highest year-to-date since 2000‘s $US78 billion figure.
  • The U.S. accounts for 78% of global tech sector m&a with 38.6 billion so far in 2014, up from the $US28 billion announced in 2013 year-to-date; that’s also the highest year-to-date level since 2000 at $US59.3 billion.
  • Global m&a volume stands at $US496.8 billion in 2014 year-to-date, the highest year-t0-date volume since 2000 at $US640.4 billion, while U.S. targeted m&a volume stands at $US320.2 billion so far in 2014, a 34% increase for 2013 ytd $US238.2 billion.
  • Global deal volumes worth $US10 billion or more has reached $US214.3 billion in 2014 year-to-date, up from $US166.3 billion announced in the same 2013 period, and almost half the $US512 bn announced in full year 2013.

So yeah, it’s a big sum. But perhaps it’s more a sign that the 2014 deal pipeline has only just begun to flow.

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