The $130 billion pact to give Verizon Communications full ownership of Verizon Wireless shook up the M&A world this week. Here are the 10 largest global mergers and acquisitions to ever transpire, based on data from Dealogic.
The largest-ever deal still belongs to Vodafone AirTouch, which in 1999 announced a deal to buy Mannesmann, a German telephone and Internet company, for $172 billion including debt.
The pending deal to make Verizon Communications the sole owner of Verizon Wireless is valued at $130 billion, making it the largest U.S. deal in history. Vodafone, the U.K.-based wireless carrier, is turning its attention to cable television and broadband Internet services. In June, Vodafone agreed to pay $10 billion for Germany’s largest cable operator, Kabel Deutschland.
Verizon Wireless would surpass AOL’s doomed $112 billion takeover of Time Warner. That deal, announced in January 2000, is widely considered to be one of the worst transactions ever made. The companies officially split in late 2009.
In 1999, Pfizer unveiled a deal to buy fellow pharmaceutical company Warner-Lambert for $111.8 billion. The company was founded by William Warner, who invented the tablet-coating process. His company got its name from the 1955 merger with Listerine maker Lambert Pharmacal.
Announced in January 2009, Philip Morris was spun off from Altria in a $111.3 billion transaction. Altria retained ownership of Philip Morris tobacco brands in the U.S.
AT&T scored a $101.9 billion deal in 2006 to acquire BellSouth, which was the third-largest local phone company at the time. As part of the deal, AT&T took full control of Cingular Wireless, which was a joint venture between AT&T and BellSouth.
RBS, Banco Santander and Fortis Bank agreed in 2007 to take over Dutch bank ABN Amro in a $95.6 billion transaction. ABN Amro was subsequently broken up. Belgian bank Fortis acquired the bank’s Dutch business but collapsed in 2009, and the Dutch government took control of ABN and Fortis Bank Netherland. RBS and Spain’s Banco Santander had acquired other units of ABN.
Exxon paid $85.6 billion to merge with Mobil, creating what is now the largest publicly traded oil company, ExxonMobil. The deal was announced in 1998.
In 2000, Glaxo Wellcome said it planned to acquire SmithKline Beecham for $79.6 billion. The deal merged the two companies to form GlaxoSmithKline, a U.K.-based pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare company.
SBC Communications, formerly Southwestern Bell, purchased Ameritech for $76.2 billion in a deal announced in May 1998. Ameritech was a holding company that included several regional telephone companies in the Midwest. In 2005, SBC Communications unveiled an agreement to purchase AT&T, changing its name to AT&T in the process.
Verizon Communications’ $130 billion deal to take full control of its wireless joint venture with Vodafone debuts at No. 2 among the largest-ever mergers and acquisition transactions.