Global mergers-and-acquisitions volume increased in 2015 to a whopping $4.87 trillion – the biggest year ever for M&A. That figure surpasses what is now the second-highest volume on record since before the 2008 financial crisis, which was $4.61 trillion in 2007, according to data from Dealogic.
Here's a look at the proposed mergers that rounded out the top five deals of the year.
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1. Pfizer and Allergan
Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) looked to take advantage of a lower tax base in Ireland when it announced in November it planned to merge with Allergan. If approved by regulators, the $160 billion deal would lower Pfizer’s tax requirement to 12.5% from 20%in the U.S. and go down as the biggest transaction ever in the health-care space.
2. Anheuser Bush InBev and SABMiller
After weeks of anticipation this fall, Anheuser Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD) said it plans to purchase SABMiller in a deal valued at $117.4 billion dollars. It’s a controversial transaction, though, because it would create a world-dominating brewing behemoth. Together, the two companies sell more than 30% of the world’s beer including names you know like Budweiser, Stella, and Pilsner Urquell.
3. Royal Dutch Shell and BG Group
In April, Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) said it would pay $81.5 billion dollars for UK-based BG Group. The deal would allow Shell to become the biggest player in liquefied natural gas…and result in $3.5 billion in savings during a period of multi-year low oil prices.
4. Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications
Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWX) is going for merger number two after a failed bid from Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) last year. TWC agreed to be bought by Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) for $70.6 billion back in May. The announced bid comes after mixed regulator views on cable mergers…AT&T (NYSE:T) was able to complete its acquisition for DirecTV in July…but Comcast’s earlier-proposed bid for Time Warner Cable fell apart when regulators failed to give the deal their blessing.
5. DuPont and Dow Chemical
The beginning of December saw an announcement from DuPont (NYSE:DD) and Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW.WD), two of America’s biggest chemical companies. The duo said they were joining forces in a $68.6 billion deal. The cash-and-stock tie up would allow the companies to come together, and then break apart into three separate units including agriculture chemicals, plastics, and materials. All this pending regulator approval.