From the Financial Post via the Saskatoon StarPhoenix:
Last year was one of the most active in history for mining M&A. And if the first two months of 2012 are any indication, this year will be the busiest ever.
That is the opinion of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC), which is releasing an in-depth study of 2011 mining deals on Monday. Despite economic turmoil and sinking commodity prices, PwC calculated that a staggering 2,605 mining mergers worth US$149-billion were announced last year. The total deal value was 33% higher than 2010, and just 2% shy of the peak reached in 2006. The total volume of deals was also near a record.
“It was certainly a very significant year from a deals perspective,” John Nyholt, PwC’s Canadian mining deals leader, said in an interview.
But while it was a busy year for M&A, it was also a very choppy one. Mr. Nyholt noted that M&A activity was extremely strong in the first half of the year, but dropped off over the summer as the eurozone crisis intensified. It picked up again at the end of the year, as November and December were very busy months.
That turned out to be a good precursor for 2012, which has already witnessed the single biggest mining deal in history: The proposed US$90-billion tie-up of Glencore International PLC and Xstrata PLC.
PwC said there have been 358 deals worth US$125-billion announced so far this year. While the total deal value is skewed high because of the Glencore-Xstrata transaction, the raw numbers show that M&A remains a crucial theme in mining....MORE