Corporate deal value surged to $332 billion last year, up 27 percent from $261 billion in 2016, though still below the peak of $432 billion in 2015, according to a new report from consulting firm Bain & Company.
Three mega-mergers, defined as those worth more than $20 billion, accounted for more than one-third of the total. Still, the number of deals globally increased 16 percent last year from the year before at 3,099.
Shareholders are looking for returns, cash is looking for a home, and debt is still rather cheap, making the overall market favorable for mergers and acquisitions, said Dale Stafford, who leads Bain's mergers and acquisitions practice in the Americas. Specifically in health care, he said, pressure on companies to lower costs is making deals attractive.