M&A spikes in record third quarter as boards go on pandemic deal spree

By Pamela Barbaglia and Joshua Franklin

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Mergers and acquisitions came back with a bang in the third quarter as executives rushed to revisit deals left on hold at the height of the coronavirus pandemic and boardrooms regained confidence after a roller-coaster year.

A deal frenzy in September led to a record third quarter with more than $1 trillion worth of transactions around the world, mostly focused on coronavirus-resilient sectors such as technology and healthcare, according to Refinitiv data.

The third-quarter spike, however, failed to take up all the slack after a lacklustre start to the year.

M&A deals overall were down 21% at $2.2 trillion in the first nine months of 2020, with U.S. transactions coming in at $800 billion, a 43% slump from the same period last year.

“The way out of this crisis is through M&A and we have started to have really engaging

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