Top 10 Most Significant M&A Deals Ever Made

Most Significant M&A Deals Ever

Major mergers and acquisitions (M&A) have been a trend in recent years. This article will consider the most significant M&A transactions in its market history. 

The development of the M&A market

The last decade of the twentieth century was marked by an unprecedented surge in mergers and acquisitions in developed and developing countries. In 1999, at its peak, more than 40,000 deals were announced, valued at over $3.4 trillion. M&A deals on this scale led to fundamental changes in many industries, including chemicals, telecommunications, and banking. But many economists, analysts, consultants, and regulators still doubt the wisdom and effectiveness of mergers and acquisitions, that is, that value is created due to mergers.

Companies strive for new heights through consolidation, absorption of competitors, or the purchase of small but promising players. And this worries the market and regulators more and more because just one transaction can permanently change the balance of cards in a particular market and affect ordinary consumers.

Due to numerous mergers, the face of entire industries has changed, particularly the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. In addition, most interestingly, thanks to some mergers, such as the Citibank-Travelers Group, new sectors have emerged.

The top 10 of the world’s largest M&A transactions

The list of the most significant M&A transactions includes the following examples:

  1. Sanofi and Aventis

In 2004, the French Sanofi operated under the name Sanofi-Synthélabo and dreamed of conquering the international pharmaceutical market. It is how the giant Sanofi-Aventis was born for 47.8 billion euros.

  1. HP and Compaq

The decision to take over PC maker Compaq in 2001 is considered one of the many reasons that led to the further division of HP into HP Inc and HP Enterprise. The deal is called one of the most unsuccessful in the history of IT.

  1. Facebook and WhatsApp

Facebook made its most expensive purchase in October 2014, and at the beginning of that year, the messenger was estimated at $16 billion. For comparison, Instagram cost the social network $1 billion, and Oculus $2 billion.

  1. Ring and Amazon

Ring first appeared on the market in 2013 and currently holds the status of the largest company ever to appear on Shark Tank. In February, Amazon became the new owner of Ring. According to various sources, the company acquired a startup for more than $1 billion.

  1. PayPal and iZettle

In May, payment service PayPal bought Swedish fintech startup iZettle for $2.2 billion. This transaction became the largest in the history of PayPal.

  1. Microsoft and LinkedIn

Microsoft’s largest deal took place in 2016. The company integrated a network for establishing business contacts into Office 365 services and released a special application LinkedIn.

  1. Microsoft and GitHub

Microsoft announced that it had reached a deal with the GitHub portal, which is used by more than 28 million small and large developers worldwide. The deal was valued at $7.5 billion. Microsoft, in turn, promised that this platform would remain open to all developers.

  1. SAP and Qualtrics

In November, German business software developer SAP announced the acquisition of Qualtrics. The transaction amounted to $8 billion. Qualtrics will continue to operate as an independent division. The American startup Qualtrics collects customer feedback through surveys to improve companies’ products and also analyzes employee sentiment.

  1. Dell and EMC

In October 2015, Dell announced the purchase of EMC. To date, this deal holds the palm in the technology industry.

  1. Walmart and Flipkart

Online retailer Walmart acquired a 77% stake in Flipkart for $16 billion. Negotiations to acquire Flipkart have been going on for several years.


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