Telecommunications transactions accounted for four of the five largest mergers and acquisitions announced in 1996, according to Houlihan Lokey's Mergerstat.
In another record-breaking year, 123 communications industry deals accounted for $74.9 billion, or 15% of the overall transaction value of $492.9 billion.
The total is up 37% from 1995's $360.4 billion. The number of mergers and acquisitions is up 67%. In 1996, 5,859 were announced, compared with 3,500 in 1995, but the average size of deals was down to $185.6 million from $202.6 million a year ago.
Still, the number of billion-dollar-plus deals rose 29%, led by British Telecommunication's $21.6 billion bid for MCI Communications Corp., the largest deal announced in 1996. If completed, it would be the second largest in Mergerstat's 30-year history of tracking M&A data, following the $24.6 billion acquisition of RJR Nabisco in 1988.
The second and third largest deals were also in telecommunications: Bell Atlantic Corp.'s $19.5 billion offer for NYNEX Corp. and SBC Communications Inc.'s $16.7 billion bid for Pacific Telesis Group.