While 2006 will be remembered as the year of the big deal, it could also be viewed as the year of the big deal that wasn't.
There were a handful of considerable deals on the table that were not executed during the year, including the potential sales of MFS Investment Management and Putnam Investments, both of which were put on the block by their parent companies in September.
While a deal for Putnam reportedly will materialize in early 2007, MFS was pulled off of the table by parent Sun Life Financial Inc., Toronto, in October after an "assessment of strategic alternatives" for the $175 billion money manager.
At the time, it was reported that Sun Life, which was in talks with both Wachovia Corp. and Mellon Financial Corp., could have fetched an estimated $4 billion for MFS.
Putnam's parent, Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc., has reportedly reached an agreement in principal to sell the Boston-based money manager to Power Corp., Toronto, for $3.9 billion.
Aside from MFS and Putnam, executives at Janus Capital Group Inc. also pulled a potential management buyout off of the table, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal at the end of February.
As the value of the Denver-based money manager's stock ticked upward on speculation of a buyout, such a deal reportedly became too pricey for management. At the time, Janus' market value was roughly $4.8 billion.
Combined, these three transactions could have pushed the total deal value for 2006 close to $60 billion, nearly double the previous one-year high of $31.7 billion.