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Acquisition of Nielsen Holdings among 3 $10B-plus M&A deals in March

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Acquisition of Nielsen Holdings among 3 $10B-plus M&A deals in March

Brookfield Business Partners LP's and Evergreen Coast Capital Corp.'s planned $15.83 billion acquisition of Nielsen Holdings PLC was one of three global M&A transactions worth more than $10 billion announced in March, capping a first quarter that saw three such deals announced in each of the first three months of 2022.

The two other $10 billion-plus deal announcements in March came on consecutive days: Thoma Bravo LP's $10.45 billion deal to acquire Anaplan Inc., a cloud-based connected planning platform, was announced March 20, and Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s $11.57 billion deal to acquire Alleghany Corp., a reinsurance company, was announced one day later.

The three deals brought total global transaction value on deals valued at $10 billion or more to $170.18 billion for the first quarter across nine transactions, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

Big deals maintain pace

The first quarter matched the tally of nine deals worth more than $10 billion announced in the first quarter of 2021, though that quarter's total transaction value on large deals came in higher, at $175.37 billion.

Both the quarterly total of $10 billion-plus deals and the total global transaction value on such deals have now declined for three straight quarters.

The first quarter of 2022 marked the lowest total global transaction value on deals valued at $10 billion or more since the second quarter of 2020, when only four such deals were announced during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, for a total of $68.58 billion.

Each of the seven completed quarters following the second-quarter 2020 low has now all had at least nine deals worth more than $10 billion and combined deal values of at least $170 billion.

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Sector diversity

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, BofA Securities Inc. and Citigroup Global Markets Inc. were among 10 different financial advisers on Brookfield and Evergreen's acquisition of Nielsen, the largest deal announced so far in 2022 in the research and consulting services industry.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC served as the sole financial adviser on the Berkshire-Alleghany deal the largest deal announced so far in 2022 in the reinsurance industry —while the firm partnered with Qatalyst Partners LP to advise Anaplan on its deal with Thoma Bravo.

The Thoma Bravo-Anaplan deal is the second announced $10 billion-plus deal in 2022 involving a company in the internet software and services industry and the fourth within the technology, media and telecommunications sector. All three $10 billion-plus deals in January were focused on the TMT sector, including Microsoft Corp.'s planned $67.65 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard Inc.

Goldman Sachs has now advised six of the nine $10 billion-plus announced deals in 2022 — including the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deal — which is the most of any investment bank.

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