Hostile M&A climbs to highest percentage since 2007: data

Wed May 28, 2014 2:37pm EDT

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(Reuters) - The proportion of M&A offers so far this year that were unsolicited has climbed to its highest level since the recession, Thomson Reuters data showed on Wednesday, signs of renewed corporate appetite for risk and growth opportunities.

Hostile and unsolicited mergers and acquisitions so far this year has accounted for about 7 percent of announced worldwide dealmaking, the most since 2007, according to Thomson Reuters data. That compared to 1 percent for the same period of 2013.

Including withdrawn deals like Pfizer's $118 billion bid for AstraZeneca, unsolicited deals comprised 18 percent of worldwide M&A, which was the highest percentage in eight years.

A surge in shareholder activism has also contributed to a rise in hostile deals, as investors continue to press for M&A transactions.

Recent hostile deals also include Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc's (VRX.TO) $49 billion offer for Allergan Inc (AGN.N).

(Reporting by Olivia Oran; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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