August 20, 2010 / 9:37 AM / 8 years ago

BHP, Intel, RSA shatter usual August M&A lull

LONDON (Reuters) - Global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) have hit nearly $200 billion so far in August, $77 billion shy of the record set in 1999 for what is typically one of the quietest months of the year, Thomson Reuters data shows.

The $197.6 billion of deals appears to vindicate analysts and bankers who have spent months predicting an upturn in M&A, as cash-rich corporates regain confidence, the economic backdrop improves, and banks are increasingly ready to lend.

This week has also seen the highest value of announced deals since November — when Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N)(BRKb.N) agreed to buy rail company Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp, in the billionaire investor’s biggest-ever takeover.

This month’s deals include:

BHP Billiton’s (BLT.L)(BHP.AX) $39 billion hostile offer for Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc POT.TO, the world’s largest fertilizer firm.

    Intel Corp’s (INTC.O) $7.7 billion offer to buy antivirus software company McAfee Inc MFE.N, the chipmaker’s biggest-ever deal.

    And RSA Insurance Group PLC’s (RSA.L) 5 billion pound offer to buy rival Aviva’s non-life units, which Aviva has rejected.

    Reporting by Quentin Webb; Editing by Simon Jessop

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