European M&A activity hit 11-year high in January

LONDON (Reuters) - Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) hit an 11-year high in January, boosted by several huge deals, Thomson Reuters data on Tuesday showed.

EMEA M&A totaled $90.8 billion during the first month of 2017, the highest January total since 2006 after years of lagging record growth in the U.S. market, boosted by Johnson & Johnson's JNJ.N $29.3 billion takeover of Swiss biotech company Actelion ATLN.S and the $25 billion acquisition of Italian eyewear group Luxottica LUX.MI by France's Essilor ESSI.PA.

The figures propelled worldwide M&A to $258.2 billion, up 38 percent from January last year, and the highest total for that month since 2011.

M&A activity in the Americas totaled $109.8 billion during January, up 7 percent from a year earlier, with Asia M&A totaling $57.6 billion, a decline of 12 percent from January 2016.

Cross-border M&A is also at its highest level since 2006, with $106.8 billion worth of deals announced in January, up 31 percent from the same period last year.

Reporting By Anjuli Davies; Editing by Greg Mahlich