May 2, 2014 / 3:15 PM / in 4 years

Global mega-takeover deals have best start to year since 2007: data

LONDON (Reuters) - Mergers and acquisitions worth more than $5 billion have quadrupled in number so far this year from a year ago, marking the strongest first four months of the year for so-called megadeals since 2007, data showed on Friday.

Such transactions took place across all industry sectors and in 16 countries around the world, the weekly Thomson Reuters (TRI.TO) data showed, as companies took advantage of factors including cheap borrowing costs and relatively buoyant stock market conditions.

The data showed the number of megadeals rising to 35 in January through April, against nine in the same period of 2013.

In one such deal announced earlier this week, power company Exelon Corp (EXC.N) said it would buy Pepco Holdings POM.N for $6.83 billion, the largest deal in the energy and power sector since 2012, Thomson Reuters said.

Exelon adviser Goldman Sachs (GS.N) remained at the top of the M&A league table, with Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC.N) ranked second and third, respectively.

    The previous dealmaking peak in 2007 was followed by the financial crash of the following two years, from which economies and markets have since been struggling to recover.

    (For more detail on the week's investment banking data please see: here)

    Reporting by Clare Hutchison; Editing by David Holmes

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