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Private Equity Nabs Bigger M&A Share

Private equity is such a strong driving force in mergers and acquisition activity that in one year alone it has more than doubled the dollars in deals backed from $352 billion to $715 billion, according to Dealogic.

Private equity is such a strong driving force in mergers and acquisition activity that in one year alone it has more than doubled the dollars in deals backed from $352 billion to $715 billion, according to Dealogic. With that boom, p.e. has also seen its share in worldwide M&A activity surge from 11.8% in 2005 to 18.5% this year. It gets better. In the third quarter, private equity firms accounted for 24% of the $274 billion in deals. M&A global deals set a record in the fourth quarter with $1.2 trillion, slipping ahead of the $1.1 trillion in the first quarter of 2000, when private equity represented only a 3% share of the total. Market observers predict the share and the size of the deals will only get bigger. "Because private equity firms have more firepower than" they can spend, "they can target the bigger end of the market, which means that larger public companies are within their reach," John O’Neill, head of Americas p.e. practice at Ernst & Young told Dow Jones Newswires. The highest-priced deal this year – and in history -- was by a p.e. consortium led by The Blackstone Group, the $36 billion buyout of Equity Office Properties Trust, dwarfing the $15 billion 2005-leading buyout of Hertz Corp.

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