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Europe M&A activity this year in a strong downward trend.

2012 third quarter M&A transaction value (€80.9bn) is at its lowest in the last three years. Last time it was so low in the third quarter of 2009 (€ 55bn). Compared to the third quarter of 2011, the value of transactions decreased by 31% (€117bn). Very large drop occurred with the second quarter of 2012 (€141.4bn) - nearly 43%. Recession is caused by scepticism of the direction Europe is heading in the crisis.

The energy, mining and utilities sector was the most active in Europe on the whole in the third quarter with deals worth €21.2bn (239 transactions) amounting to 26% of the total market share. When comparing different sectors the biggest risers this year are Transportation and Business Services, respectively +83% and +36%. By contrast, the largest decline is shown in Leisure (-74%) and Financial Services (-64%) sector.

Germany, France and the United Kingdom are the top three countries for deal values in the third quarter amounting to 59% of the total market share. In addition, they are key decision makers on the EU crisis. The top deal of the third quarter happened when Volkswagen AG acquired Porsche AG (50.1%) for €4.46bn.

Source: http://mergermarketgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Monthly-MA-Insider-October-2012-Quarterly-Edition-v2.pdf