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Global M&A activity levels in 2016 glided down to lower (but still respectable) levels as compared to 2015, finishing at US$3.2 trillion in deal volume (representing an 18.1 per cent decrease from 2015) (Mergermarket). Despite the decline, M&A activity remained strong overall in 2016, reaching the third highest total deal value since 2007, according to Mergermarket. Global cross-border M&A fared better comparatively and was down only 3 per cent to US$1.39 trillion from US$1.43 trillion in 2015, according to Dealogic. ‘Mega deals’ valued at over US$10 billion, which reached a record high in 2015, dropped approximately 40 per cent for both volume and activity in 2016, according to Dealogic, ending the year at US$938.1 billion across 35 deals. Withdrawn M&A volume was US$837.3 billion (Dealogic), its highest level since 2008, led by Pfizer’s withdrawn US$160 billion bid for Allergan – the largest withdrawn deal on record – and Honeywell International’s US$102.8 billion bid for United Technologies. Global private equity buyouts fared better than overall M&A and increased slightly from 2014 and 2015 levels, reaching an annual aggregate deal value of US$399.4 billion (representing a 2.49 per cent increase from 2015) (Mergermarket). Median private equity deal size was lower in 2016, declining to US$32.4 million from US$36.6 million in 2015 (Pitchbook). The number of private equity deals also edged up in 2016 to 2,795 buyouts globally, an approximately 5.1 per cent increase from 2015 (Mergermarket). On the sell side, private equity-backed exits were mixed in 2016, declining slightly from 2015 levels with respect to both deal value and volume (Mergermarket). Private equity capital fundraising increased in 2016, with total global fundraising values of US$347 billion, as compared to US$329 billion in 2015 (Preqin). 

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