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Global M&A volume in 2018 saw a healthy increase as compared with 2017, finishing at US$3.52 trillion in deal value (representing a 11.1 per cent increase from 2017), according to Mergermarket. Global volume has continued to remain strong overall in the context of the past decade, exceeding the US$3 trillion barrier for the fifth consecutive year. Global buyout activity reached US$557 billion, its highest total in the past decade, up from US$537 billion in 2017, an increase of 3.7 per cent (Mergermarket). Global cross-border M&A deal activity fell by 6.6 per cent to 6,405 deals in 2018; however, deal valuations increased 6.4 per cent ending the year at US$1.35 trillion, up from US$1.27 trillion in 2017 (Mergermarket). The median EV/EBITDA multiple, for all deal sizes combined, increased in 2018 to 8.3x, up from 7.9x in 2017 (Mergermarket). However, for deal sizes US$250 million and greater, the EV/EBITDA multiple fell slightly to 11.2x, a decrease from the 12.2x multiple seen in 2017 (Mergermarket). In 2018, global private equity buyouts saw a significant increase from 2017 levels, reaching an annual aggregate deal value of US$425 billion, up 20.7 per cent from US$352 billion in 2017 (according to data provided by Mergermarket). The number of mega-deals (deals with a value greater than US$10 billion) increased to 36 in 2018, up from 30 in 2017 (Mergermarket). The number of private equity-backed buyout deals increased in 2018 to 2,853 globally, an approximately 4.1 per cent increase from 2017 (according to data provided by Mergermarket). On the sell side, private equity-backed exits decreased with respect to deal volume in 2018 to 1,705 deals, compared with 1,802 deals in 2017 (according to data provided by Mergermarket). Globally, capital raised by private equity funds totalled approximately US$426 billion, down approximately 25 per cent from 2017 (Preqin).

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