The last quarter of 2013 began with the shutdown of the US government as the latest political dance with the debt ceiling provided a backdrop of that very nemesis of deal activity, uncertainty. By November, however, Washington was back in business and deal flow began to pick up. The quarter ended with a respectable, in post-crisis terms, deal value of $44B. While that represented a decrease of 20% over the preceding quarter and of 26% year-over-year, Q4 did see a decent bump in deal volume of 22% from the preceding quarter, on a par with the activity seen in Q4 of 2012.
Top-performing industry sectors in Q4 were utilities, real estate, energy and, grabbing the spotlight, the pharma, biotech and life sciences space. In terms of direction of investment flow, Q4 was one of the most substantial outbound investment quarters of recent years but that was offset by a lack of purely domestic transactions.
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