Forging ahead is a quarterly analysis of global merger and acquisition activity in the metals industry. This edition also includes a special report that takes a closer look at a global economy characterized by instability and its impact on the strategic M&A deal environment. In an effort to strengthen their core businesses and expand their footprint, companies are reconsidering foreign investment strategies. And while emerging markets offer opportunities to grow, they also present commercial risks and challenges. Like a curate's egg, today's economic expectations are a mixed bag of good and bad.
Overall, third quarter 2010 M&A deal activity in the global metals industry continues to improve as measured by both the number and value of announcements. The recovery also continues in the megadeals market with four announcements this quarter, compared with five in all of 2009. We remain optimistic that M&A totals will improve despite the risk of a double-dip, or W-shaped, recovery. Our baseline expectation is that larger deals will become the norm as the environment grows more conducive to financing both through internal sources, in the form of strong cash positions, and external sources, as indicated by improved access to capital markets. Accordingly, we remain optimistic about the metals M&A environment as we enter the final quarter of 2010.