While the number of deals was up in Q4 2016 relative to Q3 2016, Q-o-Q volume was fairly stable throughout the year. After a relatively strong 2015, five out of the last seven quarters experienced deal values below $50 billion. The stabilization of deal value and volumes at lower levels than experienced in prior years suggests that potential acquirers are still waiting to gain greater clarity around certain market factors, such as potential tax reform and changes to the regulatory environment, prior to executing larger, more transformative deals. A total of 101 deals were announced amounting to $34.4 billion in disclosed deal value during Q4 2016. 28 transactions were completed, while 73 are pending. There were 7 transactions worth $1 billion or more during Q4 2016. The transaction with the highest value was worth $5.5 billion.
After a wave of consolidation, and numerous “mega deals” in 2015 and 2016, PLS companies continue to focus on partnerships and alliances in the hopes of gaining the potential financial rewards related to attaining new capabilities, while mitigating risks. Strategic alliances continue to provide opportunities for smaller companies to gain both credibility and an alternative source of financing by partnering with larger, more established industry participants.