a pile of gold to represent the value of buying or selling a business in an M&A transaction

Top 10 Largest Mergers & Acquistions since 2010

This post was co-authored by Evan Janssen, a student at St. Mary’s School of Law, and Ryan Reiffert, San Antonio corporate & transactional attorney.

 

In this article, we will discuss the ten largest mergers or acquisitions worldwide since 2010. From media providers to food products, massive mergers and acquisitions between companies have been much more common this decade. In fact, the past 10 years has already seen five mergers with a deal value over $100 Billion, compared to a total of three with a $100B or greater deal value before 2010.

As a corporate lawyer, it is important to stay up-to-date on what the market looks like and keep informed about what deals the major players are doing.

Needless to say, these blockbuster deals present some interesting stories. Let’s take a look into who these major players are and how they ended up on this list.

10) Charter Communications Acquires Time Warner

Transaction Value: $78.7 B

Closing Date: May 18, 2016

Who is this? Charter Communications is an American telecommunications and mass media company, better known to many consumers as Spectrum. Spectrum is currently the second-largest cable operator in the United States and the fifth largest telephone provider based on residential subscriber line count.

How it Happened:

Charter tried several times over the years to acquire its rival Time Warner Cable (TWC) but failed on numerous occasions. Comcast, a competing telecom and media company, initially beat Charter to the punch and signed[?] a proposed merger with TWC, but that merger fell through due to concerns by the DOJ that the sheer size of the combined company would give Comcast unprecedented control over the United States’ internet and television industries (control over 55% of the nation’s broadband capacity). About a month after the Comcast deal fell through, Charter announced its intent to purchase TWC. The deal faced less scrutiny due to the relatively smaller size of the companies and the acquisition was completed in May of 2016.

Charter currently ranks #70 in the Fortune 500 list of largest United States corporations by total revenue per year ($45.6 B).

Fun Fact: Tom Rutledge, the CEO of Charter Spectrum, is currently the third highest paid CEO in the United States trailing only Tesla’s Elon Musk and Apple’s Tim Cook.

 

9) Cheung Kong Holdings Merges With Hutchinson Whampoa

Transaction Value: $85 B

Closing Date: June 3, 2015

Who is this?: The name Li Ka-shing might be unfamiliar to the average American, but in China, he’s as recognizable as Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and other celebrity-billionaires. The 92 year old Chinese businessman is a major player both in China and globally and currently sits as the 30th richest person in the world with a net worth of $29.4 B. The Cheung Kong group (owner of nearly 50% of Hutchinson Whampoa) was one of the largest developers of office, residential, hotel, and industrial properties in Hong Kong. Li Ka-shing owned Cheung Kong and Hutchinson Whampoa.

How it Happened: Li Ka-shing made a splash in 2015 when he merged two of his own companies, Cheung Kong Holdings and Hutchinson Whampoa, to reorganize and form CK Hutchinson Holdings.

Fun Fact: CK Hutchinson Holdings is known for its five core businesses: retail, infrastructure, energy, telecommunications, and ports/related services. The company operates in over 50 countries currently and brings in annual revenue of nearly $22B

 

8) AT&T Acquires Time Warner

Transaction Value: $85.4 B

Closing Date: June 14, 2018

Who is This?: AT&T is the world’s largest telecommunications company in terms of revenue and market cap, and the largest provider of mobile telephone services.

How it Happened:

AT&T began talks to acquire Time Warner in 2016 – just a year after purchasing DirecTV for $48.5B. AT&T’s competitor Comcast had previously acquired NBCUniversal to increase its media holdings, so AT&T saw the TWC acquisition as a necessary purchase to retain its top position in United States media by market share. The merger was heavily contested by the DOJ under antitrust laws but the U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia ultimately ruled in favor of allowing the merger to proceed.

After the merger, AT&T stands as the world’s largest media and entertainment company by revenue ($181 B annually) and is ranked #9 in the Fortune 500 list of largest United States corporations by total revenue.

Fun Fact: AT&T is the second largest donor to U.S political campaigns and the top American corporate donor, contributing more than $47.7 million since 1990.

 

 7) Linde AG Merges With Praxair

Transaction Value: $86 B

Closing Date: June 2017

Who is This?:. Linde AG was a German company that merged with the American company Praxair, Inc. to form Linde PLC and become the world’s largest gas supplier. The company’s primary business is the manufacturing and distribution of atmospheric gases (oxygen, nitrogen, argon, etc.) and process gases (carbon dioxide, helium, hydrogen, etc.)

How it Happened:

Negotiations began in 2016 but were suspended several times due to disagreements on central governance issues. The deal was finally made in Summer of 2017 with the idea of combining Linde’s engineering & technology with Praxair’s operational excellence. Before the deal, Praxair dominated the Americas while Linde AG was a force in Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia. This deal was generally regarded as a “merger of equals”.

Linde PLC is now the largest industrial gas company by market share and revenue. The company is ranked 444th on the Fortune Global 500 with annual revenue of $28.23 B.

Fun Fact: Linde PLC is a member of the Hydrogen Council, a group of companies involved in hydrogen vehicles. The company expects hydrogen vehicles to compete with electric vehicles such as those produced by Tesla.

 

6) Energy Transfer Equity Merges with its Affiliate, Energy Transfer Partners

Transaction Value: $90 B

Closing Date: October 19, 2018

Who is This?: Energy Transfer is one of America’s largest energy companies. Their core operations include transportation, storage, and terminalling for natural gas, crude oil, NGLs, refined products and liquid natural gas.

How It Happened:

Quite easily, actually – or at least as “easily” as a deal with nearly 12 figures of valuation can happen. The companies merged together in order to trade under common units on the NYSE. Energy Transfer Equity’s only asset is a 100% interest in Energy Transfer Operating L.P. (formerly Energy Transfer Partners). Energy Transfer Partners is engaged in natural gas and propane pipeline transport.

Energy Transfer, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, currently brings in over $54 B in revenue.

Fun Fact: Energy Transfer was formed in 1996 in East Texas with 200 miles of natural gas pipelines and 20 employees. In early 2019, Energy Transfer announced the opening of its first international office in Beijing, China.

  

5) Heinz Acquires Kraft

Transaction Value: $100 B

Closing Date: July 2, 2015

Who is This?: Heinz, an American staple best known for its ketchup and steak sauce, manufactures thousands of food products on six different continents. Kraft is similar, a massive American food manufacturing and processing conglomerate. I assume almost everyone has heard of, and/or eaten, numerous products from these two food powerhouses.

How It Happened:

Kraft announced it would merge with Heinz in March of 2015. The deal was largely arranged by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and the Brazilian private equity and investment firm 3G Capital, who had jointly purchased Heinz two years prior. The strategy of working with a private equity firm such as 3G was a new one for Berkshire, but Warren Buffett, Berkshire’s chairman, has expressed satisfaction with its investment partnership with 3G. Just two weeks after the Heinz/Kraft merger, Berkshire Hathaway became a majority owner of Heinz after exercising a warrant to acquire 46 million shares, taking its ownership stake to 52.5%.

The resulting Kraft Heinz company is the fifth largest food company in the world

 Fun Fact: Heinz sells 11 billion packets of ketchup a year, which is nearly two packets for every person on the planet.

 

 

4) AB InBev (Anheuser-Busch) Acquires SABMiller (and Spins Off Coors)

Transaction Value: $107 B

Closing Date: October 10, 2016

Who is This?: Similar to the previous merger, Anheuser-Busch (now AB InBev) has to be one of the most recognizable brands in the world as they provide something millions of Americans enjoy: Beer.

From Budweiser, Bud Light, and Michelob Ultra to Stella Artois, Land Shark, and Shock Top and many smaller “craft” breweries, AB does it all. SABMiller was one of the top five global brewing companies with a range of over 150 beers, most notably Miller and Coors.

 How It Happened:

In September of 2015, AB made the acquisition bid for SABMiller which would unite the world’s two biggest beermakers. The DOJ approved the deal only on the condition that SABMiller spin off all its MillerCoors holdings in the US. As required under the agreement, SABMiller sold to Molson full ownership of the Miller brand portfolio. Molson Coors was formed in 2005 when Coors merged with Molson. After SABMiller divested itself of all interest in Miller Coors, Molson Coors became the largest brewer in the U.S.

The agreement made Molson Coors the world’s third largest brewer. Revenue for Anheuser-Busch is currently $52 Bn and the company makes up over 1/4th of the market share of global volume beer sales

 Fun Fact: In 1920 when national prohibition was introduced, Anheuser-Busch diversified into a long line of products including ice cream and bus bodies.

  

3) United Technologies Acquires Raytheon

Transaction Value: $121 B

Closing Date: April 3, 2020

Who is This?: United Technologies was an American multinational conglomerate headquartered in Connecticut. The company researched, developed, and manufactured products in areas including aircraft engines, aerospace systems, and elevators, among many others. The company was also a large military contractor, bringing in roughly 10% of its revenue from the US government. Raytheon was a major US defense contractor with core concentrations in weapons and electronics.

 How It Happened:

The two companies came to an agreement to merge together as equals to become Raytheon Technologies and form one of the most powerful aerospace and defense companies in the world. United Technologies was the nominal survivor, but the merged company was headquartered in Massachusetts where Raytheon was based.

Raytheon Technologies is the second largest aerospace and defense company in the world with revenue just shy of $100 B, trailing only Boeing.

Fun Fact: Early in World War II, physicists in England invented the magnetron, a specialized microwave-generating electron tub that improved the capability of radar to detect enemy planes. Raytheon received a contract to build the device. Raytheon’s research on the magnetron tube revealed the potential to use microwaves to cook food and in 1947, the company demonstrated the microwave oven for commercial use.

  

2) Dow Chemical Acquires DuPont  (Then Spins Off Three Entities)

Transaction Value: $130 B

Closing Date: August 31, 2017

Who is This?: Dow Chemical is an American multinational chemical corporation that manufactures plastics, chemicals, and agricultural products. DuPont is similar, a massive American chemical company founded in 1802.

How It Happened:

In late 2015, DuPont announced it would merge with Dow Chemical to form DowDuPont. The new company was equally held by the shareholders of both companies and maintained HQ from both former companies. In 2019, DowDuPont spun off into three separate public companies, Corteva (agricultural chemicals), Dow Inc (materials science), and DuPont (specialty product industries).

Prior to the spinoffs, DowDuPont was the world’s largest chemical company in terms of sales. DowDuPont ranked #35 on the Fortune 500 list of the largest US public corporations with revenue of $86 B.

Fun Fact: Dow Chemical’s products include artificial turf, materials for golf balls, and other recreational equipment. Its better-known products include Styrofoam insulation and the pesticide Lorsban.

  

1) Verizon Communications Acquires Vodafone Group

Transaction Value: $130 B

Closing Date: February 21, 2014

Who is This?: Verizon Communications is an American multinational telecommunications conglomerate based in New York City. Vodafone is a British telecommunications company predominately operating in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania.

How It Happened:

In 1999, Vodaphone agreed to merge its US wireless assets with Bell Atlantic Corp (Verizon Communications) form Verizon Wireless. That deal gave Vodafone a 45% share of Verizon Wireless. In 2013, Vodafone agreed to sell all of their shares in Verizon Wireless to Verizon Communications giving Verizon Communications sole ownership. Vodafone used the proceeds from the deal to improve network quality in Europe and emerging markets, such as India.

Verizon Wireless is the second largest wireless communications provider in the United States with over 150 million customers. In 2019, Verizon Communications brought in revenue of $132 B.

Fun Fact: Verizon has the dubious distinction of having the “least loyal” customers of the 4 major telecommunication companies (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint) despite having the broadest 4G LTE coverage. However, Verizon has been lauded as one of the best places to work in terms of both pay and benefits which likely helps Verizon maintain its strong reputation for customer service.

 

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Font Resize
Contrast
Scroll to Top