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December 23, 2008

Tombstones with a difference

From Reuters' report on how a record number of M&A deals were canceled during the year.
Most investment bankers would like to forget about the disastrous year that was 2008 -- even as they think about the fees that could have been. More deals were withdrawn in 2008 than ever before, and with overall mergers and acquisition activity down 35 percent around the world, you can bet bankers would like those deals back. Over 1,100 deals were canceled during the year, up from just under 800 in 2007, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The total value of withdrawn deals for 2008 was nearly $800 billion, and banks lost more than $815 million in fees. Some of the notable ones included BHP Billiton Ltd's $188 billion offer for Rio Tinto Plc; the proposed buyout of Canadian telecommunications giant BCE Inc by a group of private equity firms; and Microsoft Corp's unsolicited bid for Yahoo Inc.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to the private equity and venture capital ecosystem in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports. Email the author at