The value of mergers and acquisitions activity fell 10% in the first quarter to about $406 billion, according to a report released Tuesday by Mergermarket.
That weakening contributed to poorer M&A results at Morgan Stanley (MS) and UBS (UBS), though Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (BAC) and Wells Fargo (WF) were able to make significant improvements in the dealmaking business.
JPMorgan (JPM) was the top dealmaker by volume in the first quarter. The bank served an advisor on 46 M&A's worldwide valued at about $124 billion. The other top players on the international scene were Goldman Sachs (GS) in the second-place spot, followed by Bank of America in third place, Lazard in fourth and Morgan Stanley fifth.
Wells Fargo ranked 13th, and UBS was 16th.
On a global basis, BofA grew the volume of its business by 43% year over year to $90 billion, and Morgan Stanley’s M&A work dropped 41% to $57 billion. Wells Fargo, however, boosted its mega-merger business by 481% to $32 billion, and UBS saw its M&A activity fall off 4% to $15 billion worldwide.
In terms of the U.S.-based results, BofA came in behind JPMorgan in the No. 2 space, Morgan Stanley was No. 9, Wells was No. 12 and UBS No. 16.
The biggest deal of the quarter was the purchase of HJ Heinz by Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital Partners for $27.3 billion. The bidders' advisors were JPMorgan, Lazard and Wells Fargo, while BofA-Merrill, Centerview Partners and Moelis worked with Heinz.
Michael Dell’s move to take Dell private with Silver Lake for $21.8 billion was managed by a big group of dealmakers, including BofA-Merrill, Barclays and Citi. The PC maker itself was advised by Evercore, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Lazard.
Comcast moved to buy out GE’s share in NBCUniversal for $16.7 billion in a transaction led by BofA and Morgan Stanley, representing Comcast, with Centerview and JPMorgan representing General Electric.
The American Airlines-US Airways $4.9 billion merger included advisors Lazard and Mesirow (for AMR) and Barclays and Millstein for US Airways.
Read RIA M&A Grew 30% in 2012, With Most Deals Done by Big Firms: Schwab on AdvisorOne.