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MERRILL LYNCH BUSINESS ADVISORY SERVICES SAYS NUMBER OF ACQUISITIONS ANNOUNCED IN THIRD-QUARTER 1993 UP 8 PERCENT; VALUE ROSE 201 PERCENT

 SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Merrill Lynch Business Advisory Services, a division of Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER), reported a 201-percent increase in the total value of announced mergers and acquisitions in the third quarter of 1993. According to its research, the total value of proposed mergers and acquisitions disclosing a purchase price in the third quarter was $59.5 billion compared to $19.8 billion in the 1992 period. There were 725 announced transactions in the third quarter compared to 669 a year earlier, a gain of 8 percent.
 Total value of transactions disclosing a purchase price in the 1993 first nine months was $110.5 billion, an increase of 66 percent from the 1992 nine months. The number of transactions announced, unchanged from the year-earlier period, was 1,935.
 There were 16 $1 billion-plus transactions announced in the first nine months of 1993, vs. 11 in the 1992 period. The value of these transactions rose 191 to $57.0 billion from $19.6 billion a year earlier. Deals valued at $100 million-plus rose 25 percent while their total value increased 78 percent.
 The largest transaction announced in the 1993 nine months was the proposed acquisition of McCaw Cellular Communications Co. by American Telephone & Telegraph Co. valued at $12.6 billion. In year-to-year comparisons, five of the 15 largest deals announced in the first nine months of 1993 were valued at $4.0 billion or more, while the largest transaction in all of 1992 was $3.6 billion.
 Of the 15 largest deals announced in 1993, five were in the communications industry, including the largest divestiture: British Telecommunications' proposed acquisition of 15.1 percent of MCI Communications Corp.
 The percentage of divestitures to announced transactions in the 1993 nine months was 44 percent, with 845 divestitures valued at $33.2 billion, compared to 771 divestitures valued at $31.0 billion last year. Four of the 15 largest deals, year-to-date, were divestitures.
 Transactions between the U.S. and foreign companies accounted for 22 percent of total merger/acquisition announcements in the first nine months of 1993, consistent with the 1992 figure. Only one of the largest deals involved a foreign company: British Telecommunications PLC's proposed acquisition of 15.1 percent of MCI Communications Corporation, valued at $3.4 billion -- also the largest divestiture, as previously mentioned.
 There were 146 foreign buyers in the 1993 nine months, an advance of 14 percent from the same period last year. The total value bid by foreign buyers where a purchase price was disclosed was $9.6 billion, up 17 percent.
 In contrast, the number of U.S. corporations announcing foreign acquisitions fell 8 percent and the total value bid for those deals where a purchase price was disclosed dropped 20 percent.
 Activity in the smaller, under $50 million segment rose significantly to 476 deals in the 1993 nine-month period from 147 deals a year earlier.
 The average transaction price for all deals announced in the nine months increased 57 percent from the similar 1992 period. The median price offered was $30.0 million, up 46 percent.
 The most active foreign participants continue to be located in the United Kingdom with 43 buyers and 49 sellers, and Canada with 34 buyers and 29 sellers.
 Based on 657 transactions for which method of payment was available in the first nine months of 1993, all-stock deals were the most prevalent, representing 39 percent of such deals, while all-cash transactions accounted for 26 percent. A combination of cash, stock and/or debt represented 34 percent.
 According to available data, the average price-to-earnings ratio offered in the 1993 nine months was 23.4x, compared with 23.2x reported in the 1992 period. The average premium over market price tendered in the first three quarters of 1993 increased to 46.8 percent from 41.8 percent a year earlier.
 Banking and finance continued to be the most active industry with 208 deals in the beginning nine months of 1993 compared to 213 transactions in the year-earlier period. While the number of deals fell 2 percent, the value of these transactions rose 3 percent to $14.0 billion from $13.6 billion a year ago. Only one of the 15 largest transactions announced was in the banking and finance industry: the proposed acquisition of MNC Financial Inc. by NationsBank Corp., valued at $1.4 billion.
 Headquartered in Schaumburg, Merrill Lynch Business Advisory Services provides specialized financing, transaction and ESOP advisory, valuation consulting and business sale services to closely held companies. It also publishes Mergerstat Review, one of the oldest and most extensive data banks of its kind.
 -0- 10/13/93
 /CONTACT: Jody Beutler, research manager of Merrill Lynch Business Advisory Services, 708-981-9800/
 (MER)


CO: Merrill Lynch Business Advisory Services ST: Illinois IN: FIN SU: TNM

SB-JG -- DE011 -- 1561 10/13/93 10:05 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 13, 1993
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