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MERRILL LYNCH BUSINESS BROKERAGE AND VALUATION SAYS NUMBER OF MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS ANNOUNCED IN 1992 FIRST QUARTER UP 60 PERCENT

MERRILL LYNCH BUSINESS BROKERAGE AND VALUATION SAYS NUMBER OF MERGERS
 AND ACQUISITIONS ANNOUNCED IN 1992 FIRST QUARTER UP 60 PERCENT
 SCHAUMBURG, Ill., April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Merrill Lynch Business Brokerage and Valuation, a division of Merrill Lynch, reported a 60 percent rise in the number of announced mergers and acquisitions for the first quarter of 1992.
 According to their research, there were 664 announced transactions compared to 416 a year earlier. The total value of proposed mergers and acquisitions disclosing a purchase price in the first quarter of 1992 was $21.2 billion, an 80 percent increase over $11.8 billion a year earlier.
 Felicia Imperatore, national marketing manager of the Merrill Lynch division, said the increase in activity and value may be attributed to improved economic and political conditions over the 1991 first quarter.
 The average transaction price announced in the first quarter rose to $93.5 million, a 23 percent increase from a year earlier. The median price offered was $27 million, up 23 percent from the 1991 first quarter. Activity in the smaller, under-$50 million segment increased 42 percent to 149 announcements from the 1991 first quarter.
 Although announced deals valued at $1 billion plus stood at two in both periods, there were 47 valued at $100 million plus in the first quarter of 1992, up 68 percent from the same period of 1991. This is reflected in the fact that the value of the 15 largest deals in the first quarter of this year rose 49 percent over the top 15 transactions a year earlier.
 Although the value of divestitures announcing a purchase price rose 152 percent, the number of divestitures as a percent of all announced deals in the 1992 first quarter dropped to 34 percent from 48 percent in the same period of 1991. There were 225 divestitures valued at $12.1 billion in the first quarter, compared with 201 divestitures valued at $4.8 billion in the first quarter of 1991. The two largest transactions announced were divestitures, led by the proposed sale of ITT Corporation's Alcatel N.V. operation to Alcatel Alsthom of France, valued at $2 billion, and the proposed sale of Time Warner Inc.'s HBO and film business to a private Japanese group for $1 billion.
 Based on 188 proposed transactions for which method of payment was available, all-stock deals were the most popular, representing 49 percent of all deals, while all-cash deals represented 16 percent, and a combination of cash, stock, and/or debt represented 35 percent.
 According to available data, the average price-to-earnings ratio offered in the first quarter was 22.4x, an increase from 16.1x a year earlier. The average premium over market price offered in the 1992 quarter was 35.3 percent, up slightly from 33.8 percent in the 1991 period.
 Banking and finance was the most active industry in the 1992 first quarter, with 60 deals valued at $4.7 billion. This compares with 21 deals valued at $1.6 billion a year earlier. Five of the 15 largest transactions announced were in the banking and finance industry, led by the proposed acquisition of INB Financial Corp. by NBD Bancorp valued at $876 million, the proposed purchase of Puget Sound Bancorp by KeyCorp, valued at $829.6 million, and Banc One Corp.'s proposed acquisition of Team Bancshares Inc. for $782 million. Jody Beutler, research manager of the Merrill Lynch division, stated that this may be indicative of the industry's continuing consolidation in an effort to improve balance sheets.
 The two largest deals announced in the first quarter involved the purchase of U.S. entities by foreign corporations: the sale of ITT Corporation's Alcatel N.V. operation to Alcatel Alsthom of France, and the proposed sale of Time Warner Inc.'s HBO and film business to a private Japanese group.
 There were 53 foreign buyers in the first quarter, an increase of 10 percent over the 1991 first quarter. The total value bid for deals where a purchase price was disclosed rose 24 percent to 4.8 billion.
 The number of U.S. corporations announcing foreign acquisitions rose 59 percent to 97. The total value bid for those deals where a purchase price was disclosed rose 76 percent to $1.6 billion.
 Transactions between U.S. and foreign companies accounted for 23 percent of the merger-acquisition announcements in the first quarter, compared to 26 percent in the first quarter of 1991. The most active participants were in the United Kingdom with nine buyers and 23 sellers, and Canada with 10 buyers and 16 sellers.
 Headquartered in Schaumburg, Merrill Lynch Business Brokerage and Valuation provides specialized financing, transaction advisory, valuation consulting and business brokerage services to closely held companies. It also publishes Mergerstat Review, one of the oldest and most extensive merger data banks of its kind, with approximately 80,000 recorded transactions since 1963.
 -0- 4/21/92
 /CONTACT: Jody Beutler of Merrill Lynch Business Brokerage and Valuation, 708-981-9800/ CO: Merrill Lynch Business Brokerage and Valuation ST: Illinois IN: FIN SU: ECO


SM-CK -- NY053 -- 0594 04/21/92 11:30 EDT
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Date:Apr 21, 1992
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