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MERRILL LYNCH BUSINESS BROKERAGE AND VALUATION SAYS NUMBER OF MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS ANNOUNCED IN 2ND QUARTER INCREASED 44 PERCENT

MERRILL LYNCH BUSINESS BROKERAGE AND VALUATION SAYS NUMBER OF MERGERS
 AND ACQUISITIONS ANNOUNCED IN 2ND QUARTER INCREASED 44 PERCENT
 SCHAUMBURG, Ill., July 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Merrill Lynch Business Brokerage and Valuation, a division of Merrill Lynch, reported a 44 percent increase in the number of announced mergers and acquisitions in the second quarter of 1992. According to their research, there were 716 announced transactions compared to 497 a year earlier. The total value of proposed mergers and acquisitions disclosing a purchase price in the second quarter was $23.6 billion, a 33 percent increase over the number reported a year earlier.
 For the first half ended June 30, 1992, there were 1,314 transactions announced, up 44 percent from the first six months of 1991. Total value in the first half of 1992 amounted to $44.5 billion, an increase of 50 percent from a year earlier.
 Felicia Imperatore, national marketing manager of the Merrill Lynch division, said the increase in activity and value in the second quarter of 1992 may be attributed to the number of industry consolidations as well as the perception that the state of the economy is slowing improving.
 The average transaction price announced in the second quarter rose to $109.9 million, a 29 percent increase from a year earlier. The median price offered was $20.0 million, the same as in the second quarter of 1991. Activity in the smaller, under $50 million segment was flat at 151 compared to 153 in the second quarter of 1991.
 Announced deals valued at $1 billion+ stood at 5 in the second quarter of 1992, compared to 4 a year earlier. Those valued at $100 million+ rose to 44, a 16 percent increase from the second quarter of 1991. There were seven $1 billion+ transactions in the first half of 1992, versus six in the first six months of 1991. Deals valued at $100 million+ increased 29 percent from a year earlier.
 The percentage of divestitures to announced transactions in the 1992 second quarter fell to 40 percent from 50 percent in the second quarter of 1991. There were 286 divestitures valued at $7.0 billion in the second quarter, compared to 248 divestitures valued at $11.1 billion in the 1991 second quarter. The largest transaction announced in the 1992 first half was the divestiture of 30 percent of ITT Corporation's Alcatel N.V. operation to Alcatel Alsthom of France, valued at $3.6 billion. Five of the largest transactions announced in the 1992 first half were divestitures.
 There were 87 foreign buyers in the 1992 first half, a decrease of 22 percent from the first half of 1991. The total value bid by foreign buyers for deals where a purchase price was disclosed was $7.4 billion.
 In contrast, the number of U.S. corporations announcing foreign acquisitions rose 69 percent to 208, while the total value bid for those deals where a purchase price was disclosed increased 7 percent to $3.3 billion.
 Transactions between U.S. and foreign companies accounted for 22 percent of the merger-acquisition announcements in the first half of 1992, compared to 26 percent in the 1991 period. The most active participants were in the United Kingdom with 18 buyers and 49 sellers, and Canada with 21 buyers and 36 sellers.
 Based on 387 transactions for which method of payment was available in the first half of 1992, all-stock deals were the most popular, representing 44 percent of total deals, while all-cash transactions accounted for 17 percent. A combination of cash, stock, and/or debt represented 39 percent.
 According to available data, the average price-to-earnings ratio offered in the 1992 second quarter was 22.3x, compared with 19.7x reported in the first quarter of 1992, and 16.1x in the second quarter of 1991. The average premium over market price offered in the second quarter of 1992 increased significantly to 56.6 percent from 41.0 percent in the first quarter of 1992 and 36.0 percent in the second quarter of 1991.
 Banking and finance continued to be the most active industry in the second quarter with 77 deals valued at $4.8 billion. This compares with 44 transactions valued at $1.8 billion a year earlier. Six of the 15 largest transaction announced were in the banking and finance industry, led by the proposed acquisition of Valley National Corp. by Banc One Corp., valued at $1.1 billion, and Fifth Third Bancorp's proposed purchase of Star Banc Corp. also valued at $1.1 billion. Jody Beutler, research manager of Merrill Lynch Business Brokerage and Valuation, commented that the continued activity seems to indicate the industry's further consolidation to improve market share and cut costs.
 Health services was the second most active industry in the second quarter of 1992 with 64 deals valued at $969 million, versus 20 transactions valued at $207.1 million a year earlier.
 The two largest transactions announced in the 1992 second quarter were the proposed purchase of Centel Corp. by United Telecommunications, valued at $2.9 billion and Energy Corp.'s proposed acquisition of Gulf States Utilities Co. for $2.3 billion, creating one of the largest electric utilities in the U.S.
 Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., Merrill Lynch Business and Brokerage 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 data banks of its kind, with approximately 80,000 recorded transactions since 1963.
 -0- 7/20/92
 /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


TQ-OS -- NY029 -- 0687 07/20/92 11:19 EDT
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Date:Jul 20, 1992
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