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MERRILL LYNCH BUSINESS BROKERAGE AND VALUATION SAYS NUMBER OF MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS ANNOUNCED IN THE 1992 THIRD QUARTER UP 36 PERCENT

MERRILL LYNCH BUSINESS BROKERAGE AND VALUATION SAYS NUMBER OF MERGERS

AND ACQUISITIONS ANNOUNCED IN THE 1992 THIRD QUARTER UP 36 PERCENT
 SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Merrill Lynch Business Brokerage and Valuation, a division of Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER), reported a 36 percent increase in the number of announced mergers and acquisitions in the third quarter of 1992. According to their research, there were 692 announced transactions in the third quarter compared to 510 a year earlier. However, the total value of proposed mergers and acquisitions disclosing a purchase price in the third quarter was $20.8 billion, a 29 percent decrease from $29.5 billion reported a year earlier.
 For the first nine months of 1992, there were 1,974 transactions announced, up 39 percent from the first nine months of 1991. Total value in the 1992 nine months amounted to $67.0 billion, an increase of 13 percent from a year earlier.
 Felicia Imperatore, national marketing manager of the Merrill Lynch division, said the increase in activity and value in the first nine months of 1992 may be attributed to industry consolidations. She noted the lower total value of deals announced in the third quarter seems to reflect an increase in smaller transactions.
 Activity in the smaller, under $50 million segment rose significantly to 481 deals in the 1992 nine month period from 372 a year earlier. The average transaction price announced in the nine months decreased 9 percent from a year earlier. The median price offered was $21.0 million, down 42 percent.
 There were 10 $1 billion plus transactions announced in the first nine months of 1992, versus 12 in the 1991 period. Deals valued at $100 million plus increased 16 percent.
 The percentage of divestitures to announced transactions in the first nine months of 1992 was 40 percent, with 785 divestitures valued at $31.9 billion, compared to 653 divestitures valued at $24.4 billion last year. The largest transaction announced in the first nine months of 1992 was the divestiture of 30 percent of ITT Corporation's Alcatel N.V. operation to Alcatel Alsthom of France, valued at $3.6 billion. Six of the largest transactions announced in the 1992 nine months were divestitures.
 There were 131 foreign buyers in the 1992 nine months, a decrease of 16 percent from the same period last year. The total value bid by foreign buyers for deals where a purchase price was disclosed was $9.2 billion, down 21 percent.
 In contrast, the number of U.S. corporations announcing foreign acquisitions rose 65 percent, while the total value bid for those deals where a purchase price was disclosed increased 90 percent.
 Transactions between U.S. and foreign companies accounted for 22 percent of the merger/acquisition announcements in the first nine months of 1992, compared to 24 percent in the 1991 period. The most active participants were in the United Kingdom with 30 buyers and 70 sellers, and Canada with 26 buyers and 47 sellers.
 Based on 616 transactions for which method of payment was available in the first nine months of 1992, all-stock deals were the most popular, representing 42 percent of total deals, while all-cash transactions accounted for 19 percent, and all debt deals represented 1 percent of the total. A combination of cash, stock, and/or debt represented 38 percent.
 According to available data, the average price-to-earnings ratio offered in the 1992 nine months was 24.8x, compared with 18.5x reported a year earlier. The average premium over market price offered in the 1992 nine month period also increased significantly to 57.8 percent from 35.8 percent a year earlier.
 Banking and finance maintained its lead as the most active industry with 218 deals valued at $13.4 billion. This compares with 125 transactions valued at $17.5 billion a year earlier. Six of the largest transactions announced were in the banking and finance industry, led by American Express Company's proposed divestiture of its Boston Co. to Mellon Bank Corp. value at $1.4 billion, and the proposed acquisition of Valley National Corp. by Banc One Corp., valued at $1.1 billion. Jody Beutler, research manager of Merrill Lynch Business Brokerage and Valuation, said this activity seems to indicate the industry's continued effort toward consolidation.
 The two largest transactions announced in the 1992 third quarter were the purchase of the remaining 18 percent of American Television & Comms. Corp. by Time Warner Inc., valued at $1.7 billion, and the proposed divestiture of Norway-based Orkla AS' Freia Marabou AS operation to Philip Morris Cos. for $1.5 billion.
 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 data banks of its kind.
 -0- 10/19/92 R
 /CONTACT: Jody Beutler, research manager of Merrill Lynch Business Brokerage and Valuation, 708-981-9800/
 (MER) CO: Merrill Lynch Business Brokerage and Valuation ST: Illinois IN: FIN SU: ECO


SH-OS -- NY042R -- 1696 10/19/92 14:15 EDT
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Date:Oct 19, 1992
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