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MERRILL LYNCH BUSINESS BROKERAGE AND VALUATION SAYS NUMBER OF MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS ANNOUNCED IN 1992 WERE THE HIGHEST IN SIX YEARS

 SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Jan. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Merrill Lynch Business Brokerage and Valuation, a division of Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER), reported a 39-percent increase in the number of announced mergers and acquisitions in 1992, the highest number in six years. According to their research, there were 2,578 announced transactions in 1992 compared to 1,860 a year earlier. Total value of proposed mergers and acquisitions disclosing a purchase price rose to $97.1 billion, an increase of 35 percent from 1991. While the increase in value was up significantly over 1991, total value in 1992 was the second-lowest in nine years.
 In the fourth quarter of 1992, there were 633 transactions announced, up 42 percent from the 1991 fourth quarter. Total value in the fourth quarter was $30.6 billion, more than double total value in the 1991 period.
 The comparatively low value of announced transactions vs. the number of deals in 1992 continues to reflect an increase in smaller transactions. Activity in the $50 million and under segment rose significantly to 636 deals in 1992, up 32 percent. The average transaction price announced in 1992 was flat at $101.7 million, while the median price offered was $22.6 million in both years.
 There were 18 $1 billion+ transactions announced in 1992, compared to 13 in 1991. Deals valued at $100 million+ increased 33 percent.
 Ten of the largest transactions announced in 1992 were divestitures. The largest announced deal during the year was the divestiture of 30 percent of ITT Corporation's Alcatel N.V. operation to Alcatel Alsthom of France, valued at $3.6 billion. The percentage of divestitures to announced transactions in 1992 was 40 percent, with 1,027 divestitures valued at $50.5 billion, vs. 842 divestitures valued at $31.1 billion last year.
 The number of foreign buyers was at an eight-year low in 1992, at 167, down 11 percent from 1991. The total value bid by foreign buyers for deals where a purchase price was disclosed was $9.3 billion, down 25 percent. Jody Beutler, research manager of Merrill Lynch Business Brokerage and Valuation, said it seems that economic conditions overseas may have put a damper on this activity.
 In contrast, the number of U.S. corporations announcing foreign acquisitions was at a record 404, up 66 percent from 1991, while the total value bid for those deals where a purchase price was disclosed increased 149 percent to $14.1 billion. In 1992, the largest bid for a foreign company by an American corporation was AT&T's offer for 14 percent of British Telecommunications plc's McCaw Cellular Communications operation. The deal was valued at $1.8 billion.
 Deals between U.S. and foreign companies accounted for 22 percent of total merger/acquisition announcements in 1992, compared to 23 percent in 1991. The most active entities continued to be domiciled in the United Kingdom with 38 buyers and 92 sellers, and Canada with 37 buyers and 59 sellers.
 Banking and finance retained its most active industry status, with 271 deals valued at $16.4 billion. This compares with 163 transactions valued at $20.7 billion in 1991. Only one of the largest deals announced in 1992 was in the banking industry: the proposed acquisition of American Express Company's Boston Co. by Mellon Bank Corp. valued at $1.4 billion.
 Based on 820 transactions for which method of payment was available in 1992, all-cash deals accounted for 22 percent, a year-to-year record low. All-stock transactions continued to be the most prevalent method of payment, representing 40 percent of total deals, while all-debt deals comprised 1 percent of the total. A combination of cash, stock, and/or debt was at 37 percent.
 Based on available data, the average price-to-earnings ratio offered in 1992 was 22.6x, vs. 20.0x in 1991. The average premium over market price offered in 1992 rose to 40.8 percent from 36.9 percent a year earlier.
 The two largest transactions announced in the fourth quarter were the proposed acquisition of PSI Resources Inc. by Cincinnati Gas & Electric Co. valued at $2.4 billion, and AT&T's bid for 19 percent of McCaw Cellular Communications Inc. valued at $2.0 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- 1/25/93
 /CONTACT: Jody Beutler, research manager, Merrill Lynch Business Brokerage and Valuation, 708-981-9800/
 (MER)


CO: Merrill Lynch Business Brokerage and Valuation ST: Michigan IN: FIN SU: ECO

SM-MJ -- DE018 -- 8498 01/25/93 12:27 EST
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Date:Jan 25, 1993
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