Global Takeovers Slump

Value of fourth-quarter deals is lowest in more than a year.

The value of global takeovers dropped to the lowest level in more than a year this quarter, and dealmakers say Europe’s debt crisis may hamper a recovery in 2012 as cash-rich companies hold off on major purchases.

Mergers and acquisitions have slumped 16 percent from the previous three months to $457.1 billion, putting the fourth quarter on course to be the slowest since at least mid-2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. For the year to date, announced takeover volume has risen less than 3 percent to $2.25 trillion after regulatory hurdles scuttled AT&T Inc.’s bid for T-Mobile USA, which would have been 2011’s biggest deal.

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