Dealmaking failed to make a comeback in the second quarter as the European debt crisis and volatile stock markets forced companies to delay big acquisitions.

Takeovers fell about 2 percent from the first three months of the year to about $450 billion, the lowest level since 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg through June 27. Eaton Corp.'s proposed purchase of Cooper Industries Plc and Pfizer Inc.'s sale of its infant-nutrition unit were the only deals to top $10 billion.

While many companies are weighing transactions, chief executive officers for the most part refrained from pulling the trigger on deals as Europe struggled to contain its debt crisis, intensifying concern about the fallout on global economic growth. Takeovers in Europe fell 20 percent in the quarter, while Asia eked out a gain of around 3 percent, data compiled by Bloomberg show. North America was the best performing market, with dealmaking rising 10 percent to almost $190 billion from the previous quarter.

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