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The value of merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions worldwide reached an estimated US$1.8 trillion in the first half of 2014. Deloitte’s “M&A Trends Report 2014” found that experts expect deal activity to sustain or increase that momentum through 2016. The last time M&A activity peaked, it ran straight into the 2008 economic crisis. Now that it’s peaking again, are we watching a rerun? Or something more sustainable?

Without question, people feel there’s money to be made. And this time, it may remain that way for a period of time. There are three key differences between the run-up of 2007 and the run-up of 2014: the way participants share risk, the sophistication of financial due diligence, and the surrounding macro conditions. Taken together—and absent a significant geopolitical event that disrupts world markets—these factors suggest that today’s M&A boom may be more sustainable than its predecessor.

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