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M&A Analysts Say Keep Your Eyes Peeled in Technology, Chemicals, and Consumer Goods

“M&A activity could be up some 50 percent this year, and analysts point to energy, tech, consumer goods and chemicals as sectors to watch.

A week full of mega-deals — America Airlines and US AirwaysComcast and NBC UniversalBerkshire Hathaway and HeinzMichael Dell and his namesake company — got everyone’s attention. And already, M&A activity has hit the $182 billion mark, compared with $58 billion at this time last year.

“I do think the dam is finally breaking,” said Bob Profusek, lead M&A adviser at Jones Day, citing “just fabulous” financing terms, low equity prices, not-terribly-strict transaction regulation, and “more capital available than at any time in my lifetime.”

At the same time, Profusek noted that this week’s big deals each had unique characteristics that may mitigate their relevance to the broader market: The airline deal was in the works for years; Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway slays an “elephant” like Heinz every 12 to 18 months; and Dell is a founder wresting control of the company he founded. The Comcast-NBCUniversal deal, he said, is a movie we’ve seen before — one that hasn’t ended well (ViacomCBS and AOLTime Warner come to mind), so perhaps an unlikely model for others…..”

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