NEW YORK, May 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The North American power and utilities mergers & acquisitions (M&A) market experienced an uptick in both volume and value in the first quarter of 2013, compared to the same timeframe a year ago, as strategic investors looked to divest non-core assets, according to PwC US' quarterly deals snapshot – North American Power Deals: Q1 2013.
"While deal volume and value decreased from the fourth quarter of 2012, the sector has rebounded from the levels of M&A activity that we saw in the first quarter of 2012," said Jeremy Fago, PwC's U.S. power and utilities deals leader. "This quarter, we saw hybrid power companies with both regulated and non-regulated assets divesting merchant exposure."
In the first three months of 2013, there were nine power and utilities deals with values greater than $50 million, totaling $3 billion, representing a 33 percent increase in deal value compared to the first quarter of 2012, which had four transactions totaling $2.3 billion. Deal volume also increased 125 percent over the same period in 2012.
Average deal value continued on a recent downward trend, resulting from the lack of mega deals in the quarter. "We expect deal activity to pick back up as the significant consolidation that occurred over the past two years is further integrated," added Fago.
Strategic investors continued to make up the majority of M&A activity, accounting for 57 percent of deal volume in the first quarter of 2013. However, financial investors may remain active through the rest of the year, as they look at the sector for attractively priced assets.
The sector also saw an increase in cross-border activity compared to the same time period in 2012, with cross-border representing three transactions totaling $723 million, or 24 percent of deal value, in the first quarter of 2013. "While investor activity from Europe and Asia has diminished, we continue to see interest in U.S. assets from Canadian investors," added Rob McCeney, U.S. power and utilities transaction services partner with PwC.
Contrary to the fourth quarter of 2012, which experienced heightened alternative deal activity (representing 40 percent of deals worth more than $50 million) due to an uptick in wind transactions with the expiring, and subsequently extended, production tax credit, alternative energy sources accounted for only two deals in the first quarter of 2013.
About the PwC Power and Utilities Practice
PwC provides assurance, tax and advisory services to the power and utilities industry. Using deep industry experience, PwC helps top power and utilities companies gain operating efficiencies across the business value chain, from fiscal integrity and regulatory issues to increased customer service and talent management.
PwC's Deals practitioners help corporate and private equity executives navigate transactions to increase value and returns. In today's increasingly daunting economic and regulatory environment, our experienced M&A specialists assist clients on a range of transactions from smaller and mid-sized deals to the most complex transactions, including domestic and cross-border acquisitions, divestitures and spin-offs, capital events such as IPOs and debt offerings, and bankruptcies and other business reorganizations. We help clients with strategic planning around their growth and investment agendas and advise on business-wide risks and value drivers in their transactions for more empowered negotiations, decision-making and execution. We help clients expedite their deals, reduce their risks, capture and deliver value to their stakeholders and quickly return to business as usual. Our local and global deal strength is derived from over 1,400 deal professionals in 21 cities in the U.S. and over 9,800 deal professionals across a global network of firms in 75 countries. In addition, our network firm PwC Corporate Finance provides investment banking services within the U.S. For more information, visit www.pwc.com/us/deals.
About PwC US
PwC US helps organizations and individuals create the value they're looking for. We're a member of the PwC network of firms in 158 countries with more than 180,000 people. We're committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services. Tell us what matters to you and find out more by visiting us at www.pwc.com/US.
© 2013 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership. All rights reserved. PwC refers to the US member firm, and may sometimes refer to the PwC network. Each member firm is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.
This content is for general information purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors.
SOURCE PwC US