Wisconsin M&A deal value up 259% in Q1

Fiserv-First Data deal drives 10-year high

Fiserv Inc. is expected to close on its $89 million acquisition of Monitise plc in the second half of the year.

Last updated on June 18th, 2019 at 05:45 pm

Wisconsin mergers and acquisitions deal value increased from $10.8 billion in the first quarter of 2018 to $38.9 billion in the first quarter of 2019, up 259% year-over-year, according to a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

The number of deals, however, decreased from 85 in the first quarter of 2018 to 49 in 2019’s first quarter, the report shows.

The PWC report counts both announced and closed deals, so the first quarter includes Brookfield-based Fiserv Inc.’s planned $22 billion acquisition of First Data Corp. The deal would be the largest ever in the fintech industry.

“Across the U.S., we saw the continued impact of mega deals, defined as deals over $5 billion,” said Carina Markel, Chicago-based deals partner for PWC. “This led to an increase in total deal value, despite a decrease in deal volume. Many of the mega deals in Q1 involved players within the same sector, as companies looked to increase scale. We saw this in Wisconsin with Fiserv’s $22 billion acquisition of First Data, announced in January.

“However, while most investments stayed within a sector in Q1, there were still plenty of cross-sector deals in Wisconsin. This is consistent with the rest of the country, as companies looked to acquire emerging technologies and drive innovation.”

Wisconsin had the highest deal value of any quarter in the past 10 years in the first quarter of 2019, the report shows. The next highest was the third quarter of 2017, when Wisconsin reported $29.7 billion of M&A activity. The greatest number of deals in the past 10 years was in 2017’s first quarter, at 100.

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Molly Dill
Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.