The logos of French power and transport engineering company Alstom and U.S. conglomerate General Electric are pictured on their site in Belfort, June 23, 2014.REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
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Global M&A at seven-year high as big corporate deals returnInvestor support for large acquisitions and a desire to trump rivals in consolidating markets have led chief executives to strike big transactions so far in 2014, raising year-to-date global deal volumes to their highest level in seven years.That was the highest level since 2007, when deal volume reached $2.28 trillion.Thirty-eight unsolicited or hostile bids, worth more than $150 billion, were launched in the first six months of the year, compared with 19 such deals worth $8 billion in the same period last year.Pfizer made an abortive $118 billion bid for AstraZeneca Plc, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. is trying to buy Botox maker Allergan Inc. for more than $50 billion, and AbbVie Inc. plans to appeal to Shire Plc's shareholders after an unsolicited $46 billion bid was rebuffed.With stock markets at record-high levels, the average premium buyers paid over target companies' four-week stock prices was 24.8 percent so far this year, down from 28.1 percent in the same period last year and 30.3 percent in 2012 .Even excluding Pfizer's AstraZeneca bid which has been put on hold for now, health care deals more than tripled to $317.4 billion so far this year, representing 18.2 percent of total deal volume, Thomson Reuters data shows.
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