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We keep track of all business acquisitions made by U.S. public companies. We collected the data for acquisitions made from 2012 through 2016. It was interesting to see that the number of acquisitions is relatively the same throughout those years. To examine the more active industries, we divide the sample to 12 industries based on the Fama and French (1997) classification.

Here is a chart showing the business acquisitions by industry classification and year of acquisition. As you can see by the chart, the industry with most acquisitions is Finance (with almost 25 percent of all acquisitions), followed by Business Equipment (about 19 percent of all acquisitions) and Healthcare, Medical Equipment, and Drugs (about 13 percent of all acquisitions).

Another interesting component is the amount spent on corporate acquisitions. To that end, we sum the purchases in each industry and examine that distribution over the same period, 2012-2016.

Here the findings are a little different. First, we see an increasing trend: companies are spending more on corporate acquisitions than before, reaching almost $1 trillion dollars in 2016. There is more fluctuation in the amounts per industry over the years. Overall, Healthcare, Medical Equipment, and Drugs accounted for more than 18 percent of the amount spent on corporate acquisitions. Finance was next with more than 17 percent, and third was Business Equipment spending more than 15 percent of the amount spent on corporate acquisitions.

To find out more about the wealth of business combination data we have, contact us at

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