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Basic materials M&A hits seven-year high buoyed by chemicals deals

[LONDON] Worldwide dealmaking in the basic materials sector rose in July to a seven-year high, lifted by US fertiliser maker CF Industries' US$8 billion bid for some of Dutch firm OCI NV's North American and European, Thomson Reuters data shows.

So far this year, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) worth US$615.4 billion have been announced in Europe, the data shows, with the value of deals in basic materials climbing 90 per cent to US$96.5 billion from the same period last year.

Globally, the materials sector recorded US$217.1 billion worth of deals, a 45 per cent increase compared with a year ago.

Chemicals, which together with metals and mining dominated basic materials M&A this year, totalled US$103.8 billion worth of global deals, an all-time record so far.

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The largest deal of the week was announced in the healthcare sector.

Dublin-based drugmaker Shire offered US$30 billion to buy Baxalta, a company spun-off by Baxter International. But the bid, which aimed to forge the leading global specialist in rare diseases, was rebuffed on Tuesday.

Worldwide M&A is up 41 per cent year-to-date versus the same period last year, with deals worth US$2,716 trillion having been struck so far.