Metals: In 2007, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in the metals industry increased 67% to $144.7 billion. Aluminum deals represented 56 of the year’s 411 disclosed transactions and amounted to $77.3 billion, almost four times the $21.3 billion spent on aluminum deals between 2003 and 2006. This increase was primarily due to Rio Tinto’s $38.1 billion acquisition of Alcan and the $30 billion merger between SUAL, RUSAL and Glencore International. North America was home to the largest share of deals last year with 115 transactions worth $77 billion, many of which involved purchases by buyers in emerging countries. Steel deals were smaller in 2007, but more consolidation is expected. In Central and Eastern Europe, the creation of the United Company RUSAL accounted for 97% of the $30.8 billion spent on 25 deals last year, a sharp contrast from the $3.3 billion in deals in 2006. Western Europe’s 104 deals amounted to $20 billion, with 80% of the activity in the steel sector, a substantial decrease from the previous year’s 69 deals worth $49.3 billion. Asia’s M&A activity also decreased, falling 52% to 148 deals worth $7.2 billion, which is credited to a slow down in China’s steelmaking activity.

Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers

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