Surging mergers and acquisitions trigger a boom in investigations


It's hard to ignore the fact that mergers-and-acquisitions activity has jumped dramatically recently. Although we're not even halfway through November, 214 deals have already been announced for a total deal value of $67.1 billion according to Thomson Reuters.

By far the biggest one was Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.A) $44 billion deal for railroad company Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNI). Others include Hewlett-Packard's (HPQ) deal to buy 3Com (COMS) for $2.7 billion, which was announced late Wednesday, and the $5.2 billion deal by private-equity firms TPG Capital and the CPP Investment Board for IMS Health announced on Nov. 5. If the trend continues, deal flow could easily surpass January, when the $68 billion Pfizer/Wyeth (PFE) deal was announced, pushing deal activity to $86.6 billion.