M&A deal activity fell by 38.7 percent globally in January, according to the latest Robert W. Baird & Co. monthly M&A market analysis. It's the largest monthly decline since Sept. 2001, the firm says.
Dollar volume for January was up 14.6 percent, but excluding the Pfizer-Wyeth deal, global M&A volume was down 40.1%. The middle market saw greater hits than the overall market. Strategic acquisitions continue to increase as a percentage of all deals.
A bright spot to the report: The credit markets appear to have "largely stabilized." That said, the report acknowledges that credit is available at much lower levels, higher interest rates and tighter covenants than before. "The ability to raise debt for acquisitions is a key component to reverse the current negative trends in M&A," according to the report.