Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Examples

We review several mergers and acquisitions examples, including some of the biggest M&A success stories and failures of all time, plus a list of the largest 2023 deal announcements.

    As you can imagine by the number of different types of mergers and acquisitions, and the intensive work that goes into the M&A process, no two outcomes are the same. In this article, we outline some famous mergers and acquisitions examples, including some of the most valuable mergers per decade, as well as some super successes and notorious M&A failures. Keep reading to learn more.

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    Best merger examples: biggest deals by decade

    1. 1900s: United States Steel Corporation with Carnegie Steel Company & Federal Steel Company & National Steel Company

    Year: 1901
    Transaction value: USD 0.492b
    Today’s value (inflation adjusted): 14.9897b
    In a nutshell: Andrew Carnegie founded Carnegie Steel Company. Elbert H Gary founded Federal Steel Company. In 1900, Charles M Schwab became president of the Carnegie company and approached Gary with the idea of a massive consolidation. With the help of J.P. Morgan, they brought the companies together, forming the first billion-dollar corporation in American history.

    2. 1910s: Midvale Steel Company with Remington Arms Company & Worth Brothers Company 

    Year: 1915
    Transaction value: USD 0.1b
    Today’s value (inflation adjusted): 3.0036b
    In a nutshell: Midvale Steel Co absorbed Worth Brothers and Remington Arms Co in a $100,000,000 Concern, reportedly making 2,000,000 rifles and issuing $55,000,000 stock for companies combined.

    3. 1920s: Consolidated Gas Company of New York with Brooklyn Edison Company  

    Year: 1928
    Transaction value: USD 1b
    Today’s value (inflation adjusted): 17.7405b
    In a nutshell: The great utilities merger of the 1920s, the purchase of Brooklyn Edison by Consolidated Gas affected the distribution of light and power to millions of New Yorkers. The deal also  increased Edison Power’s Kilowatt capacity on the railways.

    4. 1930s: Pacific Gas and Electric Company with Great Western Power Company, San Joaquin Light and Power Corporation & Midland Counties Public Service Corporation 

    Year: 1930
    Transaction value: USD 0.65b
    Today’s value (inflation adjusted): 11.8075b
    In a nutshell: Several utilities were acquired by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company during the 1920s and 1930s to form the modern PG&E system.

    5. 1940s: Pan American Airways with American Overseas Airlines  

    Year: 1949
    Transaction value: USD 0.059b
    Today’s value (inflation adjusted): 0.75203b
    In a nutshell: AOA was acquired by PAA but on May 17, 1950. The US CAB ruled against the merger, however President Harry S. Truman overturned the decision. AOA was merged into what would become Pan American's Atlantic Division.

    6. 1950s: General Telephone with Sylvania Electric Products 

    Year: 1959
    Transaction value: USD 1.8b
    Today’s value (inflation adjusted): 18.7647b
    In a nutshell: The merger of Sylvania Electric Products, Inc., into the General Telephone Corporation was approved by stockholders of both companies. General Telephone was the surviving company under the name of General Telephone and Electronics Corporation.

    7. 1960s: Atlantic Richfield with Sinclair Oil Corporation 

    Year: 1969
    Transaction value: USD 3.7b
    Today’s value (inflation adjusted): 30.584b
    In a nutshell: On January 1, 1969, Atlantic Richfield Company acquired oil/gas exploration company Sinclair Oil in a $3.7 billion deal, which was the largest in the industry's history at the time.

    8. 1980s: Kohlberg Kravis Roberts with RJR Nabisco 

    Year: 1989
    Transaction value: USD 31b
    Today’s value (inflation adjusted): 75.84b
    In a nutshell: In 1988, RJR Nabisco was purchased by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co in what was at the time the largest leveraged buyout in history. In 1999, due to concerns about tobacco lawsuit liabilities, the tobacco business was spun off into a separate company, and RJR Nabisco was renamed Nabisco Holdings Corporation.

    9. 1990s: Vodafone Airtouch plc with Mannesmann 

    Year: 1999
    Transaction value: USD 183b
    Today’s value (inflation adjusted): 333.226b
    In a nutshell: On February 4, 2000, Vodafone AirTouch PLC acquired Mannesmann AG in a deal that reshaped the mobile telecom marketplace. At the time, the cross-border transaction was the largest merger in history. It was also unique in being an unsolicited acquisition of a German company, which was unprecedented.

    10. 2000s: AOL with Time Warner 

    Year: 2000
    Transaction value: USD 182b
    Today’s value (inflation adjusted): 320.63b
    In a nutshell: America Online Inc. (AOL) acquired Time Warner Inc. for some $182 billion in stock and debt. The result was a $350 billion mega-corporation, AOL Time Warner. However, within a few months, recession hit, the dot-com bubble burst, and the AOL-Time Warner deal was dubbed “the worst merger in history.”

    11. 2010s: AB InBev with SABMiller 

    Year: 2015
    Transaction value: USD 107b
    Today’s value (inflation adjusted): 136.952b
    In a nutshell: In a long-awaited deal and reportedly the third largest acquisition in history (largest ever in Britain), AB InBev acquired SABMiller. The move combined two of the world’s leading beer companies, necessitating the merged company to divest itself of many brands in order to comply with anti-trust law. 

    12. 2020s: S&P Global with IHS Markit 

    Year: 2020
    Transaction value: USD 44b
    Today’s value (inflation adjusted): 51.574b
    In a nutshell: On 30 November 2020, S&P Global and IHS Markit released information about a definitive all-stock deal for around $44 billion, reportedly the largest deal of the year globally.

    Largest multi-billion dollar M&A deals in 2023

    2023 has already seen some major M&A action. Here are some of the biggest deals ($10 billion plus) that have been announced this year.

    Announcement Date

    Companies Involved

    Deal Value

    February 2023 CVS Health and Oak Street Health $10.6 Billion
    March 2023 Silver Lake and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and SAP SE shares of Qualtrics International $12.5 Billion
    March 2023 Pfizer and Seagen $43 Billion
    April 2023 Extra Space Storage (Merger) and Life Storage $47 Billion
    April 2023 Merck and Prometheus Biosciences $11 Billion
    April 2023 Brookfield Infrastructure and Triton International $13.3 Billion
    May 2023 TD (Terminated) and First Horizon $13.4 Billion
    May 2023 Carrier Global Corporation and Viessmann Climate Solutions $13.7 Billion
    May 2023 Allkem Ltd. and Livent Corp $10.6 Billion
    June 2023 BJC Healthcare and St. Luke’s $10 Billion
    June 2023 Bunge and Viterra $18 Billion
    June 2023 Nasdaq and Adenza $10.5 Billion
    June 2023 Vodafone (Merger) and Three $18.6 Billion
    June 2023 GTCR (Stake) and Worldplay $18.5 Billion

    3 of our favorite successful mergers and acquisitions examples

    1. Successful acquisition: Disney, Pixar and Marvel

    Mass media conglomerate Disney found enormous success with two very famous acquisitions; first, of animation heavyweight Pixar, then Marvel Entertainment.
    Walt Disney Co. acquired Pixar in 2006 for $7.4 billion, and has since seen tremendous success with films like WALL-E, Finding Dory and Toy Story 3 – each of which have generated billions of dollars in revenue for the company.
    One of the main reasons for the success of this acquisition was the access it gave Disney to Pixar’s advanced animation technology. By keeping Pixar’s culture distinct, Disney was able to generate significant value without destroying what made Pixar unique or successful.
    Shortly after, Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment, paying $4 billion for the entertainment company in 2009. With a highly lucrative string of Marvel films premiering at the box office since then, they have already made their money back – with more to come, no doubt.

    2. Successful acquisition: Google and Android

    In 2005, Google purchased the relatively unknown Android, a mobile startup that had been founded only a few years prior. While the exact sum is undisclosed, it’s estimated that the deal was worth approximately $50 million - a fraction of the $130 million Google spent on acquisitions that year. In fact, Google spent $1.65 billion purchasing YouTube just over a year later.

    Android gave Google the mobile operating system (OS) it needed to compete with the likes of Apple and Microsoft in the growing mobile market, and expand their reach far beyond desktops.  
    Android has easily been Google’s most successful acquisition; when it comes to smartphones, their estimated market share is a whopping 85% (IDC). 

    3. Successful merger: Exxon and Mobil

    Exxon Corp. and Mobil Corp. - the first and second largest oil producers in the United States - made headlines when they announced their merger in 1998. This type of merger is a classic example of a horizontal merger. The megadeal closed at $80 billion, with investors quite literally quadrupling their money in the process. 

    3 failed mergers and acquisitions examples to learn from

    1. Failed merger: AOL and Time Warner

    Now considered one of the worst (and largest) M&A disasters in history, the AOL and Time Warner merger was initially anticipated to create exciting synergies and results. The deal between the communications and media giants was signed in 2000 for a massive $350 billion, but just two years later the merged company was reporting a $99 billion loss. How could it go so wrong? 

    According to sources, the integration of two very different company cultures was one of the major challenges. AOL was viewed as ‘more aggressive’ by Time Warner, a more staid and traditionally corporate culture. The two companies came to resent each other and valuable synergies were never realized. Their woes were exacerbated by the dotcom bubble and economic recession, leading to a dissolution of the merger in 2009.

    2. Failed acquisition: eBay and Skype

    eCommerce giant eBay purchased Skype for $2.6 billion back in 2005, thinking that buyers and sellers could better connect with their video communication tools. The acquisition was a major flop, with users continuing to prefer email to organize and execute their transactions. (Who wants to video chat with a stranger?) Skype’s management team was reportedly changed four times in four years by eBay in an attempt to salvage the acquisition, before they finally sold off 65% of the company in 2009.

    3. Major failure (but the world’s largest acquisition)

    Vodafone Group acquired German telecom giant Mannesmann AG in 2000 for a staggering $180.95 billion. Adjusted for inflation, the deal would be worth approximately $280 billion today. While there were high hopes of reshaping and dominating the telecommunications landscape, the deal was ultimately a failure, forcing Vodafone to write off billions of dollars in the long run.

    Examples of successful mergers and acquisitions run by Ansarada

    1. PBL Media Ltd

    In 2006, an Ansarada Data Room was used to facilitate the $5 billion recapitalisation of James Packer’s company, PBL Media Limited. The deal saw the media giant sell half of its media assets, including the Nine television network, to private equity investors. The move allowed the company to ‘bankroll its ambitions in gaming and capitalise on the federal government’s changes to media ownership laws’ (Australian Financial Review).

    2. Westpac and St. George

    In early 2008, Westpac and St. George banks outlined their intention to merge, and the deal was approved by shareholders and the Australian Federal Court in November of the same year. The combined entity was valued at over $66 billion in the megamerger executed in Ansarada’s Virtual Data Room.

    For more mergers and acquisitions examples, check out our customers page where you can watch and read stories of successful M&A transactions that have been run through Ansarada’s AI-powered platform.

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