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Mergers and Acquisitions Down in First Quarter
CNBC.com | March 26, 2012 | 03:46 AM EDT

The uncertainty caused by the debt crisis and weak global economy has affected mergers and acquisitions, whose volumes decreased by 24 percent in the first quarter of this year compared with the final quarter of 2011 and were down 26 percent year-on-year, a report showed on Monday.

The Ernst & Young M&A Tracker showed that globally, deal values were down 13 percent from the last quarter of 2011. The relatively smaller fall in value compared to deal volume reflects the increase in average transaction value quarter-on-quarter, Ernst & Young said in a statement.

"The market uncertainty of late last year has clearly impacted transaction activity in the first quarter of 2012," Dave Murray, transaction advisory services markets leader at Ernst & Young, said in the statement.

"That said, the small upswing in average deal values could indicate an increase in confidence among buyers—who while still cautious about undertaking transactions, are more willing to push through larger deals,” Murray added.

The level of deals fully financed by cash fell to 55 percent in the first quarter.

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