The outlook for the M&A market is optimistic, according to a report issued in February by market intelligence firm 451 Research LLC. 2014 was a record-breaking year, and dealmakers expect the momentum to continue through the new year.

2014 was also a banner year for Morrison & Foerster’s global M&A Practice. The team advised on 124 M&A transactions, with a total value of approximately $97 billion, including 20 transactions of greater than $1 billion. Highlights, which are described in greater detail in our M&A Annual Review, included:

  • SoftBank’s first foray into Hollywood (Legendary Entertainment), as well as advising the TMT giant on its acquisition of an Indian online marketplace (Snapdeal) and global video streaming service (DramaFever)
  • Edison Pharmaceutical’s multibillion cross-border collaboration with Japan-based Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma
  • 21st Century Fox’s sale of its stake in Sky Deutschland and its acquisition of all shares in Sky Italia, with a total transaction value exceeding $10 billion.
  • Advanced Computer Software in its $1.1. billion acquisition by Vista Equity Partners

These transactions underscore the firm’s strengths in the technology, media, and telecommunications (TMT) and health care sectors, which are matched by our prowess in real estate, energy, financial services, transportation, and consumer products M&A.

MoFo also continued its dominance in Asia. In their year-end league tables for 2014, both Mergermarket and Thomson Reuters ranked us as the top U.S. law firm for China deals (by value), as illustrated by our role advising China CNR Corporation on its $26 million merger with CSR Corporation. In Japan, Chambers Asia Pacific recognized MoFo as the 2014 International Law Firm of the Year, and Asian Legal Business named us its International Deal Firm of the Year for 2014.

451 Research, which partners with MoFo twice a year on the M&A Leaders Survey, predicts that dealmakers will spend as much money on M&A deals in 2015 as they did in 2014. The tech sector is a particular bright spot on the M&A horizon, with deal activity being driven by easy access to debt capital, shareholder activism, rapid company growth, and the continued interest to cash in on the next big technological advancement.

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