The number of mergers and acquisitions related to transportation and logistics in 2007 was likely to exceed that of 2006, according to a recent quarterly report from PricewaterhouseCoopers. Yet the value of those deals would still be less than in the previous year. Total deal value during the first three quarters of 2007 stood at $39bn, versus $27bn for the same period of 2006, although the level of activity was not on pace to exceed total deal value for all of 2006. "The pace of M&A activity in the transportation and logistics industry has not abated, and we anticipate that it is going to continue as a result of the current global environment," said Ken Evans, U.S. transportation and logistics sector leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers. In 2006, passenger airlines accounted for the largest percentage of apparent deal value, although some transactions were later withdrawn. In the first three quarters of 2007, trucking companies became the leading targets in terms of value. At the same time, ocean-shipping companies continued to show strength, especially in the bulk cargo arena, pushed up by high rates and high stock prices. U.S. firms were the leading acquisition targets for M&A deals in 2006 and the first nine months of 2007. The consultancy expects additional M&A activity among global air carriers, fueled in part by the open-skies agreement between the United States and Europe.
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