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Slumptastic

Weak and volatile prices dulled M&A activity in 2016, with a few exceptions

It has been a tough old run for anyone trying to get deals done in the world's oil and gas sector. Just ask Halliburton. Its $28bn takeover of Baker Hughes collapsed, leaving it to watch as, a few months later, its target fell into a proposed merger with GE. In 2015, global upstream deal value plunged, according to 1Derrick and PwC, which compile such data. The total number of deals wasn't down by much - just 31, to 1,537. But values were. Transactions amounted to just $150.86bn, a drop of almost a quarter from a year earlier. Pushing mergers across the line was a problem everywhere. Several large, unsolicited corporate takeover bids were rejected and asset deal value fell to a 10-year low

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