M&A activity in paper and forestry sector jumps more than 300% in Q1: PwC

It only took one megadeal is an otherwise quiet quarter to boost mergers and acquisition (M&A) activity in the forestry, packaging and paper sector to historic heights, according to a report released Tuesday (April 21) from PwC.

Global M&A activity reached US$12.3 billion in the first quarter compared with just US$2.9 billion during the same period a year ago and US$1.7 billion in Q1 2013.

That 324% year-over-year jump was primarily attributed to Rock-Tenn Company’s US$11.3-billion acquisition of MeadWestvaco Corporation.

If not for that megadeal, M&A activity would have only been worth US$1 billion in the first quarter of 2015.

The number of deals (31) in the first quarter was up slightly compared to a year ago when 27 deals were made.

PwC said in the report the strengthening U.S. economy, expectations of slowing growth in China and security of fibre supply will affect M&A activity in the upcoming quarters.

torton@biv.com

@reporton