The Year in Deals

By Evan Applegate and Zachary Mider


Hits, Misses, and Oddities

Biggest Premium

Softbank offered a 264 percent premium in its $2.3 billion all-stock offer for wireless provider EAccess. The average premium is in the 20 percent to 30 percent range.

Harshest Market Blowback

Freeport-McMoRan’s proposed $10 billion takeover of Plains Exploration & Production, another oil and gas company, caused the acquirer’s stock to fall 19 percent and triggered a pair of shareholder lawsuits.

Tastiest Snack Deal

In the largest snack food deal in two years, Kellogg acquired the Pringles brand from Procter & Gamble for $2.7 billion.

Fewer Fizzles

Only 198 of this year’s 26,480 deals fell through, the lowest number in at least a decade.

Longest Courtship

Hertz and Dollar Thrifty got hitched in November, five years after Hertz started pursuing its smaller rival. Avis tried to cut in on this slow dance, pushing the final tab to $2.5 billion.

Maximizing Synergies

Salon operator Regis sold its Hair Club for Men and Hair Club for Women to Aderans, a Japanese wigmaker.

Pricey Scribbles

Handwritten notes by Steve Jobs, offering pointers to developers of an Atari arcade game, sold at auction for $27,500.

Banking on Ryan Seacrest

The American Idol producer and host got as much as $300 million from Bain Capital and other investors to develop companies and television shows.

Most Acquisitive

Accel Partners

Deal Count 81

While most are venture capital firms, a Japanese paper company and gobblin’ Google made the list as well.

New Enterprise Associates

Deal Count 76

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Deal Count 70

500 Startups

Deal Count 52

Greylock Partners

Deal Count 51

Sequoia Capital Operations

Deal Count 51

Daio Paper

Deal Count 49

Index Ventures

Deal Count 49


Deal Count 48

Six Biggest Deals

1 $54b

Rosneft bought TNK-BP in the third-largest oil acquisition ever. That put Rosneft’s output on par with ExxonMobil’s.

Largest mining purchase!

2 $47b

The merger of Swiss mining giants Glencore and Xstrata may kick off another round of consolidation in an industry battling falling prices.

New Japanese record!

3 $38b

In the largest Japanese acquisition of a foreign company, mobile operator Softbank bought a majority stake in Sprint Nextel, the No. 3 U.S. wireless carrier.

4 $33b

MetroPCS and T-Mobile teamed up, though that still leaves them at No. 4 in the U.S. T-Mobile lost 10 percent of its subscribers in the eight quarters preceding the deal.

New Chinese record!

5 $17b

Canada green-lighted China National Offshore Oil’s $15 billion purchase of oil sands concern Nexen. It’s the biggest deal by a Chinese company abroad.


Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, slaked its thirst for Mexican beer by purchasing the half of Corona maker Grupo Modelo it didn’t own.

2012 Deals by Sector

Financial 17.6% of deals

Consumer noncyclical 16.1%

Energy 15.7%

Communications 12.2%

Industrial 10.6%

Consumer cyclical 10.3%

Basic materials 9.1%

Utilities 4.5%

Technology 4.1%


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