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Why hasn’t the price crash brought a wave of corporate deals?

The M&A activity that does occur will predominantly involve assets rather than full takeovers – a continuation of the clear trend seen last year, when asset transactions made up 80% of upstream deals

A sluggish oil and gas mergers and acquisitions market may splutter into life in 2016, but buyers will try to pick off individual assets rather than entire companies. Last year, you might have expected distressed oil and gas firms to increase divestments to boost cash flow, but M&A activity was modest. Total transaction value for global upstream oil and gas M&A deals fell by 22% to $143bn from $184bn in 2014, says IHS Energy, a consultancy. Worldwide deal count – including asset and corporate deals – almost halved in 2015 to its lowest level since 2001. The little activity that did occur was embellished by the year’s biggest deal: Shell’s $48bn acquisition of BG Group. That transac

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