Early this year I posted 10 Forecasts for 2013 M&A Activity.  Here are just a few of the more bullish quotes from the prognosticators:

“The fundamentals for sustained M&A activity on 2013 are solid…”

“…these numbers (2012) should rebound behind the strength of strategic buyers, the emerging markets, and the energy sector.”

“…a unique set of factors has coalesced to form a “perfect storm” of M&A activity; a slow yet improving economy, historically low interest rates, and a strong appetite among many businesses for growth through acquisitions.”

“…Chinese [domestic] M&A market is expected to make a new breakthrough and create a new record.”

“…right now is one of the most fertile times to be in the media mergers and acquisitions markets…”

“An explosion of mergers and acquisitions is predicted in 2013 by Robert Profusek, Chairman of the global M&A practice at Jones Day.”

A more downbeat collection of predictions was put together by Shanny Basar of Financial News, who led off her December 27, 2012 article titled Muted 2012 dampens M&A revival hopes in US with this:

Conditions looked ripe for strong growth in US mergers and acquisitions volumes 12 months ago: the economy was growing, credit markets were open and private equity firms and companies had cash to spend. But a dealmaking boom failed to materialize, however, and few now expect 2013 to be much better.

What actually happened this year?  Linklater’s the global law firm, summed up the year like this:

With 2013 drawing to a close, global M&A activity levels have remaining relatively slow with deal volume so far, representing 81% of 2012’s figures and falling 37% below the levels seen in 2007, the last time the major stock indexes traded near 2013 levels.

However, the value of takeovers in Q3 increased by 31% to $836bn from a year earlier with significant investment increases in the telecommunications, technology and real estate sectors. Divestitures have also remained a key driver of M&A activity, making up 33% of disclosed deal value in the first eleven months of 2013.

Stayed tuned – during the first week in January I’ll post forecasts for 2014.