5. Disney acquires 21st Century Fox
> Total value: $71.3 billion
This is the deal that altered the face of the media industry. Disney was already large in movies, television, and sports via its studios and ABC and ESPN networks. The additional TV and studio assets Disney now owns following its buyout of Fox will allow it to compete with AT&T’s Warner division and the newly created CBS-Viacom. The company’s recently launched Disney+ streaming service is expected to compete with Netflix and Amazon.
4. Saudi Aramco and Saudi Basic Industries (Sabic)
> Deal value: $70.4 billion
Saudi Arabia’s national oil company, Saudi Aramco, agreed to acquire 70% of Sabic in a deal that is scheduled to close early next year. The acquisition is intended to diversify Aramco’s business away from just oil to petrochemical products, where profits are better. Aramco was supposed to pay the full purchase price by 2021 but negotiated a deal that gives it an extra four years to pay in full.
3. AbbVie and Allergan
> Deal value: $86.3 billion
On June 21, drug and beauty product company Allegan announced it would join with Abbvie, the maker of the wildly successful drug Humira, which treats arthritis, psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. The deal was approved by shareholders on Oct. 14. Some experts believe that the new company will be saddled with an extraordinary amount of debt.
2. UTC-Raytheon merger of equals
> Deal value: $88.9 billion
This UTC-Raytheon merger created the second-largest defense contractor in America after Lockheed Martin. Shareholders approved the deal on Oct. 11. The deal still faces federal approval, but most experts believe this is not much more than a formality, and the deal will close in the early part of 2020. Parts of UTC were sold before the marriage, likely to avoid regulatory obstacles.
1. Bristol-Myers Squibb acquires Celgene
> Deal value: $89.5 billion
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, bought Celgene Corp., one of the world’s largest biotech companies, in a deal that closed Nov. 20. The buyout had to run the gauntlet of approvals from the Federal Trade Commission, which forced the companies to sell some of their products to other pharmaceutical companies.