NEW YORK ( TheDeal) - The second quarter of 2013 was the worst for deal activity since 2009 as cheap financing and market volatility crippled interest in mergers and acquisitions. With one day before the quarter ends, 1,978 deals were announced for the second quarter -- the lowest since the third quarter of 2009 when 1,771 deals were struck, according to Dealogic.
The three largest deals for the quarter were in the healthcare and utility and energy sectors. They included Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.'s acquisition of Life Technologies Corp. for $15.7 billion, Pfizer Inc.'s offer of a share exchange to reduce its 80.2% stake in animal health business Zoetis Inc. for around $14.7 billion, and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. acquiring NV Energy Inc. for $10.4 billion. These were overshadowed by megadeals in the first quarter that included the $27.5 billion acquisition of H.J. Heinz Co. by Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital and the $20.7 billion privatization bid for Dell Inc. by Silver Lake and the company's CEO.