NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- As mid-year approaches, mergers and acquisition activity in 2015 continues at a hefty pace and is on track to eclipse 2014, a record year.
So far, there have been 4,536 U.S. deals announced (as of June 11), with a total value of roughly $863 billion, according to Dealogic. Deal value for the year is on pace to surpass 2014's $1.54 trillion in M&A deals.
What's equally interesting about 2015 is the number of deals valued at $10 billion or more. This year there have been 19 U.S. deals of that size -- the most on record year-to-date, Dealogic said. The health care sector has been the most targeted sector so far this year. Semiconductor consolidation has also significantly contributed to large deals this year.
The market for takeovers is going through "a boom that I think is going to continue through next year because the circumstances are so fertile," TheStreet's Jim Cramer told participants at December's The Deal Economy: Predictions & Perspectives for 2015. At the time Cramer identified 19 companies he thought could be bought or broken up in 2015. (None have been snapped up yet.)
How can ordinary investors benefit? Given that most takeovers occur at premium to the stock price, owning stock in a likely merger or acquisition candidate can result in a tidy profit once the transaction occurs.
Check out the list of the biggest deals for U.S.-targeted M&A this year, ranked from smallest to largest.
10. Energy Transfer Equity/Regency Energy Partners
Deal Value: $16.47 billion
Deal Value excluding debt: $10 billion
Sector: Utility and Energy
Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), a master limited partnership owning energy assets and is also the parent of Sunoco (SUN), acquired Regency Energy Partners on April 30. The companies announced the complicated merger agreement on Jan. 26, 2015 in which an "indirect subsidiary of ETP, [would merge] with and into Regency, with Regency surviving the merger as a wholly-owned subsidiary of ETP." The transaction was completed on April 30.