Record M&A activity has dealmakers wondering how long it'll last

The Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. logo at the company's global headquarters in Tokyo on June 11, 2018. Foto: Bloomberg photo by Kentaro Takahashi.

Multibillion dollar deals that will reshape the health-care and media industries have set 2018 on course to be the biggest year on record for global M&A. Now, after an unprecedented five years of bumper activity, dealmakers are starting to sound a note of caution.

Companies announced $2.1 trillion of transactions in the first half of 2018, putting this year on track to beat 2007's $4.1 trillion total, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Twenty-four acquisitions valued at more than $10 billion bolstered the numbers, the data show, including Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.'s $62 billion purchase of Shire Plc and T-Mobile US Inc's $26.5 billion takeover of Sprint Corp...

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