CORRECTED – BHP, Intel, RSA shatter usual August M&A lull

(Corrects first paragraph to show busiest-ever August was in
1999, not 2006, after earlier data release was corrected)

* August M&A totals $197.6 bln – Thomson Reuters data

* Week is busiest since Buffett moved into rail in Nov

By Quentin Webb

LONDON, Aug 20 (BestGrowthStock) – Global mergers and acquisitions
(M&A) have hit nearly $200 billion so far in August, $77 billion
shy of the record set in 1999 for what is typically one of the
quietest months of the year, Thomson Reuters data shows.

The $197.6 billion of deals appears to vindicate analysts
and bankers who have spent months predicting an upturn in M&A,
as cash-rich corporates regain confidence, the economic backdrop
improves, and banks are increasingly ready to lend.

This week has also seen the highest value of announced deals
since November — when Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc
(BRKa.N: )(BRKb.N: ) agreed to buy rail company Burlington Northern
Santa Fe Corp, in the billionaire investor’s biggest-ever
takeover.

This month’s deals include:

BHP Billiton’s (BLT.L: )(BHP.AX: ) $39 billion hostile offer for
Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc (POT.TO: ), the world’s
largest fertilizer firm; [ID:nN22340110]

Intel Corp’s (INTC.O: ) $7.7 billion offer to buy antivirus
software company McAfee Inc (MFE.N: ), the chipmaker’s
biggest-ever deal; [ID:nN19252526]

And RSA Insurance Group PLC’s (RSA.L: ) 5 billion pound offer
to buy rival Aviva’s non-life units, which Aviva has rejected
[ID:nLDE67F07V].
(Reporting by Quentin Webb; Editing by Simon Jessop)

CORRECTED – BHP, Intel, RSA shatter usual August M&A lull