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LONDON May 9 French companies have spent more
on overseas acquisitions so far this year than in the same
period over the past decade, marking a sharp rebound from 2016,
Thomson Reuters data released on Tuesday showed.
Outbound merger and acquisition activity by French firms has
reached $40.8 billion so far in 2017, up from less than $5
billion over the same period in 2016 when there were 243 deals,
compared with 213 in 2017, the data showed.
French transactions involving companies in other European
countries accounted for 79 percent of the total outbound M&A
volume so far this year, with the Americas in second place with
20 percent of the total.
Of the total French outbound M&A activity so far in 2017, 65
percent was in consumer products and services companies,
followed by industrials with 16.4 percent, the data showed.
The activity was dominated by Essilor International's
$25.2 billion all-share acquisition of Italian eyewear
group Luxottica in January.
In the second biggest overseas deal by a French company so
far this year, an investor group which included French waste and
water group Suez bought GE Water for 3.2
billion euros ($3.48 billion).
On Sunday France elected Emmanuel Macron as president with a
business-friendly vision of European integration which could
stoke European cross-border transactions.
U.S. investment bank Citigroup leads the league table
of advisers so far this year for deals involving outbound French
M&A, advising on deals worth $30.8 billion, giving it a 75.4
percent share of the market.
($1 = 0.9184 euros)
(Reporting by Dasha Afanasieva; editing by Alexander Smith)