January 7, 2016

Massachusetts hub of business activity in 2015

Some of the biggest deals of 2015 took place in Massachusetts.

This past year was the biggest year ever for mergers and acquisitions. Analysts expect this year to close out with a total value deal of $4.3 trillion. The previous record was $4.2 trillion set in 2007.

A few of the biggest deals include Avago Tech's purchase of Broadcom for $31 billion and Charter Communication's acquisition of Time Warner Cable for close to $80 billion. But one of the biggest took place in Massachusetts, which was also home to a bevy of business activity in 2015.

One of the year's most lucrative deals came out of central Massachusetts where Dell agreed to pay $67 billion for EMC of Hopkinton, Mass. It was ranked  one of the top 10 deals, helping the total value of deals rocket past $4 trillion.

"From EMC's perspective, this is a great deal. They couldn't have worked it out better," said Rajesh Ghai, an analyst at Macquarie Group. "Eventually, big customers are going to want to buy from fewer suppliers, and if you have everything under the same roof, you have a better chance."

Along with Dell's purchase, Astellas Pharma of Japan offered close to $380 million to buy Ocata Therapeutics in Marlboro, and Staples in Framingham bid $6.3 billion to purchase Office Depot.

While some analysts are worried that an increase in interest rates will decrease mergers and acquisitions in 2016, others believe the dealing won't halt because the rates are still very low.