It's a Hot Month for M&A With $63 Billion in North America Deals So Far

A surprise surge in deals is turning August into a memorable month for mergers and acquisitions, helped by rising stock prices and steadier US markets.

Already $63 billion of transactions have been announced in North America, the most for a comparable monthly period since November and eclipsing the $52 billion in deals for all of July, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Among an eye-catching 613 combinations proposed in this traditionally sleepy summer month is Vista Equity Partners’ plan to buy tax-management software provider Avalara Inc for $7.8 billion.

A July M&A survey listed stock market volatility and financing disruptions as two big causes for delaying or abandoning pending transactions. Merger arbitrage specialists say the stock rally that started in July, and a generally stabler tone in all markets, are now moving deals along.

The S&P 500 rallied 9.1% in July and another 1.9% this month, while the Cboe Volatility Index, a gauge of Wall Street worry, slid below the key $20 level earlier this week before reversing slightly.