Cash-laden companies are on a mergers and acquisitions spree

Fat Brands CEO Andrew Wiederhorn on Fat Brands’ new acquisition, labor shortages and higher food prices. 

Businesses spent $1.74 trillion on mergers and acquisitions involving U.S. companies during the first six months of the year—the highest amount in more than four decades—as finance chiefs tapped into cheap funding options to acquire technologies, services and other assets.

Such transactions surged in value in the first six months of the year, up from $511.79 billion during the year-ago period and $1.28 trillion in the first six months of 2019, before the pandemic, according to data provider Refinitiv, which began tracking deals in 1980. The total number of deals with U.S. involvement, at 9,725, also was higher than in comparable periods in 2020 and 2019, Refinitiv said.

U.S. companies are cash-rich thanks to last year’s emergency fundraising rounds and strong earnings in recent quarters, providing chief financial officers with money to…

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