London — A historic peak in global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the first half of 2018 has seen the energy and power sector retain its lead as the biggest contributor, with the value of deals increasing by 62%, Thomson Reuters data showed. The value of energy and power transactions announced globally rose to $365.7bn in the first six months of the year from $225.5bn a year earlier and accounted for almost 16% of total M&A value. Utility companies in mature markets have been undergoing a wave of consolidation, looking to create scale partly because of the increasing shift to renewable energy sources that is forcing them to change business models. Among the most high-profile deals, Germany’s top utilities RWE and E.ON agreed to break up RWE’s subsidiary Innogy and divide its assets between them in a €5.2bn deal, while China Three Gorges launched a $10.8bn bid to take control of EDP, Portugal’s biggest company. "Over the past few years there has been a repositioning of the utility...

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