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M&A Stumbles Amid March Deal Drought

While the proposed takeovers of Dell Inc. and H.J. Heinz Co. dominated headlines in the first quarter, global dealmaking stumbled, with March on track to be the worst month for mergers in more than three years.

Takeovers fell 4.4 percent from a year ago and 36 percent from the previous quarter to more than $461 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg as of March 27. Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s $23 billion purchase of Heinz and the $24.4 billion buyout of Dell Inc. in February failed to spark a rally in March, when mergers shrank to $100 billion, on track for the worst month since 2009.