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December's $361 Billion Deal Haul Is the Busiest in a Decade

  • This week’s deals range from gambling to consumer to telecom
  • Roche, UnitedHealth squeeze in last-minute acquisitions
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Just as most people are packing up for Christmas, dealmakers across the world are rushing to finish up a slew of transactions in industries ranging from consumer to telecom and health care to gambling.

Companies have announced about $361 billion of mergers and acquisitions this month, making it the busiest December in at least 12 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. On Friday, the last work day before bankers and executives break for the holiday, GVC Holdings Plc of the U.K. agreed to buy bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral Group Plc for as much as 4 billion pounds ($5.4 billion), Deutsche Telekom AG said it will buy Liberty Global Plc’s Austrian unit and Roche Holding AG announced the $1.7 billion acquisition of U.S. biotech Ignyta Inc.