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Utah business deals rose to $19B last year

First Published      Last Updated May 15 2017 04:51 pm

Transactions in 2016 rose to $19B, almost double the 2015 total.

Utah businesses had a record year of nearly $19 billion in deals and capital flows in 2016, nearly double the previous year's total, according to a report released Friday.

The MountainWest Capital Network issued its annual Deal Flow report at a luncheon to facilitate acquisitions, mergers and the raising of capital. The numbers have been prepared by the group of businesses and service providers for 22 years.

The group reported 423 deals in 2016, down from 524 in 2015 although the total dollars involved in 2016 were up about $9 billion.

"The numbers are strong — very, very healthy in Utah," said Quinton Stephens, a Ballard Spahr attorney and chairman of the Deal Flow event.

The three biggest deals last year were:

• Dominion Resources Inc.'s purchase of Questar Corp. for $6.1 billion;

• Boral Industries Inc.'s acquisition of Headwaters Inc. for $2.6 billion; and

• Dominion Midstream Partners LP's buyout of Questar Pipeline for $1.7 billion.

The technology sector continued to deliver the most deals. The report counted 151 deals involving tech companies, almost double the next-largest category, labeled "all others," which had 77 deals.

"Technology is always at the top here in Utah" because many such companies are based here, said Katie Chandler, a CPA with Tanner LLC and vice chairwoman of the event.

Other active categories were consumer/retail with 72 deals, business-to-business services with 61, health care with 43 and financial services with 19.

Of the $18.9 billion in deals, $16.9 billion came from acquisitions and mergers.

Deals include all purchases and investments made public by Utah companies. Deals that are kept private do not show up in the report.

Several publicly traded companies also raised a lot of capital in 2016, including:

• NuSkin Enterprises Inc. issued $210 million in convertible debt.

• Health Equity Inc. issued about $90 million in common stock.

• Sportsman Warehouse Holdings Inc. issued $67.5 million in equity/debt.

Among privately held companies, top known deals were:

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