When M&As fail

A drop in merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the US utility sector last year has led to concerns that new infrastructure build may be stymied as smaller utilities struggle to raise the necessary capital.

The value of US electricity merger deals in 2006 sank 64% from 2005 levels to $20.7 billion, while the number of gas bidders fell by 31%, according to a report by management consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). In contrast, the same period saw $190.6 billion worth of deals in power