The Five Merger Waves

Mergers have typically occurred in cyclical patterns: periods of intense merger activity have been followed by intervening periods of fewer mergers.

Historians and M&A specialists have identified five merger waves in the history of the United States. What follows are the dates of each merger wave and some of each waves major characteristics:

First Merger Wave (1897-1907)

Second Merger Wave (1916-29)

Third Merger Wave (1965-1969)

Fourth Merger Wave (1981-1989)


Fifth Merger Wave (1993-2000)