The dollar volume of mergers and acquisitions in the U.S. electrical and gas distribution sector—for gas, midstream and distribution—in 2018 set a new high-water mark, according to the annual energy survey by Baker Botts. Deal volume for transactions in the United States was over $359 billion, well above the $213 billion recorded in 2017.

Notably, the entire increase was the result of increased activity in the midstream, pipeline and MLP segments where transaction volume was over $285 billion. That was more than twice the volume recorded in any previous year.

According to Baker Botts, two factors drove the extraordinary transaction volume:  MLPs being acquired by their sponsors and continued consolidation. Transactions among regulated electric utilities also decreased slightly to $32.7 billion from $36.5 billion in 2017.

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