Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in 2014 for the global chemical industry will likely increase due to downstream value-added opportunities, continued strength in specialty chemicals and portfolio realignments in North America, according to a new report from Deloitte.

"The 2014 Global chemical industry mergers and acquisitions outlook" also projects M&A growth in 2014 as companies focus on key ends markets including agrochemicals, bio-based/green chemicals and health and nutrition.

"This year developing megatrends like expanding global middle class, population growth, and food security will influence global chemical M&A opportunities in end markets such as agrochemicals, as well as impact M&A activity in various regions," said Dan Schweller, DTTL Global Manufacturing M&A Leader. "Also, North America M&A activity will likely increase as chemical companies continue to pursue large structural portfolio realignments."

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Chemical companies in the United States are likely to focus their M&A efforts less on cyclical commodity platforms and more on higher growth investments that offer greater product differentiation in the global chemicals market. The Deloitte report also anticipates a continuation of large deals in the first half of 2014.

View the report at www.deloitte.com/chemicals.