Privatization Trends and Major Deals in 2012 and 1H2013

21 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2013

Date Written: August 17, 2013


This article details major privatization deals executed during 2012 and the first half of 2013 and surveys trends shaping the privatization landscape worldwide. We document several important facts, including the following: (1) Governments raised $186.8 billion (€145.9 billion) through privatization sales during 2012, nearly twice the 2011 figures [$94.4 billion (€68.2 billion)] and the third largest total on record; (2) Share issue privatizations (SIPs) accounted for almost four-fifths (79.3%) of this total, while auctions, targeted stake sales, and share repurchases accounted for the rest; (3) For the third year out of four, the United States raised more proceeds [7 deals worth $53.1 billion (€40.9 billion)] through privatization sales than any other country - including five public offerings of AIG stock that raised $41.6 billion (the last raised an astounding $18.0 billion), completely eliminating the federal government’s holdings acquired during the 2008 rescue - followed by China, Brazil, and Portugal, the leading EU privatizer of 2012; (4) The €26.8 billion ($35.0 billion) raised by EU governments represented only 18.7% of the worldwide total, the lowest on record and far lower than the long-run average EU share of 41.2%; (5) There were a significant number of failed, withdrawn, and cancelled privatization sales during 2012, but these represented a much lower proportion of attempted sales than was the case in 2011, when over one-fourth of all privatizations attempted were withdrawn or cancelled; and (6) The large number (44) and value [$74.6 billion (€57.2 billion)] of privatizations executed during 1H2013, coupled with several massive planned sale announcements, suggests that a major new global privatization wave may be forming.

Keywords: Privatization, Government Ownership

JEL Classification: G32

Suggested Citation

Megginson, William L., Privatization Trends and Major Deals in 2012 and 1H2013 (August 17, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

William L. Megginson (Contact Author)

University of Oklahoma ( email )

307 W Brooks, 205A Adams Hall
Norman, OK 73019
United States
(405) 325-2058 (Phone)
(405) 325-1957 (Fax)


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