The value of merger and takeover activity in Australia shot up by two-thirds in 2013, led by real estate group Westfield's merging of its Australian and New Zealand assets.
Billionaire co-founder Frank Lowy announced the year's largest deal last month: the $11.9 billion merger of assets including shopping centres to create the new Scentre Group while splitting it from the Westfield Group and its faster growing international business.
The $A73.1 billion in M&A (merger and acquisition) activity in 2013 increased by 66.5 per cent on the $43.9 billion in deals in 2012, according to a report from Mergemarket based on announced deals worth more than $5 million.
The 445 deals completed last year was an increase of 22.
The resources sector's share of M&A activity fell sharply but it still dominates the market, with deals in energy, mining and utilities down to 28.8 per cent from a market share of 44.2 per cent.
The value of those deals increased 8.5 per cent to $21 billion.
The largest deal was APA Group's planned $3.49 billion deal to take over rival gas distribution group Envestra.
A big improver was the financial services sector, where 34 deals completed accumulated $10 billion and a 13.7 per cent market, more than 10 times the value of 2012's $700 million in deals.
Private equity buyouts grew for a fourth year in a row, with a 16.9 per cent share and $12.4 billion value, the highest level since 2007.
The biggest private equity deal and second-biggest deal of the year behind Westfield's was the $4.3 billion privatisation and buyout of Sydney's Port Botany by the NSW Ports consortium.