Expectations have never been higher for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the chemicals industry. At the outset of 2017, we look back on a year with robust yet modest activity—the value of completed deals in 2016 declined slightly compared with 2015—but the backlog of deals is at a level never seen before with more than $300 billion of potential transactions. This is more than twice the backlog at the end of 2015, which itself was an all-time high and more than the combined deal activity of 2014, 2015, and 2016 (see figure 1). Behind this backlog are a handful of mega deals—each of which would break deal-size records if completed. Over the past 10 years up until last year, not one deal had exceeded the $20 billion mark. As of early 2017, four deals are under way that are each valued at between $40 billion and $70 billion.