When it comes to deals with price tags of $1 billion and below, 2013 presented several trends for pros to follow. Along the way there were several standout transactions that presented clues to what the 2014 M&A landscape will look like. Here are the deals that shined in chronological order.

JANUARY: Avis Budget Group Inc.'s (Nasdaq: CAR) $512.5 million purchase of Zipcar Inc. came at a time when U.S. car rental companies saw a resurgence in travel spending by both domestic and foreign consumers. The deal also shows the current competitiveness of the car rental market, pitting Avis against the rental businesses of rivals Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HTZ) and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Buying Zipcar, a Cambridge, Mass.-based provider of auto-sharing services, came just months after Hertz paid $2.3 billion for Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. (NYSE: DTG).

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