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Figures Reveal Fall in M&A Activity

Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed a marked decline in the number and value of successful mergers and acquisitions (M&A) involving UK companies during the second quarter (April to June) of 2016, when compared to the first quarter.

The figures show that there were a total of 87 successful domestic and cross-border mergers, acquisitions and disposals involving UK companies worth £14.0 billion in Quarter 2 2016. In comparison, Quarter 1 saw 190 successful transactions valued at £69.0 billion.

Domestic acquisitions (UK companies acquiring other UK companies) during Quarter 2 2016 saw 47 completed acquisitions worth £5.9 billion, down 50% from the number reported in Quarter 1 2016 (95 acquisitions worth £11.8 billion).

There were 20 completed inward M&A transactions (foreign companies acquiring UK companies) valued at £6.3 billion in Quarter 2 2016, down 61% from 52 successful inward M&A transactions valued at £50.3 billion seen during Quarter 1 2016.

Quarter 2 2016 saw 16 successfully completed acquisitions of foreign companies abroad made by UK companies (outward M&A) worth £1.7 billion, compared with 35 valued at £6.1 billion during Quarter 1, a decline of 54%.

The findings of the ONS are broadly in line with those of other reports covering the same period, suggesting that M&A activity fell in the run up to the Brexit referendum.

The Bank of England’s Agents’ Summary Report for Quarter 2 2016 reported that business investment intentions for the year ahead were little changed and pointed to modest growth in investment. Business services and contacts reported reductions overall in corporate deal-making activity, as some planned mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance activity had been paused or cancelled.

Similarly, a report by Deloitte into the impact of Brexit on M&A activity found that since the beginning of 2016 both global and UK M&A markets had been slowing down.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

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